By Nate Sleger
Supplements are super popular (and probably always will be). Seems like everyone is taking something - protein powder, pre-workout, greens powders, nootropics, you name it. I get asked about them all the time by my clients and friends. "Should I take this? What do you think of this one? Have you tried this?"
This is just my personal take, coming from my own experience. Always check with your doctor before starting any new supplement! I'm not a medical professional.
I'll be honest, I do use a few select supplements myself. But I'm pretty choosy about it. Over the years I've learned to ask some important questions before trying anything new. I think it helps make better decisions so you get the health benefits without nasty side effects.
Here are the key things I consider:
1. Why Do You Want To Take It?
First question is, why do you want to take this supplement? What's your motivation? For me, it always comes back to finding natural ways to become a healthier version of myself. That's the best reason, in my opinion. Some supplements promise results but can actually hurt your health. Always be cautious of those.
2. Do You Really Need It?
Next, do you really need this supplement? Look at your lifestyle and see if there are any gaps. Talk to your doctor and ask if they recommend adding anything. For example, they may suggest a vitamin D supplement if your levels are low. That makes total sense. But don't assume you need to take something without good reason.
3. What's In It?
Now, what's actually in this supplement? Read the label closely. Research the ingredients - Google is your friend here! Make sure you understand what you're putting in your body. If it contains weird mystery ingredients, that's a red flag. Safe, high-quality supplements will tell you exactly what's in them.
4. Does It Work?
Here's the big one - does it work? Once you start taking something new, pay attention to any changes, positive or negative. Are you noticing real benefits? Or feeling worse in other ways? I like to track my sleep quality, energy levels, workouts, etc. to gauge effectiveness.
5. Would You Miss It?
And if you stop using it for a while, do you miss it? Or feel no different without it? That's very telling. If a supplement makes zero measurable impact, you have to wonder if it's really worth the money.
The bottom line is use your best judgment. Do some homework before trying new supplements. Understand your reasons and be realistic about the results. Start slowly. And of course, check with your doctor if you have any concerns - I'm not a medical professional.
Supplements can be helpful additions. But they aren't magic pills. Choose wisely and focus on the fundamentals of healthy living first. Developing good lifestyle habits will get you way further than even the trendiest new supplement!
Let me know if you have any other questions! I'm always happy to chat more about this topic. Wishing you the very best on your health and fitness journey.