Whether you’re dealing with chronic deficiencies, bone pain, or skin, nail, or hair problems, supplements have become a go-to solution in recent years. They pack all sorts of beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or enzymes to provide nutritional value and complement our diets. If you’ve recently added these to your routine, you’re probably wondering whether dietary supplements actually work, or if they simply deliver a placebo. This question is not easily answered and depends on each individual. That said, here’s a guide with useful pointers to help you tell if your supplements are delivering on their promises.
Read Labels Meticulously
Before assessing the efficiency of your newly found supplement, it’s essential that you always read the labels on the bottle. These substances often come in various forms, including pills, capsules, gummies, even powders or drinks, and vary in quality. Granted, you won’t always be able to decipher some of the mysterious ingredients listed on the label, which is where research on supplementation comes in handy. There are virtually hundreds of online resources that will help you get familiar with a particular supplement’s composition, potential benefits, side effects, and correct dosage. Use them to your advantage!
Keep a Supplement Journal
A viable way you can determine if your supplements are working is to start a journal. Now, when you first start taking them on a daily basis, make a list of the substances you’re ingesting, at what dosage, your symptoms, how you feel, your activity levels, and other relevant details. After a few weeks, review your journal entries to see if there is any amelioration. This should help you establish whether the vitamin or supplement has any efficacy at all.
Take a Look in the Mirror
Do you notice anything different? Whether their purpose is to fulfill a nutrient deficiency or boost your metabolism, witnessing positive and encouraging changes in your appearance and/or overall mood is a great sign that the supplement is actually doing its job. For instance, taking vitamin D and vitamin C works to promote healthy and glowing skin. High-quality fish oil capsules with adequate AHA and BHA concentrations can help enhance brain and cognitive functions. Either way, a noticeable amelioration in these areas of your body typically indicates that you’re on the right track.
Another method for checking whether your new supplemental regimen is actually worth it is to schedule an appointment with your physician or GP. Doctors don’t usually prescribe supplements directly seeing as they’re not technically classified as drugs, but a health professional can help establish whether they’ve been effective for you. It would certainly be advisable to also visit a nutritionist. They can help you to better understand how your body works, what you’re lacking, and what you can do in terms of supplements and changes in your diet to get you on the right track. They will also be able to advise you on what kind of fitness routine you need to pair with your diet, as this affects how your body functions and the rate of metabolism as well. After a few weeks of starting the regimen, go in for a blood test to assess any vitamin/mineral deficiency and a regular check-up. Next, schedule a follow-up visit after a few months; if the results are encouraging, it means taking your supplements wasn’t entirely useless!
Don’t Fall for “Miracle” Products
Supplements have become extremely popular because more and more people want to lead healthier lifestyles. As a result, you’ll find that there are going to be many products that promise to do this that they simply never will – all in the name of business. Just because it sounds and looks appealing, doesn’t mean it will work. By all means, you should steer clear of any product that “guarantees” results after a minimal amount of time. Supplements can take several weeks, if not months for their full effects to kick in and actually make a change in your organism. Now, since these products aren’t subject to the same testing and safety standards as regular prescription drugs, manufacturers go full out with promises of better health “before you know it”. This is a pure myth and classifies as anti-science. If you want to better yourself using supplements, choose high-quality ones, and exhibit patience. Make sure that you look extensively into reviews and certifications, because you don’t want to end up with a fake product, which could ultimately make you very sick.
Complement Your Supplements!
Many people live with the misconception that supplements are enough to make up for what your body is deficient in. This is simply not true. You cannot simply take multivitamins every day and expect them to work their magic while eating junk food, getting no exercise, and drinking and smoking in excess. As the name suggests, dietary supplements supplement; they are in no way a full-on replacement for your daily nutrient intake and physical exercise requirements. Invariably, these substances work best when paired with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In case your supplement regimen has yielded no result after weeks or months, it may be that your body wasn’t equipped to properly assimilate the active substances because of poor absorption and lifestyle choices. Some adjustments may be in order! You need to make sure that you also don’t take over what is required, because this can happen if you are not aware of your intake and not doing regular checkups to assess your levels.
Dietary supplements, vitamins, and other over-the-counter products are often believed to be quick fixes to temporary health problems. If this is your idea of taking supplements, chances are they won’t be as effective as you’d want. Instead, conduct extensive research to find the supplement that will help alleviate your symptoms, regardless of what it is you’re struggling with. At the end of the day, remember that all of these products have no scientifically proven efficacy, so you should use them with caution and not rely on them 100%, especially when dealing with chronic issues.