Having worked in the health food industry for over 20 years I have learned quite a few things regarding supplements. There is a lot to know, and I certainly don’t know it all. In an industry that follows science that is ever evolving, it is important to always do your research. This supplements series will be an on-going list that should give you a good base to expand your knowledge from.
Knowledge is power. Listen to your intuition, and use common sense. This is simply information, not a prescription, I am not a doctor. I feel these are important subjects, however always remember to do things under your own volition.
1. Get nutrition from food first. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet full of healthy foods, fruits and vegetables is #1! There have been numerous studies that show food may be less nutritious than it once was but it’s still very important to consume a wide variety of fruits and veggies daily. Buy organic and local for best nutrient density.
2. When in doubt take your vitamin supplements with food. Although a high quality food based vitamin should not require food for absorption, it may help. If the directions say empty stomach, this is usually for a reason, so follow these directions. For instance, many herbs and enzymes when needed therapeutically require an empty stomach.
3. For post workout, to rebuild and alkalize, go for a plant based protein (not soy). Make sure it is a complete protein with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s). Save whey or egg protein for a snack or as part of a meal replacement smoothie.
4. Avoid generic, drugstore, or buying club brands. Like most things you shop for, not all supplements are created equal. You should be able to email or pick up the phone and easily reach your vitamin company and get prompt educated responses to almost any question you may have. Besides, these discount brands are typically FULL of “other”, “inactive” ingredients. Make sure to read your labels.
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