Health Supplements: The Why, The Yes & The No
Published on: 2018/08/01
Ryan Fernando, Co-Founder, and Chief Nutrionist at The Qua Nutrition & An Award-winning Celebrity Sports Nutritionist
WHAT a Dietician/Nutritionist should know about supplements and WHY they need to Own the thought and influencer space on Products? As India’s leading Sports Nutritionist, I cannot help but wonder why we do not produce enough athletes at an Olympic Level.
Is our DAL CHAWAL ROTI not enough? Or are our training methods ancient. Or do we just not have the genetic advantage of our competitors!
Health supplements, sports nutrition, supplements, healthcare
With a random scroll through social media or fitness forums, you can end up having thousand people telling you how their health supplement helped them. It can be multivitamin tablets, vitamin D supplements, antioxidants, omega 3 capsules, probiotic drinks, protein supplements, fish oil, and what not.
Every fitness channel in video streaming platforms promotes or recommend one health supplement or the other. Knowledge seeking through the internet, only makes you get overwhelmed or even confused as to what is good for you, whether you need it or not.
Need for health supplements and nutrition for athletes
If you are an athlete or into some form of professional sports training, there is a need for you to take supplements. Every sports or athletics involve intense physical training. Supplements help in improving endurance, strength, in turn, help you achieve your fitness goals quickly. Supplements generally consumed by athletes are protein, vitamins, amino acids, caffeine, and creatine.
The need for a particular type of supplement varies with every person and the type of training that he/she undergoes. The best way to choose the right supplement, if required, is to consult a sports nutritionist or a physician.
What is the best supplement for health?
The answer is “Your Food”. What you eat every day is the best form of health supplement your body can have, whether you are an athlete or not. Having said that, you should be eating a healthy balanced diet. This takes care of all your needs. A healthy diet should never be replaced by a supplement. A balanced diet helps the vitamins and minerals absorbed by the body easily.
However, for an athlete, in order to perform to the best, a nutritious diet and hydration are important. They need a diet plan, which contains, daily amounts of calorie, carbohydrates, protein, minerals, vitamins, fat, and fluids.
Who needs health supplements?
At different stages of life, one may need a type of supplement to be healthy. Based on these needs, you have to choose the supplement that is right for you. The best way to decide on which supplement to take is to take the advice of a physician. Generally, health supplements are required by,
- People with diseases like Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, mainly autoimmune diseases
- Pregnant women or women who are planning for a child
- People who have allergies like lactose intolerance
- Women with PCOS
Instead of randomly choosing a health supplement from a supermarket, it is best to talk to your dietitian or general physician.