Hey! That supplement looks cool. Should I take that?
I was checking out at my favorite natural foods store, and there was a young father behind me in line. He had his two sons along with him, and an arm full of vitamins and supplements. The usual stuff - gummy vitamins for the kids, a multivitamin for him, some probiotics, and a few other things.
I was purchasing my own supplements, as I had run out of zinc and was getting a few others to have on hand in the coming weeks when my supply ran low.
The father said out loud, “Hey, that looks interesting. Do I need that? There’s so much here in this store, and I’m probably overdosing on something. But what do you do?”
I smiled and said, “You might, and, you’re right that you are probably taking supplements you don’t need.”
He shrugged and turned to talk with his kids, not quite sure how to take my comments.
This is more common than you think. We’re all trying to do the best we can with the information we have. We’re inundated with advice from medical researchers, from supplement manufacturers, from bloggers, and our friends and family. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to live the healthiest life with the least effort and less kale (my apologies to kale lovers).
One day, you hear that we all need probiotics, and brand X is the best choice. You go stock up on brand X and add them to your routine. After the first bottle, you don’t notice a difference. Should you buy more?
Then, you’re reading an article that says multivitamins are a waste of money. You just bought a new bottle and feel like you’ve fallen victim to splashy advertising.
Your friend tells you she has been taking this new supplement that has changed her life so you think you’ve found the secret to feeling amazing all the time. After a couple of weeks, it’s kind of meh.
Supplements are expensive and confusing. The noise created by advertising, promotion, and competing research is enough to drive you crazy. We’ve been taught that certain supplements are important, and then told that they’re a waste of time. Each brand tells you that it’s the best and has research to prove it. Research studies don’t make sense, and when they do, the evidence is contradictory.
Of all the concerns my clients bring to me, one of the most frustrating is figuring out what supplements are going to be helpful, which ones they should look to drop, or if supplements even help at all.
One of the first things I do with clients is take a look at their supplements, their diet, and their medications and get them on a better path. Sometimes, just shifting their supplement strategy can make an immediate and dramatic improvement to how they feel on a daily basis, and this change is virtually painless (except maybe regret over having purchased in bulk).
The symptoms of subclinical nutrient deficiency look an awful lot like our common complaints - fatigue, insomnia, headaches, constipation and diarrhea, frequent illness, and just feeling run down all the time. It’s not enough to drive a medical intervention, but it’s enough to keep you from feeling healthy, energetic, and fully alive.
Blood tests won’t tell you if you have a subclinical problem, and most medical professionals consider our modern diet to have adequate nutrition. It is well worth your time and money to have an expert look at what’s going on from a whole-person perspective. Figuring out where you could use a boost saves you money by not buying useless supplements, saves you time because you don’t have to research products, and saves you from frustration because you know what you need and what formulas work best for you.
If you’re curious to learn where you might benefit from a shift in your supplement strategy, schedule your Wellness Launchpad with me. We’ll get you pointed toward healthier habits and figure out the best supplement plan for you.