Guest post written by Rachel O’Conner
With the wealth of marketing around supplements these days, it almost feels as if there’s a magic pill for anything.
And it can be incredibly disheartening to learn that magic pills do not actually exist. Not for health. Not for weight loss. Not for any condition that ails you.
Even modern medicine struggles to provide “cures” to the myriad of autoimmune diseases that people are suffering with today.
But this story isn’t all doom and gloom. There are plenty of supplements that are effective. They just aren’t magic. That’s why it’s so important to do your part to help those supplements work by focusing on diet and lifestyle.
Weight loss supplements
The weight loss industry is probably the biggest “magic pill” offender. Marketers sell the dream of being skinny without effort. And while there are some supplements that may speed up fat burning, you also need to do your part.
When you read the fine print, you’ll see that even the manufacturers of these pills recommend taking them alongside a healthy diet and lifestyle plan. And those who see the greatest results have done just that.
Vitamin and mineral supplements
Even with the best intentions, there’s a chance you’re making a mistake with your vitamin and mineral supplementation routine. And the issue has to do with bioavailability.
Vitamins that are fat-soluble are better absorbed with dietary fats. So this means you may want to take your vitamin D with avocado or drizzle some olive oil on your sauteed kale.
If you’re going to go through the trouble of taking vitamin and mineral supplements, you may as well get the most out of them.
If you’re in the habit of having a glass of wine or beer every night, this may be interfering with your body’s ability to maintain the proper nutrient balance — regardless of what you’re supplementing with.
Alcohol and illicit drug abuse can deplete the body of key vitamins and minerals. And while supplementing is a great idea, it’s always better to avoid the depletion in the first place. Life without addiction is a beautiful place for so many reasons. And you might be surprised at the impact of nutritional wholeness. When your body has all the right nutrients, everything runs more smoothly.
Exercise and supplementation
You probably already know that you need more protein when you exercise regularly. Protein is the nutrient that gets a great deal of attention. But it’s not often that you hear about restoring magnesium after an intense workout. And some would argue that it’s just as important.
When you exercise, your body is using nutrients faster than it would under normal circumstances. And this isn’t a bad thing. But it does mean you must make up for the loss with a healthy diet and/or supplementation.
Until the day that modern science actually gets that magic pill right, we’re left to figure things out for ourselves with the right mix of diet, exercise and supplementation. If you ever have any questions about whether you might be doing something wrong, talk to your doctor or nutritionist.