In my kickboxing class the other night there was mention of a supplement called glutathione. The class was encouraged to take it and a brief explanation was given about what glutathione actually is. I could tell that most people had never heard of it and were most likely not going to go look it up… and yet they looked interested in trying it. That is scary. So with that in mind, I wanted to give a little info on how to decide if taking ANY supplement is the right thing for you.
First of all, you should NEVER decide to take a supplement just because someone recommends it. You need to know what the supplement actually IS and what is it SUPPOSED to do. Then you need to evaluate if it is even something you need. Don’t take supplements because you think they will be an “insurance policy” for something. That’s stupid. That can even be dangerous. If you aren’t sure how to evaluate if a particular supplement is a good idea or not, ask a dietitian. If your gym isn’t networked with a dietitian, then look one up on-line yourself. Dietitians are great resources for stuff like this. Check out www.eatright.org for a list of dietitians in your area, or contact Rudog. We work with clients all over the United States. It might cost you a little money, but quality education should cost you something.
Some supplements have only been shown to be effective if the person taking them is deficient in that substance already. So, for example, if you aren’t deficient in chromium, a chromium supplement will probably not have the positive effect you are expecting. As a consumer, you wouldn’t necessarily know that. That is exactly why you talk to a professional. They know things you don’t. You get my point. You need to know what you are taking and why you are taking it.
After you do your homework and you know all you need to know about a supplement, you have to answer the tough question, “Do I NEED this?” If you don’t need it, don’t take it. Put your time and your money toward things you DO need. If you decide you could benefit from the supplement, then get with a physician or dietitian to determine what the proper dosage is going to be for you. Just because “Steve” takes a certain amount, doesn’t mean that is the right dose for you.
Most supplements do not have negative side effects when taken at the right dosage, but it is a largely unregulated industry and the FDA does not require (or even have) RDA’s for many supplements. You want to be sure you are not taking more of something than you need, but you also want to make sure you are getting enough to produce the desired result. This is where a physician or dietitian is really handy. They can also ask you specific questions to make sure that the supplement isn’t going to interfere with,or work against, anything else you may already be taking, regardless of whether it’s prescription or over the counter.
Supplements can be a wonderful addition to a great diet and a great workout regimen, but they can be a waste if they aren’t used correctly. Don’t waste money or time because you are too lazy to do a little bit of research. Get smart, you are worth it.
As a professional in this industry, I have done much of the homework for you. Rudog has developed a small line of supplements that give you everything you need, in the right amount. Visit our page for more information.
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Mary Cabral, RD/LD