To every modern-day question, the answer is the same: google it.
The Internet has become our advisor, best friend, confident, and we do not refrain from approaching it for any everyday issue we might struggle with. Nevertheless, when it comes to taking advice provided by the World Wide Web, at some point we have to draw the line.
I think we can agree on the statement that fitness and nutritional queries have one of the highest search volumes - we want to know what will help us lose weight, tone down, bulk up; which exercises are most effective, which foods to eat and which to steer away from, and we want a list of supplements that will help us achieve the goals we set.
And what happens - we are presented with an almost endless list of how-tos, recommendations, and advice, which not so often counter one another; and most are, unfortunately, nothing but age-old myths.
Luckily, True Protein has an army of fitness, health and nutritional experts who possess rich knowledge in the field. For the following article, we’ve selected the most common myths you can encounter online and are about to reveal the real truth behind them.
Myth #1: Nutritional supplements are a complete waste of money
This one is probably the most common supplement myth, and it’s usually advocated by healthcare professionals who are quick to dismiss nutritional supplements – particularly plant-origin ones.
Of course, we cannot expect supplements to give immediate results. Instead, we should provide our bodies with enough key nutrients that play a critical role when it comes to preventing and dealing with particular health problems. Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can result in a wide range of serious conditions, which is where nutritional supplements should step in.
For instance, magnesium deficiency is quite common and can lead to muscle cramps, headaches, blood sugar imbalance, depression and a number of other problems. The fact that a lot of people don’t meet the RDA for magnesium through their diet is precisely what makes supplementation even more essential.
Let’s take True ZMA as an example - this supplement is a combo of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6 and has helped many replenish their body with essential minerals which promote sleep and support the nervous system. What is more, fitness enthusiasts enjoy its ability to boost the recovery process. Evidently, a quality nutritional supplement can provide an all-around support for the entire body.
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Myth #2: People who eat well don’t need to take dietary supplements
This myth doesn’t hold water simply because people can still benefit from using dietary supplements, even if they eat well.
Contrary to popular belief, not all supplements are related to nutrient deficiencies. The truth is that just essential nutrient supplements, like L-Tryptophan and Choline Bitartrate, are actually designed to combat nutrient deficiencies, whereas the rest are used to improve our diet and the quality of life in general.
Vegan diet is probably the best example, as vegans are considered to be healthy simply because they aren’t at risk of dealing with conditions associated with eating meat. However, they are in need of vitamin B12 supplements that ensure good health. Low B12 intakes can cause anaemia and nervous system damage, which is why these supplements should be taken regularly.
Furthermore, vitamin D supplements cannot be found in food – only by absorbing sun rays. Namely, our skin generates this vitamin in response to sunlight, which is why we should take this supplement when we are not exposed to direct sunlight for a longer period.
Myth #3: All dietary supplements are safe
This one is probably the trickiest to debunk, especially because most dietary supplements are considered to be safe, but only as long as they’re used within the recommended dosage range.
Of course, there have been a couple of dietary supplements which were withdrawn from the market as a result of safety concerns, but these examples are exceptionally rare. One of them was Ephedrine, which was designed to increase metabolic rate by up to 5%, and it was said to be an extremely powerful energizing supplement. However, there were some serious side effects associated with long-term consumption, which is why its legal status was compromised.
On the other hand, as already stated, the recommended dosage range is definitely what users should follow when it comes to supplementation. The vast majority of them are actually safe for use by people over the age of 18, and certain dietary supplements can be used by children as well.
It is essential to highlight that there are major health risks associated with exceeding the dosage recommendation, and that’s the biggest safety concern at this moment. This means that it’s possible to overdose on dietary supplements simply because they may consist of different chemical compounds that can have a stronger effect on your body.
Besides that, combining dietary supplements with medications or other dietary supplements without supervision can be another major health hazard, as you can never know how they will respond to one another.
Taking all of the above into consideration, be sure to consult with your doctor before making a final decision on the supplements you plan on using, that way preventing any potential problems in advance.
Myth #4: Everyone will benefit in the same way from fitness supplements
Similarly to myth #1, this one is also fairly common among the people who use fitness supplements, and it says that every person who uses them will benefit in the same way. This myth is not verifiable for several logical reasons.
Just take into consideration individual variations in the environment, metabolism, tolerance and general factors like diet, body shape, and even age. So, why would anyone think that different people can have the same benefits when using the same fitness supplement?
Everyone has their unique intestinal flora, that is the bacteria in their gut, which is why those fitness supplements are digested and integrated into their bodies in different ways. If your intestinal flora isn’t healthy, it is highly likely that you won’t experience as many benefits of health supplements as other people. Apart from that, people sometimes simply can’t feel the effects of their supplements because the manufacturers have a problem with purity and molecular structure. There has been a lot of scientific research that helped test particular chemicals and ingredients in order to determine their molecular structure and purity, which helped greatly in designing quality food supplements that provide outstanding, desirable results.
Thus, if there are two different sources of a particular health supplement that are chemically identical, this means that the compound is completely fine, but you may still experience some issues due to your metabolic rates, intestinal flora, and other essential factors that can affect the extent to which you feel the benefits of those health supplements.
There are dozens of supplement myths circulating the Internet, but you should be sure to look for factual information and relevant sources that can properly explain whether these are just myths, or beneficial sources of information that needs to be handled with extra care. Of course, many are misleading and quite confusing, which can make it harder to decide whether to use a particular supplement or not.