Dietary supplements are much like drugs in that they each have a specific purpose and dosage, along with risks and side effects when used improperly. However, unlike drugs, most dietary supplements are self-prescribed, which means that they can be purchased from stores without input from nurses, doctors, of pharmacists.
This is where the danger comes in, because without professional guidance, it’s easy for an individual to misuse these supplements. This is especially true when you consider the amount of misinformation on the internet. As a result, many people suffer from side effects, illnesses, and other adverse issues. When this happens, you stand to lose more in medical expenses than if you simply used your supplements as recommended. The most painful part is that this is a problem that is completely preventable.
So, with this in mind, how exactly should dietary supplements be used?
Follow Recommended Dosage
Dietary supplements are exactly that – supplements, meant to augment your nutrition. There isn’t a significant benefit in consuming more vitamins and minerals than what your body needs, and doing so may result in vomiting, diarrhea, and even liver damage. Consume only what is recommended.
Read Labels Thoroughly
All supplements can cause side effects on your body and they can also interact with your medication. It’s important to read all product labels and to consult your doctor before taking supplements, as it may be difficult to understand what the full effects of the supplement will be on your body.
Store Them Properly
It’s important to store your supplements properly not just so their shelf life is prolonged, but also to prevent accidental ingestions. This is especially important when you live with children or pets. Always keep your supplements out of their reach and always make sure to return your supplements to their proper place after using them.
Only Buy From Trusted Sources
If there’s one thing that’s riskier than dietary supplements, it’s when they are counterfeit. Not only do you get less for what you pay for, but these knock-offs may contain harmful ingredients that are not regulated by the FDA. Always make sure to buy your supplements from reputable sellers such as Garden of Life to ensure that you know what exactly you’re ingesting.
Consult a Professional
Finally, the most important thing to remember is to always ask a professional for advice on supplements. Whether it’s a doctor, a nutritionist, or a trainer, it’s important to get another opinion on what dietary supplements you need. These professionals have the training and experience to ensure that no harm comes your way, and they may even have connections to help you source better quality supplements.
Supplements are a great way to help you get the health results that you want. While they aren’t necessary, they do optimize your progress. Keep these safety tips in mind to ensure that you don’t bring any harm upon yourself. Remember that while supplements may benefit you, they can never match the nutritional value of real food.