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You’ve heard of the benefits of the best nutritional supplements and you want to try them. But how do you know if they are really going to help?
Are all these supplements right for everyone? Not even close!
The truth is that there are a lot of misconceptions about what makes an effective supplement, especially among women trying to lose weight. This post will provide insight on some common myths surrounding this topic so that you can get the results you desire in a safe manner.
Nutritional supplements are the fastest-growing industry in the last decade, and they generate billions of dollars in revenue. It’s the single most significant change in how we eat and take care of our health.
The best nutrition supplements exist in a gray area of the health field; they aren’t classified as food or drugs, so they don’t have the same regulations as drugs and foods.
This led to many people having wrong ideas about dietary supplements, which ones work, and what to use. In this article, I will try to dispel some of those misconceptions.
Weight Loss Supplements are the Most Popular Ones on the Market.
The United States has a world-leading obesity rate. It is also home to a thriving weight-loss industry to combat and profit from its overconsumption.
A recent survey of almost 4,000 randomly selected people in the U.S. found that about one-third had tried weight loss supplements at some point. That is a large and staggering number of people to use such a product.
More important were the study results that asked people why they turned to supplements to lose weight.
According to the Obesity Research Journal report, Many users mistook dietary supplements for safety and efficacy. Thinking they are FDA-tested and safer than other over-the-counter or prescription medication. However, both of these are wrong.
One of the biggest markets is the top selling nutritional supplements for athletes or fitness professionals. Several supplements claim to help fitness enthusiasts get the results they want.
These supplements overload consumers with so much info that it’s hard to tell what’s real and false.
A recent study by JAMA found there were 89 brands, 311 products, and 235 unique ingredients.
The most frequently promoted health benefit was muscle development; the most frequent amino acid was unspecified amino acids.
We also found some unusual or unidentified ingredients. 22.2% of the products didn’t have any ingredients listed.
Back to our original point, where there is no regulating body, companies are not obligated to list all information about the products they sell. Still, they can promote them as much as they see fit. Thus, many fitness enthusiasts believe that supplements will have a much more significant effect than in actuality.
The Biggest Consumers are Now High School and College Students.
The most alarming aspect of nutritional supplement misconceptions is the excessive use of them among kids, especially high school and collegiate athletes.
- A study conducted in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism shared their supplement use results by college athletes. The most frequently consumed supplements were:
- Energy drinks (73%)
- Calorie replacement meals and or products (61.4%)
- Multivitamins (47.3%)
- Creatine products (37.2%)
- Vitamin C (32.4%) overall
A separate study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that more than two-thirds of high school football players regularly consumed a protein supplement. Clearly, this group uses quite a few supplements. Still, their sources and the reasoning behind their beliefs are what I found interesting and surprising.
In the case of high school football players, they got much of their information from unofficial sources, such as “parents, friends, and coaches.”.
We can see how some useful information about protein supplementation could get twisted up into a blitz of misinformation.
College athletes weren’t much better off, but the study showed that male and female athletes used different sources. “Females get their supplements from their families, while males get them from the store nutritionist, fellow athletes, friends, or a coach.”.
While there’s a lot of source material, the sources are insufficient.
Supplements have been growing in popularity and provide a great way to help reach your health goals. But we need to remind ourselves that a supplement supplements a healthy diet and lifestyle and adequate medical care, not something that can replace it.
Because nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA, consumers should do their research and consult with a doctor if they have any misconceptions.
By educating consumers, we’ll develop a good market for the best nutritional supplement and get rid of the false claims!