Supplementation is big business in the health and fitness industry and we are frequently asked questions about which supplements to take. With supplements ranging from fat blasters to muscle boosters, vitamin C to the latest rare herb found only in the high altitudes of Peru, it truly is a confusing space for the average person to find themselves in.
Before we get wildly carried away in the glammed up world of pre and post-workout supplementation, or the meditative qualities of the seeds of a yet un-named bush let’s consider more basic, supermarket style supplements. Amongst other things, a frequent question we get asked is “Should I be taking a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement?”
The answer is… it depends.
It is true that if you eat a healthy diet comprised of a wide range of fresh vegetables, meats, nuts, seeds and fruit that you are probably covering most if not all of your general vitamin and mineral needs and so a supplement is unnecessary. However, for a lot of people their diets are far from the ideal. This may be a result of poor food choices, but can also come about via calorie restriction/dieting (insufficient food quantity), food aversions, illness or anything else that might limit or restrict intake of a sufficient quantity and variety of healthy food. So in these instances then yes, a multi-vitamin/mineral supplement would be a useful addition.
How frequently you need to take the supplement may vary also. If your diet is always pretty shoddy, then you might need to take your multi-vitamin/mineral supplement daily. If your diet is pretty good most of the time but perhaps gets a little wayward when you travel (for example) or have a crazy busy day at work then perhaps you only need to be a part-time multi-vitamin taker (eg when you are travelling). If your diet is good all of the time (and be realistic!), then you can probably save your money and just get all the goodness you need in the ideal way which is from the food you eat.
Pills and powders never beat real food. But if your eating habits are still a work in progress, then they certainly have their place and a multi vitamin/mineral supplement is worthy of consideration.
Shameless plug: Rigid dieting and calorie counting don’t work for the majority of people. If you’ve gained and lost weight more times than you care to remember, you are not alone. Or if you have battled against the same 5-10kg most of your life you are also not alone. To this end we are very proud to offer our Nourish to Flourish nutrition coaching programme. Nourish to Flourish is not a diet and it’s not a food plan. Instead it is a 12 month long habit based programme. The programme includes daily online lessons and interaction and feedback from your coach which sets you up to gain consistency over your eating habits, as well as educate you about what truly constitutes long-term healthy eating to achieve your ideal body composition. The aim of the programme is to instill long term change – change that will stick with you for life. On holidays, during busy days at work, with crazy family life – basically whatever life throws at you. Knowledge is power and at Flourish we are all about empowerment, allowing you to look after yourself in the best way possible.