Supplements are meant to provide you with the nutrients your body needs that you may not already get from your diet. They can also enhance your performance at work, in the gym, or just help you keep up with your day-to-day life.
Many people turn to supplements as they age to combat the lack of natural vitamins and minerals we obtain in the body as we get older. For example, the main protein in our ligaments and skin, known as collagen, decreases production over time. Because of this, collagen has become one of the most popular supplements on the market today.
Other people turn to supplements to improve their physical appearance and build muscle mass. For example, whey protein is popular in the fitness community as it helps improve your physical fitness and muscle growth.
Even if you each plenty of protein-rich foods, a protein supplement can boost muscle gains and promote weight loss. Pre-workout supplements also help in this arena as they improve energy levels before a workout.
There are many other protein powders that don't apply to muscle building and physical performance. The supplement industry continues to grow and discover new superfoods that improve health naturally.
Nutrient supplementation is great, but many of us struggle with where to start and then how to continue in the routine. Seeking nutritional advice from a professional is a great way to get to know what you're looking to improve within your own body.
Also, it's important to remember that supplements work best if you're already following a healthy lifestyle. This means you need to get enough sleep and water, as well as follow a healthy diet and exercise regimen. A dietary supplement is meant to give you a little boost in the areas you are lacking, not to be relied on solely for overall health.
For example, fish oil is a common supplement taken for skin, hair, heart, nails, and bone health. Fish oil contains omega 3 which is also found in foods such as Brussel sprouts, salmon, and seeds. You should be getting at least a small amount of omega 3 in the diet you eat, but you can add a fish oil supplement if you feel you need more.
That means finding a supplement routine that you will actually stick to. It's harder than you think! In order to keep yourself accountable and ready to embark on a long-term health goal such as a supplement routine, there are a few things to consider...
The first step is identifying the supplements you want to take. You probably already have in mind what you want to promote and make healthier from within.
However, if you are new to dietary supplements, a great place to start is a multivitamin. You can hit most of your vitamin intake with this one supplement. It's a very common everyday capsule that helps you to get nutrients you may not be getting from your diet alone.
Other supplements to look into are collagen, greens powders, turmeric complex, adaptogens, or probiotics. All of these include natural vitamins, minerals, and superfoods that are known to promote various health concerns such as inflammatory or immune response.
Do your research to find out what's right for you!
When you go to order them, keep a few things in mind: you'll need at least 2 months' worth to kickstart the routine and you want to find products with lab-tested, quality ingredients.
There is one key component for creating a supplement routine that will actually stick and that is subscriptions. Almost all supplement stores now offer a subscription to their products so you don't have to remember to re-order each month.
This is KEY to sticking to a routine because if you lose a few days of supplementation, you may feel discouraged and like you have to start over again.
So, once you find the products that feature the benefits you would like to receive, the next step is to look into subscriptions for that product. With subscriptions you can cancel at any time, so essentially you are paying less for what you need to see results AND you have a way of staying accountable to your routine.
Once your supplements have arrived, it's important to keep them where you can see them. Ever heard the saying "out of sight, out of mind?" This could not be more true when it comes to taking your supplements.
Make space on your bathroom or kitchen counter (somewhere near a sink) so you remember that your new healthy habit is just a swallow away. Take it a step further if you need to and set an alarm on your phone for the time of day in which you want to take your supplements.
If you are on the go often, it may be beneficial to keep a few extras on hand (in a purse or glove compartment) so when your reminder alarm goes off, you are not without.
One of the greatest ways to remember to take your supplements (until eventually, it becomes routine) is to try habit stacking.
This means, if you already have a set routine that you do daily, such as a morning routine or evening routine, then simply add your supplement-taking habit into that routine.
For example, if you wake up early to work out, then shower, then have breakfast, try adding a fourth step to that routine which would be taking your supplement. If you have a more solid night routine, you may want to add your supplement habit to that routine instead.
Consistency is key when it comes to building a habit you will actually do long-term, so if you can stack a new habit onto existing habits, you will likely be more consistent.
If you made it through your morning routine and got all the way to work and realized you forgot your supplements, it's not the end of the world. The mere fact that you remembered should be enough to believe in yourself!
New habits are hard to make and forgetfulness is bound to creep in from time to time. Just remind yourself that you decided to make a change to better your health and that in itself is a major accomplishment.