Which supplements to avoid and which ones might actually help

Opinions by Stacy Houser: This is not intended to be medical advice and each person is different when it comes to your health. Always consult a doctor before starting any new diet or exercise plan.

Do you get overwhelmed when it comes to understanding supplements? There are three questions I hear a lot:

1. Which supplements are necessary for a healthy life?

2. Which supplements will help build muscle?

3. Which supplements will help me lose weight faster?

Before we dive into these questions, it's important to note that unless you have a particular illness, nutrition deficiency, hereditary problem, or it's required by a doctor -- no supplement is a requirement. 

It can be confusing but it doesn't have to be. Think of it in terms of a video game. Power-ups can sometimes enhance or improve your effectiveness, but without having basic skills beforehand, they are a waste. 

Simply put, these products are meant to "supplement" a healthy diet and not replace it.

Supplements to avoid

1. Weight loss and performance enhancers

Will you lose weight? Probably! But these products do not provide permanent, healthy results, can be dangerous, and are not the way to go. There's never a substitute for eating well and exercising consistently. 

They are very powerful drugs masquerading as 'all-natural' or 'herbal' supplements and they carry significant risks to unsuspecting consumers."  -U.S. Food and Drug Administration in reference to weight loss pills

2. Detoxes/Water Pills/ Laxatives

These will work but the results may only last a day or two, making you think you need to use them again. Your body is 70% water for a reason - taking pills to reduce it can mess up your electrolytes, metabolism, your workouts, and have lasting damage to your health.

It boils down to this: supplements can help add to your healthy lifestyle! But above all, EAT RIGHT, drink lots of water, get plenty of rest, and keep believing in yourself to see a healthy change that lasts. 

Products I do like

1. Amino Acids (BCAA)

Helps in reducing fatigue, accelerating recovery, reducing muscle soreness, and improving the use of fat for energy.

2. Some protein powders

If you can't consume enough natural protein every day in foods, some protein powders may help in this area.

The Big Three: 1. Whey 2. Egg 3. Soy  

3. Vitamins

Vitamins are helpful if you don't already get plenty of veggies and fruits in your diet.

4. Protein Bars

Protein bars make great snacks! My Personal favorites are Pure Protein, Quest, One Bar, and Premier Protein Bars. 

Temple Challenge is grateful to be partnering with your local, family-owned GNC in Parkersburg and Vienna! Be sure to pick up your Temple Challenge/GNC Discount card at your next TC class and show it at one of two locations for a significant discount off special products. Learn more at www.thetemplechallenge.com/gnc

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