4 basic steps to choose a good nutritional supplement

4 pasos básicos para elegir un buen suplemento nutricional

A nutritional supplement is a product whose intention is to supplement the diet with one or more components.

Among them are carbohydrates, proteins or amino acids, fats, vitamins, minerals and some other substances such as caffeine and creatine.

It is very important to be clear that nutritional supplements are not designed to replace a healthy diet , but to cover specific needs or serve as physical performance enhancers.

Although the ideal is to advise you with a nutritionist individually, today I want to teach you 4 basic steps to choose a good nutritional supplement:

Check how effective the nutritional supplement is

The first question you should ask yourself is whether the nutritional supplement really does what it promises .

Also if there is any solid scientific evidence that supports its effectiveness in losing fat, gaining muscle, optimizing physical performance or simply improving your health.

The most reliable nutritional supplements are those whose effectiveness has been validated by numerous investigations conducted in different laboratories, using a correct scientific methodology.

Some of them are carbohydrate and/orprotein supplements, amino acids , sports drinks, creatine, caffeine, among others.

Check if it's safe

There are many supplements whose long-term safety has not been studied, or which have been shown to be dangerous to health .

If you want to use a specific supplement, it is important that you consult a professional about its potential side effects and if you suffer from any condition that may contraindicate its use.

Check that it is legal

Some sports organizations prohibit the use of various nutritional supplements (eg, prohormones, ephedrine, octopamine, sibutramine, etc.).

It is an important aspect in professional sports, where its use is severely sanctioned.

If a product contains prohibited ingredients, you should avoid it. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA, for its acronym in English, World Anti-Doping Agency) annually publishes on its website a list of substances prohibited in the world of sport.

Make sure that it is really necessary to take them

In most cases, we find effective, safe, and legal supplements being used by people who don't need them .

A classic example is the use of protein, amino acid, vitamin and other nutrient supplements in people who can cover their nutritional requirements through food .

We must not confuse a convenient supplement with a necessary supplement.

For example, if an athlete is traveling and must eat a meal that provides 60g of carbohydrates and 20g of protein, but it is impossible for him to prepare two cups of rice with half a chicken breast, he can use a high-calorie shake that allows him to cover practically that amount of macronutrients . In this case, the supplement is not necessary, but it is very convenient.

You may also be interested in reading: How to take your travel supplements.

Conclusion, the ideal is to use a supplement whose effectiveness is backed by scientific evidence, which is safe, legal and also necessary.

On the other hand, using a supplement based on anecdotes or poorly conducted studies, of dubious safety, illegal or unnecessary, can result in a waste of time and money, in addition to representing a risk to your health .

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