What Supplements Should I Take?

Walking into health food stores can be extremely overwhelming, especially with the vast array of supplements available on the market. Many products claim to help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, reduce your chances of heart disease, and so forth. However, do these products really work? If so, which ones are worth taking?

Every person requires certain nutrients and minerals to survive, such as vitamin B6, vitamin C, calcium, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. What nutritional supplement companies do not want you to know is that most of these can be obtained by following a healthy, well balanced diet! Unfortunately, due to the craziness of life, most of us find it impossible to provide our bodies with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. That is where nutrition supplement comes into play. In this article I am going to list a few nutrition supplement worth looking into. Remember, nutrition supplement should never, in any circumstance, serve as a replacement for a nutritious, well balanced diet. I highly suggest reading Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook if you wish to learn more about how to create and follow a healthy nutrition plan.

Multi Vitamins

Multi-vitamins typically contain an adequate amount of the primary vitamins and minerals your body requires to function appropriately. While many experts claim that multivitamins are worthless due to the absorption process, other experts disagree.

Typically, taking a multi vitamin will not do you any harm, as long as they are taken correctly and not in excess. Experts say it is best to take a multi vitamin that is based on age and sex. For example, there specially formulated multivitamins for children, male adults, female adults, and even older adults. Additionally, it is best to take multivitamins on days you are not able to obtain the required amount of vitamins and minerals from whole food sources, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Regardless, ensure that the multivitamin you are supplementing your diet with contains most these essential vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin A

Beta carotene

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin K

Vitamin C

Thiamin (B1)

Riboflavin (B2)


Pyridoxine (B6)

Folic acid

Cobalamin (B12)


Pantothenic acid













Calcium is one of the most important minerals in the body and can only be obtained from outside food sources. Calcium is not only essential for helping develop and maintain strong bones, but it also assists in blood clotting, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and can even reduce the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women and osteoporosis (Baechle & Earle, 2008). Consequently, much of the female population in the United States do not consume an adequate amount of calcium in their diets. Risks of low calcium intake include osteopenia, osteoporosis, increased risk of fractures, and inhibition of bone mineral density (Baechle & Earle, 2008).

The recommended dietary allowances for calcium is created according to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.


Iron is another extremely important mineral that helps aid the transport of oxygen throughout the body and assist in the utilization of energy. Although vitamin and mineral deficiencies are quite rare in developed countries, Iron deficiency leading to anemia is a somewhat common deficiency, especially amongst women and adolescents (Baechle & Earle, 2008). Since Iron is lost through bleeding, women who bleed heavily during their menstrual cycle are especially at risk of Iron deprivation. Additionally, people who follow vegetarian diets are also at increased risk of developing an Iron deficiency. However, while inadequate iron intake is dangerous, excessive iron intake can be significantly harmful as well.

The recommended dietary allowances for Iron is created according to the Institute of Medicine.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is extremely vital to the body as it assists in the absorption of calcium and helps build and maintain strong bones (Baechle & Earle, 2008). Many experts say that most people are not obtaining an adequate amount of Vitamin D in their diets. Vitamin D can be obtained from foods such as fish, milk, margarine, fortified breakfast cereals, egg yolks, and butter (Baechle & Earle, 2008). ADditionally, sun exposure provides an adequate amount of Vitamin D to the body. However, for those of you who rarely go out in the sun and rarely eat any of the foods mentioned above, you may want to consider taking a Vitamin D supplement.

The recommended dietary allowances for Iron is created according to the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).


As some of you already know, protein, which is made up of amino acids, is a vital nutrient in our body that supports growth and tissue maintenance (Baechle & Earle, 2008). For non-vegetarians on a normal calorie diet, protein can be consumed from animal or plant protein. However, for vegetarians or those on a calorie restricted diet, consuming an adequate amount of protein may be difficult or near impossible to achieve. Vegetarians choose consume plant protein, which typically tend to be more deficient in the essential amino acids, as opposed to animal protein. We have many more Vitamins Help Articles Now Available.

Determining the recommended dietary intake of protein is difficult for two reasons: caloric intake and biological value of the protein. A person’s caloric intake can have a significant impact on the amount of protein he/she should consume. Since protein can be used as a source of energy in a calorie restricted diet, a person pursuing a low caloric intake diet may have to consume more protein.

The protein’s biological value, or protein quality, also makes an impact on protein requirements as well. In other words, the higher the biological value of the protein, the lower the protein requirement (Baechle & Earle, 2008). Examples of protein sources with a high biological value include casein, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. Examples of protein sources with a low biological value include grains, beans, vegetables, gelatin, and other plant proteins.

Assuming an individual is consuming an adequate amount of calories daily and that two-thirds or more of the protein is coming from animal sources, the recommended daily dietary intake of protein is 0.8 g/kg of body weight for men and women, which typically amounts to approximately 10% to 15% of daily caloric intake (Baechle & Earle, 2008).


Although dietary fiber is technically not a nutrient, it has many positive health benefits to our health. In fact, diets low in fiber have been associated with diverticulosis, constipation, heart disease, colon cancer, and diabetes (Beachle & Earle, 2008). These days, there is much hype about following a high fiber diet. Many public health organizations even recommend supplementing with fiber to alleviate gastrointestinal complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and diarrhea. However, a high fiber diet can be achieved simply by eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grain products (Baechle & Earle, 2008). The recommended daily dietary intake of fiber is between 25 and 38 g/day for young men and women (Baechle & Earle, 2008).

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Both glucosamine and chondroitin are synthesized in the human body which serve to stimulate repair of cartilage and prevent the breaking down of cartilage. Consequently, it is used as a nutrition supplement by many people suffering from joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. Many experts believe that glucosamine and chondroitin can significantly alleviate joint pain, while others agree that supplementing with glucosamine and chondroitin has no effect on joint pain and mobility whatsoever. Being that glucosamine and chondroitin are considered foods rather than drugs, regulation on manufacturing standards is not as stringent. Therefore, it is best to purchase glucosamine and chondroitin from a company with a well known and proven reputation.

Final Note

Well there you have it! Listed above are just a few nutrition supplement that can be included into your daily diet if it is lacking. Although there are a plethora of other nutrition supplement on the market, such as ZMA, creatine, and Vitamin B6, not all of them may be necessary to live a healthy lifestyle. Regardless, for those of you who wish to purchase nutrition supplement, DPS Nutrition and Popeyes Supplements are two well known online companies that offer them at exceptional prices.

Do not forget, it is best to consume all of the body’s required vitamins and minerals from whole food sources while following a nutritious diet filled with plenty of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and low fat dairy products. However, for those of us who are busy and find it difficult to consume the exact servings of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and whole grains every day, nutritional supplement may be necessary in our diet!

As always, it is best to consult your doctor before taking any nutrition supplement. We have many more Vitamins Help Articles Now Available.