The nutritional supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with nutritious or physiological effect, whose purpose is to supplement the normal diet, and which are administered in doses (grams, tablets, drops, etc.).
That is, first of all, we must take into account that they do not substitute the diet, but that they will supplement something that may be lacking in some occasions in the diet.
The reasons why people take a nutritional supplement are varied, among which include improving health status, improving athletic and cognitive performance, weight loss and increased energy, among others.
The list of nutritional supplements is very broad, but the list of products with really effective properties is much shorter, so we must be careful with these issues. The misuse of these nutritional supplements is mainly due to:
- Limited scientific information (use of diffuse references).
- Anecdotal comments from famous athletes. Traditions
- Articles published in quality scientific journals, but misinterpreted or misquoted for commercial purposes.
- Limited demonstrated effectiveness.
- Advertising research that detects the beneficial effects, but not the negative ones.
Steps in the process of purchasing a nutritional supplement
Bearing in mind that the most important thing is to have a good and balanced diet, if we have the idea of acquiring a nutritional supplement, we must first take into account some steps in the process of purchasing it.
First step: recognize the need or problem
Either to improve my body composition, my health, my performance, my recovery or to cover possible deficiencies, first I must think if I really need it and if it is necessary therefore that I supplement.
Most likely, most of the time you can get it from natural sources, so there will be times when its use is justified and others where it is not.
Second step: information search
We must consider what our sources of information are, since in many occasions such information is unreliable and is not based on science.
It will be necessary to make sure that this nutritional supplement is really safe and does not have risks for our health, besides knowing if it is legal and does not contain prohibited substances. In turn, you have to ask yourself if it is effective and really does what it says.
In many occasions the industry deceives us, paying professionals to put their image and make us feel identified with them, believing that their physical condition or body composition is partly thanks to this nutritional supplement.
The gyms and coaches not trained, with little information on nutrition and not very competent, they are also another common problem, so we have to be careful with the environment in which we move and not believe everything they tell us.
Third step: evaluation of alternatives
It is very common to get to a supplementation store where they sell supplements of all kinds and find many products, each with many different brands, which makes us doubt which is the best option for my personal goal. Although having alternatives is good, in these cases it is a real problem.
The search for information, the knowledge itself, the knowledge to interpret the labels of composition and ingredients and the prior consultation with nutritionists are good options before deciding to choose one or the other.
Fourth step: purchase decision
The next step would simply be to decide on the option that we have considered most appropriate , taking into account all the aspects discussed in the previous steps.
Step five: post-purchase evaluation
Once we have bought and used that nutritional supplement we should evaluate if it has really been effective in our goal.
It will be necessary to consider different aspects before carrying out the evaluation, aspects such as the respect of the dose that had to be used and the moments in which it had to make use of it, among others, and to know that it would surely have to be periodized its use and not always We would have to use it.
Recommendations regarding nutritional supplements
Most of the time nutritional supplements are not necessary and often are not effective or have sufficient scientific evidence, being the most important to have a proper diet. Even so, there are nutritional supplements that are effective and that their use in specific cases may be justified. Taking these steps into account in the purchase process will help us make better decisions.