We’ve all been there. Maybe we’re looking for something specific like vitamin D, or maybe just a supplement in general that will make us “healthier”. Perhaps we were told that we “need” it, or we saw it on social media, or Dr. Google made the recommendation. It doesn’t matter what brought us to the supplement aisle, the fact is that there are so many options that the amount is overwhelming. Not even in sheer quantity of different vitamins and supplements, but each individual vitamin has multiple different manufacturers that just adds to the confusion. Suddenly this seemingly simple goal of being “healthier” just became much more complicated, and honestly somewhat stressful.
In a perfect world, we don’t even need supplements. We ideally get all of our nutrients from our food. That includes a proper balance of macro and micronutrients that support our body. Not sure about anybody else, but I definitely don’t live in a perfect world. Between work and kids and busy schedules, we definitely want to do our best to align our nutrition with our health goals. There are definitely strategies that can help us do better from a food standpoint, but that’s a topic for a different day. The fact is that our modern lifestyles and dietary habits leave some “holes” when it comes to optimal nutrition. That’s why supplements can be very beneficial to help us optimize our health and support our body and goals.
Well, that brings us back to that ever-intimidating supplement aisle. What to get? While we like certain nutrients for “maintenance” supplementation, we all have different genetics, diets, and lifestyles so there is no “cookie cutter” approach. We are happy to provide general recommendations based on your individual needs and goals. To really get a customized plan, a Functional Med Initial Consult will take a deeper dive into your specific needs.
With all of that being said, one quote really resonates with me surrounding this topic: “The most expensive supplement you can buy is the one that doesn’t work.” The $25 bottle may initially seem appealing compared to the one that costs $50, but if that $25 product contains inferior ingredients or those that will not be digested and absorbed, you’re literally flushing that $25 down the toilet. In this case I would make the argument that you’re better off taking half the dose of the $50 product if it is a higher quality that will be properly utilized by your body. That way you’re at least getting a benefit from it, even if you’re not taking the full dose and it will last as long as the more inexpensive option. And in some circumstances, you will want to take a full dose for a period of time to support your body until you can get closer to your goals. At that point, you may be able to find some food sources of certain nutrients that you can incorporate into your diet that won’t require a supplement at all.
There are many great supplement companies out there. We try to find the best forms of products from the highest quality manufacturers. Sometimes our recommendations change based on new information or new products being created. No matter what, you will want to purchase products from manufacturers that are GMP, NSF or have another third-party certification. We generally don’t recommend purchasing supplements from Amazon, as there have been circumstances of skeptical practices and non-ideal climate conditions in warehouses and shipping vehicles. Many high-quality supplements can only be purchased through a licensed seller. We are also able to get you set up with a Fullscript account that allows you to purchase high-quality products and get them shipped directly to your door.
We want to be “healthy”, and that definition is very different depending on the person. Regardless of your definition or goals, make sure you supplement wisely and let us know if you have any questions. In addition to product recommendations, we have many guides that provide the best food sources for certain nutrients, so you can incorporate them into your diet.