by Dietitian Cassie, RD, LD
So many people stand in the supplement aisle at the store, with no idea what to do or what to take. Sometimes they end up blindly taking supplements, hoping they’re helping. Other times, they end up getting too overwhelmed and not taking any at all. Neither scenario is good!
So, what’s a person to do!? In my experience as a Registered Dietitian, I’ve spent years witnessing the helpful and harmful effects of supplementation with runners and non-runners alike, and I’m excited to share my findings with you and get you on the fast track!
Let’s start with the most commonly asked questions:
“Our ancestors didn’t take supplements, so why should I?”
It’s true! Our ancestors didn’t take supplements, so it’s totally valid to question why you should today.
The reality is that our ancestors’ environment was much different than what we experience today. We aren’t out hunting and gathering our food under the sun. Instead, we’re inundated with incredible amounts of processed, health-draining foods. Even if we make running group a priority, we still spend most of our time inside industrial buildings and in front of computers. We don’t sleep enough and frequently allow technology to interfere with our natural sleeping regimen. We are also exposed to excess pollution and environmental toxins, not to mention the fact that our food is less nutrient dense than decades ago due to soil depletion!
We’re extremely different from our ancestors, and because our lifestyles are so different, our need to supplement key nutrients is far greater than before.
“Can’t I just get nutrients from real food?”
As a Registered Dietitian, I’m allllll for the benefits of real food first! So, if you can get everything your body needs from real food to run the most efficiently it can, that’s great! Most of the time, though, eating healthy just isn’t enough. The reality is, even if you’re eating the right foods, no one is 100% perfect in what they eat all of the time. Besides, perfection should never be a goal for daily living.
This is where supplements come in. The majority of people aren’t meeting their body’s vitamin and mineral needs, especially runners who have higher nutrient needs due to the demands exercise puts on the body. Without filling in that gap, your body won’t be able to function as efficiently as it was designed to — not just during your runs, but before and after them, too. That’s why supplements can be a very powerful addition to making healthy food choices, and and will get you (and keep you) on track with your health, energy, weight and running goals fast.
“Okay, so do I really ‘need’ supplements?”
The long story short is: It depends on how quickly you want to reach your goals. As I mentioned, it is possible to get energy and nutrients from real food, but it may not be enough. As a runner, I’d imagine since you’re working so hard hitting the pavement that you don’t want to sabotage your results by not meeting your nutrient needs. Why not maximize your performance and make the most of all that hard work and sweat-filled time running!? Following up your running routine with the right supplements will help maximize your workout results.
So, taking in high quality supplements helps expedite their results. For our clients who choose to just stick with eating real food at first, we often find after a few months they become frustrated because they’re working so hard and not getting the results they want to see. That’s usually when they add in supplements and start really noticing a difference. So it’s up to you. Start with just eating real food first, and then add in supplements when you’re ready, or hit the ground running (pun intended) and get started with both to help you reach your goals faster.
“How many supplements are too many?”
The answer to that will vary for each individual. A lot of people are taking long lists of random supplements — many of which may be doing more harm than good. It’s like shooting without first designating a target.
If you’re taking high quality supplements, and they’re helping you reach your goals without negative side effects, you don’t have to be concerned with taking too many. Where it becomes a problem is when people are swallowing handfuls of pills without direction.
Part of what we do in coaching appointments is help our clients prioritize and narrow down the supplements they’re taking (and for a limited-time we’re offering Moms on the Run the opportunity to do just that in a one-on-one Supplement Consultation Call!)
With all of these recommendations in mind, I strongly urge you to use THE RIGHT supplements.
“How do I find the “right” supplements?”
Well, there are extreme differences in quality in supplements across the board. There are some great supplements that really help to boost your metabolism, which means you reach your running goals and overall energy and health goals faster, like the ones linked above.
But there are also a LOT of supplements out there that do more harm than good — and actually slow down your metabolism and can cause weight gain, brain fog, fatigue and more.
A recent study by the New York State attorney general's office revealed that 4 out of 5 supplements on the shelves of popular retailers — like GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart — contain NONE of the vitamins, herbs and ingredients listed on the labels!
Yep. No joke.
Instead, they have a potentially dangerous mix of cheap fillers and mystery ingredients. That means the supplements in your cabinet — the ones you're taking to HELP you with your goals — could be doing the OPPOSITE and causing even MORE damage.
How is this possible?
Supplements, unlike prescription drugs, aren't regulated.
Manufacturers can fill their vitamins and supplements with additives and fillers. Stuff that is harmful for your body and brain!
So, how do you know when a supplement is right?
When they are pharmaceutical grade and third-party tested, meaning they actually contain what they say they contain, these are the ones that truly work.
Sadly, they are hard to find since they’re NOT on store shelves — they can only be found through licensed healthcare professionals. (And even then, still not all supplements sold by healthcare professionals are quality. Grrrrr.)
Those not-helpful-but-potentially-harmful supplements out there really bother me.
I spent YEARS trying to find a brand that I could trust across the board. And I got frustrated every time a client asked me for supplement recommendations, because I honestly had none that I felt 100% confident in.
That's why I took the initiative and created my own line of supplements that I have complete control over: VeroVive™ (it means perfect, complete life.)
Long story short: I recommend either taking high-quality pharmaceutical grade supplements (like the VeroVive™ brand), or taking none at all. These supplements support your metabolism, enhance your energy, improve your digestion and prevent diseases — all while filling your "nutrient gaps" and improving your stamina and recovery. And you can be SURE that you're getting top of the line supplements. You won't find a brand more focused on quality, purity and potency than the VeroVive™ line (because I may be a liiiiiittle obsessed with those things).
This means you can take fewer pills, get more nutrients, and see better results faster!
So, for the best deals on the natural, high quality supplements that I personally recommend, check out the VeroVive™ brand in the Real Food Vitamins store. They are all based on clinical evidence, not just some manufacturer’s marketing. That means you can relax knowing with RF Vitamins you are getting the very best nutritional supplements on the market today from a trusted source.
How do I know what I need?
You can start with the Daily Essentials with your special 10% off MOTR discount (use the code: MOTRSTRONG at www.rfvitamins.com to get 10% off —actually 20% off this bundle, and 10% off all other supplements!) (The Daily Essentials is my general recommendation for every person. I’ve customized two versions of this supplement bundle: one for men and one for women).
Or—the option I recommend—if you want to get on the fast track with personalized recommendations, go ahead and book your Supplementation Consultation Call! I am so excited to offer this limited-time-only service to help you find the right supplements for you and your personal needs and goals.
Sign up for your call here! Get 10% off supplements with code MOTRSTRONG at the Real Food Vitamins Store!