This article serves as an introduction to supplements in general. At the end of this article you can find links to more information regarding specific types of supplements.
Dietary supplements are becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Most people know these products as dietary supplements, but they are also called food supplements or nutritional supplements. Nowadays, there are many dietary supplements, each with a specific function. Due to the many available supplements, they also come in many different types, shapes and sizes. You can find them in the form of: pills, powders, tablets, extracts and liquids. Due to the large amount of supplements available, they can perform many different functions, so the type of user can also differ greatly. In this article we try to briefly describe what dietary supplements are, what types there are, which products you should use, and when you should use them.
Functions of supplements
In general, dietary supplements are seen as products that can help people to consume certain nutrients, that the user normally does not consume sufficiently. These extra nutrients are usually taken to improve health and / or (sports) performance. But as mentioned before, dietary supplements can perform many different functions depending on the type of supplement. For example, vitamins are often taken to improve health and to help achieve optimal sports performance. However, there are many other products such as protein powders and testosterone boosters. Protein powders are used to increase protein consumption which is often done to increase muscle growth, fatloss or performance. On the other hand, testosterone boosters are usually only used by people who want to improve increase their testosterone level.
Which supplements are there and which ones should I use ?
Nowadays there are many different supplements with many different functions. Due to the large amount of available products, there seems to be a supplement for everything that you would like to improve. However, not every supplement may be as useful as you think. This is because the effect of products has not always been scientifically proven. Some of these untested products may work, but some are likely to be a waste of money. Therefore, we recommend to only use supplements where the effect has been scientifically proven.
Fortunately, there are many supplements where the effect has been scientifically proven, but this doesn’t mean you should buy all of them. Which supplement you do use, should depend on the goal you want to achieve. Depending on the goal and based on research, the following products are often recommended:
- Improve health: Vitamins, Minerals, Omega fatty acids
- Improve sports performance: Vitamins, Minerals, Omega fatty acids, Protein powder, Pre-workout, Creatine
- Lose weight: Vitamins, Minerals, Omega fatty acids, Protein powder, Fatburners or Pre-workout
When you are considering to use a certain supplement you may also need to take factors such as: age, gender, and diet into account for optimal results. For example, a young man needs a different vitamin tablet than an elderly lady. Therefore, it’s important to understand and study what the product in question does and if it is suitable for you. Furthermore, you should see if statements regarding the function and effect of a product are based on research or if they are just marketingclaims.
How should I use a supplement properly ?
How you use a supplement correctly depends on the type of dietary supplement you use, since every product is different. For example, a pre-workout should be consumed just before a workout, while vitamins should often be consumed in conjunction with a meal. In order to achieve optimal results with a supplement, we recommend that you follow the product’s instructions and / or thoroughly study the use of the supplement in question.
Who can use supplements ?
Dietary supplements are not made for one specific group of people and can be used by everyone depending on the type of supplement. For example, vitamins can contribute to the health of both young people and the elderly, this makes the use of vitamins suitable for almost everyone. However, people with severe allergies or people that use strong medicines may need to avoid certain products. But the fact that supplements are suitable for almost everyone also becomes clear from the large amount of people who use supplements. It has been found that respectively 43% and 59% of adults in Germany and Denmark use dietary supplements, and this percentage is only expected to increase .
Supplements can often be combined without a problem. However, it is important to check which products you would like to combine. For example, multivitamins can be combined well with omega fatty acids, but it is not recommended to use multiple multivitamin supplements per day. For this reason you should study the supplements that you want to combine in order to prevent issues and have optimal results.
As previously described, respectively 43% and 59% of German and Danish adults, use a dietary supplement. Its widespread use is an good indicator of the safety of modern dietary supplements. When used correctly and according to the product information, supplements are almost always safe. In order to ensure safety, we recommend to see what kind of effect a supplement has on you. If you experience negative effects, it is recommended to stop using the product immediately. When you are in doubt if the supplement can be used without any harm, you should ask for advice from a doctor or certified specialist who understands the product in question.
When you start using a dietary supplement it is important to look at the ingredients of a product, especially if it is a newly released product. You want to check if the product doesn’t contain strange ingredients or ingredients that are new and not yet studied. If you are allergic or use strong medicines, you should check if you can use the product without any issues.
Do you want more information? Then click on one of the types of dietary supplements to find out more!
- Protein Powders (Coming soon)
- Amino acids (Coming soon)
- Testosteron Boosters (Coming soon)
- Pre-Workout (Coming soon)
- Fat Burners (Coming soon)
- Mensink, G. B. M., Fletcher, R., Gurinovic, M., Huybrechts, I., Lafay, L., Serra-Majem, L., & Stephen, A. M. (2013). Mapping low intake of micronutrients across Europe. British journal of nutrition, 110(4), 755-773.
- Beitz, R., Mensink, G. B. M., Rams, S., & Döring, A. (2004). Vitamin-und Mineralstoffsupplementierung in Deutschland. Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschutz, 47(11), 1057-1065.
- Tetens, I., Biltoft-Jensen, A., Spagner, C., Christensen, T., Gille, M. B., Bügel, S., & Banke Rasmussen, L. (2011). Intake of micronutrients among Danish adult users and non-users of dietary supplements. Food & nutrition research, 55(1), 7153.