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In what situations do you recommend supplements?

Nov 26, 2013

Gwen Beckcom
FT Mission Hills


"To look and feel good, you need a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.  Studies suggest that the average American diet simply does not include all that is needed to ensure enough vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients for a healthy life. Supplementation, in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise, can have a dramatic impact on your health and wellness. Nutritional supplements can help deliver the nutrients frequently missing from the diet, and along with a healthy lifestyle, can support a lifetime of optimal wellness."

Vanessa Ocasio
FT Auburn


"As personal trainers we must be careful not to cross the line outside our scope of practice.  I always caveat any supplement advice to a friend or client with the statement, “I highly recommend you consult with your physician before incorporating any supplements into your daily routine”.

"I personally believe everyone, no matter how mindful they are about their nutrition, has dietary “holes” that can be “filled in” by supplements.  My bare minimums for everyone are a multivitamin and mineral supplement, omega-3/fish oil and Vitamin D.  Keep in mind, though, that supplement does not mean replace."

Pam Carthew
FT East Greenwich


"Supplements have their uses for specific goals but should not be used and abused on a continual basis.

"The main role of supplements for weight control is to make it easier to control appetite and burn calories until you feel you have your daily routine under control. If you are taking supplements to gain muscle then supplementation will vary based on individual differences, including training experiences and frequency of workouts.

"Carbohydrate loading is used by endurance athletes to fill their bodies energy stores to delay fatigue on competition day. Supplements can also be useful if used correctly with a proper resistance/weight control plan specifically catered for individuals.  In other words, one size does not fit all."

Josh Bate
FT East Greenwich


"I would only recommend a handful of supplements and only in a situation where the client may feel stagnant or need to break over a mental or physical plateau.

"A multivitamin is never a bad idea. But often times as long as one eats a variety of colors -- fruits and veggies -- and maintains a clean eating regimen these extra vitamins are not always necessary but do not hurt.

"Fish oil and omega-3's have a long list of health benefits with only a few being heart health, hormone support, anti-inflammation and hair, skin and nail health.

"Protein powder and meal replacements can be a great addition to a diet. If you do not have trouble getting all of your required protein for the day then you may not need a powder to aid you.  But if you have trouble eating your daily requirement or if you have special dietary needs -- vegetarian, lactose intolerant, vegan, etc. -- then a protein not derived from an animal is the way to go."

Billy Beyer
FT Basking Ridge


"We recommend using supplements for those busy, hard-working men and women that are always on the go-go-go. In this situation it is hard to find the time to get the proper nutrition. Supplements are a quick, easy way to get the proper vitamins and minerals."

Dr. Janet Brill
FT Nutritionist


"I often recommend supplements for heart health: CoQ10 for those on statins, fish oil, Vitamin D if blood level is low, plant sterols/stanols and psyllium seed husk for lowering “bad” cholesterol.

"As a sports nutritionist, I recommend bars and shakes for triathletes and elite endurance athletes who have a tough time getting in the thousands of daily calories required to fuel their sport. For athletes interested in muscle building and recovery, I also recommend consuming a protein/carb combo within 30 minutes of a workout.

"For the rest of the world, I suggest focusing less on supplements and more on eating a really healthy diet -- food, not pills -- as a supplement should be just that, a supplement to a healthy diet."