MedicineVitamins & Supplements

Nutritional supplements: Guide to know how to choose them

The nutritional supplements, as the name suggests, should not be used as substitutes for food, still advisable to consult the doctor or dietitian to decide which supplement is best for us.

nutritional supplements

Supplements with nutrients are necessary, for example, in deprivation diets, convalescences, stress situations… it may also be advisable to take them in the case of sports diets. Logically, the nutritional supplements are an extra contribution to the normal diet, a concentrated source of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids…) that can be found in different formats (capsules, tablets, pills, fluid blisters…). Within the nutritional supplements we find different products. Which ones to choose? When these are really needed?

Who Should Take Food Supplements

Sometimes, for different reasons, and even if we follow a healthy diet, it may be necessary to take supplements. When to take them?

  • When we follow a diet that exclude or avoid certain foods.
  • In the case of women during pregnancy (folic acid, for example, it is essential) and during breastfeeding.
  • During the childbearing age women may need an iron or calcium supplement.
  • In the case of unbalanced diet or if we have relaxed with healthy habits.
  • Following a vegetarian diet is healthy, but you have to monitor all the nutrients reporting by leaving out food of animal origin, source of vitamin D and B12, among others. In some cases, there may be problems with the absorption of minerals such as calcium or iron.
  • If problems of intolerance (gluten, lactose …) or problems with absorption of certain nutrients.

Supplements are also an ally of sports diets, especially when it comes to increasing the intake of carbohydrates or protein.

Types of food supplements

Of a time to this part the catalog of this type of product has been enriched remarkably. In general, we can talk about the following types:

  • Energy Supplements (drinks with carbohydrates, consumed to improve physical performance, are included in this category).
  • Vitamin supplements.
  • Minerals or hydrosaline supplements (isotonic drinks containing water, salt and even some single carbohydrate).
  • Protein supplements (additional protein contribution is used primarily for the development of muscle mass among athletes).
  • Concentrates amino acids and derivatives.