I get asked a lot what the best supplements are. While supplements do have their place and can be beneficial, they should be viewed as the candles on the cake.

Yes, I know the saying is icing not candles, but icing wouldn’t be accurate. A cake isn’t really a cake without icing. Candles on the other hand are optional. They add to the cake, but they don’t make it.

When should you use supplements?

1. You’re deficient – If you’ve had blood work done and know you’re deficient in a particular vitamin or mineral, supplements are an easy way to increase your levels.

2. Your calories are really low or your diet is crap – in this case a multi vitamin can help fill in the gaps, but it should be viewed as a temporary solution.

3. You’re using them to help manage something like high blood pressure – this should be discussed with your doctor. Supplements should not be viewed as a replacement for medicine.

Otherwise view them as the candles on the cake.

Can they help? Yes. Are they useful? That depends. Before taking a supplement ask yourself:

1. Why am I taking this?

2. How do I know it works? – Was it recommended by your doctor or is it something your friend heard about from her friend’s cousin?

3. What are the potential risks and side effects?

Examine is a great resource for looking up different supplements to see what the research says and what the potential side effects are.

Also, it’s important to note that not all supplements are created equal. Look for brands that are NSF certified. You can also check with labdoor for ratings of most popular supplements.

Since they’re not regulated in the US it’s important to know that what you think you’re getting is what’s actually in the bottle.

Questions? Post them below.

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