With advertisements for supplements around every corner, you may wonder if you should be taking one. The number of protein powders and vitamin supplements on the market can definitely cause consumers to feel confused and overwhelmed. Don’t worry; I’m here to help you to become a more informed consumer!

Many people find protein powders to be a fast and convenient source of nutrition. Whey protein, which contains branched chain amino acids, is a popular protein powder that you may have heard of. What you need to know is the FDA does not regulate supplements in the same way that food and medication are regulated. Supplements can be put on the market without any proof that they are safe or that they work. The FDA can remove the product from the market later if they deem it to be unsafe. The good news is that animal sources of protein will provide you with the same whey protein that is put into protein powders. If your goal is to build muscle, be sure to get a variety of protein from foods like chicken, fish, lean beef, low-fat dairy, nuts, and beans. Fast and convenient food sources of protein include individually packaged servings of tuna, chicken, chocolate milk, cheese sticks, peanut butter, hummus, and trail mix. Typically, these foods are less expensive than protein supplements.

For the average consumer, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is [0.8 x kg (plug in your body weight in kilograms) = _____ g protein/day].

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, most people can meet their nutritional needs by eating a well-balanced diet. Researchers have found that fruits and vegetables have protective properties that may prevent cancer, while vitamins supplements do not.

The bottom line: Real food is the best fuel source for your body, and most healthy people can meet all of their nutritional needs with food alone. Your energy levels are best when you eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, and exercise regularly. If you’d like more help with planning an individualized well-balanced diet, make an appointment with me by calling 814-574-3048.

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