By:  Matt Weik

This topic is actually one that I laughed at for years.  There are so many dieticians out there who were using supplements left and right yet telling their clients that supplements are unnecessary – it blew my mind.  I'm a huge advocate for getting in as much of what you need daily from whole food options, but I know as well as many others deemed "experts" out there that you simply can't get all of your nutrients from whole food sources alone.  Well, correction – you CAN but it's extremely difficult as you would need to consume a lot of food and in a wide variety which most people do not accomplish.  But the fact of the matter is that dieticians are coming out saying they finally use and recommend supplements.

Recommend Supplements?  Who?  Dieticians?  No Way?!

All joking aside, having a dietician think that their clients are going to follow their wishes exactly is hilarious.  We all know what a clean diet looks like, yet many cannot adhere to such a program because it doesn’t fit their current lifestyle.  For instance, people prefer convenience and ease.  Let’s face it, it’s not easy or convenient to make your own food.  Therefore, people tend to drive through fast food restaurants in order to grab a quick meal.  Unfortunately, their meal selection tends to be high in processed junk, carbohydrates, and unhealthy fats.

People need to change some of their behavior and lifestyle habits in order to make better decisions when it comes to their health.  If you are someone who follows my work, you know how much I push the fact that anything you do needs to fit your lifestyle or your success rate will drop faster than the jaws of the congregation after someone drops a fart in the middle of a church service.  

Dieticians would lay out a plan for clients to follow without ever considering that they could also recommend supplements.  It provides not only a layer of convenience but also a layer of protection when it comes to ensuring they are taking in all of the micronutrients needed to function optimally both physically and mentally on a daily basis.  Adding this level of protection can help improve the overall health of a patient/client as well.  After all, you’re recommending what’s best for each individual client, right?

The hardest part when trying to recommend supplements would be which brand to promote.  Of course, every brand would love to pitch dieticians and sell their full line of products to them, but dieticians need to be very picky and must do their homework before putting their name and recommendation behind a supplement and brand.  Something else a dietician should consider is trying the product themselves before recommending the supplement which can give them a better idea of how they are going to feel when using the supplement as well as if it actually works or not.

While I agree that most Americans need to clean up their nutrition, bridging the gap from a micronutrient standpoint can be accomplished by utilizing something like a multivitamin.  Those who suffer from seasonal depression and a change in mood patterns due to a lack of sunlight and during the winter months can benefit from something like a vitamin D supplement.  The list goes on and on.  While using supplements as a crutch isn’t advised, they do provide people with the ability to take in what they could be missing from a dietary standpoint.

The key, however, is staying consistent with supplements.  You wouldn’t want to use a supplement one day and then forget to use it the next four before you realize you haven’t been taking it and then start back up again.  As you would assume, that pattern tends to repeat itself if you aren’t fully committed to using supplements to improve your health and fill in your nutritional gaps.

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Survey Says… (In a Steve Harvey Family Feud voice)

A survey was conducted using 200 dieticians.  They used a wide age range for the study and wanted to look at their opinions of supplements and if they, themselves, actually used and recommended supplements.  

NutraIngredients USA did not provide the actual study where this information came from, so below is the information they provided via their article on the topic so you can see the findings they presented.

Among the survey’s specific findings:

  • More than 50% of dieticians said they are taking supplements themselves regularly and 76% take supplements at least four times per week
  • 67% recommend a mix of food and supplements
  • Of the “food and supplements” group, 76% recommended a supplement to 40% or more of their patients

Among the specific recommendations that dieticians are making, the survey found:

  • 46% mentioned meal replacement and/or protein
  • 37% listed vitamin D
  • 47% mentioned multivitamin or MVI (multivitamin injection)
  • 9 out of 10 dieticians are recommending prebiotics to at least some of their patients

While these numbers are somewhat impressive compared to a few years ago, I believe they will shift again in the coming years where the percentages will be even higher and as more research comes out on the benefits of various supplements, they will solidify their place in our everyday routines to help maximize our health.

I think we all have seen and read horror stories about certain supplements.  However, rarely do you see negativity surrounding natural products such as vitamins and minerals (as compared to things like pre-workouts, pro-hormones, and other hardcore supplements).  Supplements like turmeric are exploding.  Fish oil has been a staple for many years.  And obviously, things like protein powders can be used and benefited by a vast number of people, regardless of their health or fitness goals.  

We need to keep having these conversations and staying open-minded when it comes to what we use and how we recommend supplements.  Supplements shouldn’t be demonized any longer as they serve a true purpose these days.  Americans’ diets are lacking in many vital micronutrients and the easiest way to take in daily recommended doses is through the help of supplementation.  

If you want some of the highest quality supplements on the market, check out what MPA has to offer.  They have a vast array of supplements to help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

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NutraIngredients USA

Author Bio:

Matt Weik, the owner of Weik Fitness, LLC, is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. His work has been featured all over the globe as well as having published numerous books. He is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. Find out more at or on social media @weikfitness.