Vitamins and supplements are some of the most common focuses of health and fitness enthusiasts. Especially once people begin to feel like they’ve got their diet down and found a cool exercise program that promises to make them lean and healthy, they direct their focus to supplements, hoping to top off their health and fitness potential.
Taking Vitamins For Energy
There are typically two reasons why people chose to take vitamins. The first, and most common, is simply to improve their health. Vitamins are commonly equated with health, and many people believe that the more vitamins you take, the healthier you’ll be. However, according to The Vitamin Source this is very misguided way of looking at things. The truth is, vitamins only improve health if they’re compensating for an existing deficiency. For instance, if you’re not getting much sunlight, you’re likely deficient in vitamin D, and therefore supplementing vitamin D3 would be beneficial to health. However, supplementing a vitamin or mineral you’re already getting plenty of from your diet isn’t going to do much for your health.
That brings us to our second reason for taking vitamins, which is taking vitamins for energy. Just like taking vitamins for health benefits, taking vitamin for energy is only effective if you have an existing vitamin deficiency that is leading to decreased energy levels. For example, if you eat very few animal foods, there’s a good chance you’re deficient in vitamin B12, which causes fatigue, anxiety and exhaustion. Therefore, supplementing vitamin B12 in that particular case would drastically improve energy levels. However, if you’re already getting plenty of B12, there would likely be no benefit.
That being said, even people who are aware of this sometimes figure they’ll just take a stab in the dark and hope that if they take enough vitamins, they’ll hit a few of the vitamins they’re deficient in and their health and energy levels will improve. Bad idea. This is typically a bad choice because of the potential for vitamin toxicity. While taking a general multivitamin is unlikely to cause any problem, taking many different individual vitamins often leads to vitamin toxicity (excess levels of a particular vitamin), which can be very harmful to health. In some cases vitamin toxicity may only cause nausea and diarrhea, and perhaps some other mild discomforts, but some vitamins and minerals are actually very dangerous if consumed in extremely large quantities. For example, taking large doses of vitamin A for prolonged periods of time is potentially fatal.
How To Improve Health and Energy Levels
While vitamins and supplements are certainly important if used properly, it’s just as essential to avoid vitamin toxicity as it is to avoid being malnourished. Both can lead to health problems and even death in severe cases. The best thing most people can do is simply to improve their diet, eating mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed meat, fish and poultry, eggs, nuts, herbs, spices and some dairy. Eating well generally leads to proper intake of the right vitamins, and will leads to increased energy levels and greatly improved health. Vitamins and supplements should still be taken to compensate for any persisting deficiencies, but it’s important to understand their limitations.