People have a lot of opinions about what dietary practices are best for promoting a healthy body and mind. Some people believe that a fully vegetarian diet is the healthiest option while others swear by keto. Some individuals say that red meat is the worst while others will claim that any diet that does not include red meat is seriously lacking in nutrition. It all comes down to personal bias and lifestyle preferences in the end. There are plenty of diet strategies that can work, just as there are plenty of diet plans that can fail.
One topic that a lot of people disagree on is unconventional foods like energy products and dietary supplements. Whether or not these products are considered food is up to your interpretation. Before you take a side in the debate over whether or not these products are beneficial or harmful, it is important to know a little bit more about each of them.
What are energy supplements?
Many people have misconceptions about what energy supplements can do. These products can come in many consumable forms, including gels, powders, capsules, pills, bars, and gummies. Their main purpose is to deliver vitamins and minerals to the body’s cells in a convenient way.
The good things about energy supplements
The great thing about energy supplements is that they can provide additional nutrients for your body. The reason why so many people will take them with a meal or during their morning routine is that they can supply their cells with specific vitamins or minerals that can support health for various systems in the body. Supplements can boost levels of vitamin B, vitamin C, protein, potassium, magnesium, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and more. With an extra supply of these nutrients, your cellular health can be optimized. Supplements can also be taken in specific circumstances to maximize certain bodily functions, such as a pre-workout caffeine product to inject energy or a post-workout protein product to help with muscle growth.
The bad things about energy supplements
The bad thing about energy supplements is that not everyone understands how they work. Most supplements that people take are meant to provide extra nutrients to promote optimum cellular health. However, many people use them to cover up gaps in their nutrition. Instead of eating a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, grains, meats, and dairy, they will skip out on foods that they would rather not eat and rely on supplements to provide those missing nutrients. This practice can be detrimental to your health. Supplements should only be used to “supplement” a healthy diet that already covers your nutritional needs. Then, these products can provide additional resources to support overall health. They are not meant to be a substitute for healthy foods.
What are energy products?
Another unconventional dietary choice is the energy product. Many people will hope to inject themselves with some extra energy for the day with gels, bars, drinks, or other energy products to help them fight off exhaustion or fatigue.
The good things about energy products
Energy products are advertised as providing certain nutrients that the body needs to perform its functions, and this is true. Whether it is caffeine, guarana, or taurine, these products often contain perfectly legal stimulants to increase alertness, attention, and heart rate. In terms of preparing for activities that have a high energy demand, they can serve this purpose relatively effectively.
The bad things about energy products
The two main negatives for energy products are that they are often delivered to the body in an unhealthy way and regular foods can serve a similar purpose. If you think about energy drinks specifically, they often package the stimulants and other nutrients with tons of sugar to make it all taste good. Although this may inject you with the energy that you want, the negative effects on your health make energy drinks not worth the risk. Additionally, other products like gels or powders are boosting your energy in ways that can be accomplished with far healthier options. Fruits, vegetables, and meats are perfectly adequate as energy boosters and provide other vitamins and minerals that your body needs on top of that function. At the end of the day, energy products are no more helpful than other food options and could even be harmful.
Knowing is half the battle
If you are someone who regularly consumes energy products or supplements, then it is important to know what they are doing for you. Of course, there are circumstances when an energy product can help prepare you for an intense day or keep you awake, but there are plenty of normal food alternatives that can accomplish the same thing while benefitting your overall health as well. For supplements, using them to cover up gaps in your nutrition is not the way to go. Instead, they should be paired with a balanced diet to make the most of the extra vitamins and minerals that they can deliver to your body’s cells.
Hopefully, with this knowledge, you have a better understanding of these dietary alternatives and how to use them effectively as part of your routines.