9 Things to Avoid When Taking Supplements

by Melissa Chichester

Dietary supplements are designed to support your well-being alongside a healthy lifestyle.

When used properly, they are a useful tool in your wellness toolbox. However, taking supplements doesn’t mean stocking up on the most buzzworthy nutrient today. It means taking care to evaluate what is right for you. With all of the choices on the market today, it can be challenging to choose what is right for you. Here are nine things you should avoid when taking supplements – and how they will help you find a brand that fits into your routine. 

Don’t start supplements without talking to your doctor 

Your health is unique. Supplements do not have the same results for everyone – they vary based on many factors. This is one reason it is so important to talk to your doctor before starting any supplements. Another reason is because certain vitamins, minerals, and herbs can interfere with medications or certain health conditions. Your doctor has the knowledge to make recommendations based on your personal health. 

>>14 Questions About Starting Dietary Supplements

Don’t store your supplements incorrectly 

Supplements contain real nutrients that are prone to changing if they are stored incorrectly. Most supplements need to be stored in a cool, dry place. Storing them in restrooms near showers means they are at-risk for losing quality from humidity and moisture. 

Since many supplements are taken with a meal, it makes sense to store them in the kitchen. Keeping your supplements in the kitchen is a convenient location providing you have the space to keep them away from the oven. Another option is to store them in a small nook in the living room or dining area or next to your bed. 

Don’t think a big price tag equals a better supplement 

Supplements are available for purchase at many price points – however, don’t assume a heftier price tag makes for a better supplement. Low prices do not mean you are receiving a poor-quality supplement. Manufacturing practices, the size of a company, how a product is marketed, and how nutrients are sourced all play a role in the price of your supplement. 

To get the best quality, do your research. Learn about the history of the brand you are purchasing from, and reach out with questions if you have them. 

Don’t combine supplements without guidance 

Vitamins, minerals, and herbs can interact with each other. Some perform better when used together. Others should never be combined. 

Never mix supplements without consulting your doctor first. 

Don’t take supplements inconsistently 

Taking supplements is not a “one and done” activity. To experience true benefits, you need to take supplements consistently. For example, it may take several months to see benefits from herbal supplements like berberine.*

Commit to taking your supplements at the same time daily. Schedule a reminder on your phone or store your supplements in a place that you can see them.  

>>Why Taking a Multivitamin Can Be Beneficial

woman reading supplement label

Don’t purchase supplements without doing research 

Spending your hard-earned money on supplements requires doing a little research first. There are many businesses that sell vitamins and supplements. Here’s what to look for to find a reliable brand:

  • Follows FDA guidelines
  • Does not make outrageous claims 
  • Carefully sourced nutrients 
  • Shares where supplements are made 
  • Shares customer reviews
  • Customer service contact information is easy-to-find  

Another great way to find a supplement company that you trust is to ask friends and family for recommendations.

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Don’t view supplements as a quick fix

Supplements are not a cure-all and not a quick fix. They are not a substitute for food. They are a complement to the other healthy choices you make. 

And if you’re looking for a simple solution to support your wellness daily, a multivitamin contains carefully measured doses of nutrients to ensure you receive the right amount.

Don’t believe outrageous claims 

We have all seen those crazy supplement labels that offer a quick fix. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that, “If claims sound too good to be true, they probably are.” 

Don’t ignore the label 

More isn’t necessarily better when you’re taking supplements. Taking too much of one nutrient can actually be detrimental to your health. Supplement labels often list the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for nutrients that is set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences.

Your doctor may recommend a different amount of a nutrients based on your personal health history. Always follow the guidelines on your supplement label unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.