Each month, we will be hosting a group coaching session within our Facebook Group and posting the notes here for your reference.
Vitamins and Supplements – are we wasting our money?
- Confusing topic given amount of products on the market, and significant claims made – more energy / reduce stress etc.
- Depends on WHAT the product is and WHY you are taking it.
- Could be – vitamins, minerals, supplement blends, sports supplements.
- A lot claims made on supplement type products are not necessarily substantiated by evidence OR they may be, but the claim may only be valid in a certain situation of if you’re deficient in what the product is providing in the first place.
- Vitamins, minerals and supplements can absolutely be useful in certain situations..
- UK Vit D is recommended for bone/muscle health
- Folic acid in pre-pregnancy
- B12 for vegans
- Sports supplements are useful in limited situations when the diet is already optimised – the effect is small in comparison to a good diet.
- A protein powder if you’re not getting enough protein from food.
- Creatine might be used to enhance training and muscle growth on the back of an already good diet.
If you’ve got a good diet probably not really getting benefit from most of the vast majority of products available. They are often only really useful if your diet is inadequate in some way. There are of course as mentioned that might add to an already adequate diet – e.g caffeine in sports performance.
The other thing to mention is supplements are often used as a quick fix (particularly fruit and veg powders) – Food provides benefits past just specific vitamins/minerals that they contain. This might phytochemicals and fibre – single pills can’t match the benefits of whole food. Many effects seem to rely on the food as a whole. You also may actually be getting such a small amount that they effect is limited by the dose.
Too much of a good thing not always a good thing. Can be risks to taking high dose supplements, or supplements in particular purchased online.
Our recommendation would be to take a food first approach. And then when you are considering supplement asking –
Why are you taking it?
If it’s effective / evidence backed?
If it is safe?
Tips on healthy eating with variety on short time. I think I spend a fair bit of time with food prep which might have to change post baby. I’m planning on bulk cooking and freezing meals for the first month or so but will need to think of a new routine after that
- Bulk cooking and freezing meals is a great idea! You can also cook a little extra with dinner some nights and freeze just 1 or 2 portions to have for lunches or dinners down the track.
- Have lots of pre-prepared ingredients on hand for those times where you haven’t prepped anything. Examples include
- Quick cook rice
- Tinned tuna
- Cans of legumes
- Pre mixed salads
- Frozen vegetables
- Our article on Minimal Prep Meals has heaps of ideas as well!
- Specifically for post partem – be so kind to yourself. It can be a huge adjustment and your appetite may change due to a number of factors
- Your appetite may reduce OR increase due to stress/anxiety
- Your appetite may reduce OR increase due to sleep deprivation
- Your appetite may increase due to breastfeeding and the demand that places on the body
- Your motivation to cook may go out the window – be Ok with that. Put some things in place to help but also recognise that there might be lots of toast during this time