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How Should You Add In Supplements?

If there's one question I get repeatedly, it's "Should I be taking supplements?" Well, maybe. They certainly can enhance your wellness journey. In fact, in Own Your Wellness, I dedicate a whole chapter to the topic aptly named "Enhance." However, you'll notice that the chapter comes after we talk about dialing in nutrition, movement, and even testing.


Supplements are the icing on the cake of your health.

That said, once you decide to add a few key supplements to your regimen, how should you go about doing so? The key is to be strategic! There are 3 basic things you need to do before you start popping a bunch of new pills:


1. Know WHY you are taking a supplement.

Will this new potion actually support your goal(s)? Have you done research on how it works? Will it interact with other medications you are taking?


2. Know HOW to take it.

Is it a combination product or a single nutrient? Do you need to take it with food or on an empty stomach? Should you take it once a day or multiple times throughout the day? How should it be stored? In the fridge, or is it okay in the cupboard?


3. BE STRATEGIC!

This is where a lot of people seem to get in trouble. Maybe their doctor suggested they take a daily dose of fish oil and vitamin D. Then their spouse said that they should also be taking CoQ10 because of the statin they are on (they recently read this online). Plus, we all know we need to be on a probiotic, right? So off to the local Whole Foods, or worse yet, Amazon, to load up on all the above. The fish oil, D, CoQ10, and probiotics all arrive via their prime membership, and off they go, downing all four the next morning with their coffee. It seems fine for a few days, but then the digestive upset starts. This goes on for a few days until it's just unbearable. They drop the probiotic (it's gotta be that), but the digestive issue persists, this time with a headache. They get fed up and drop all the supplements at once. Ahh, much better.


I imagine this story is somewhat relatable to many of you. There are a lot of problems with the above story, not least of which is that I highly recommend you do not buy your supplements on Amazon or from any warehouse retailer (more details in Own Your Wellness). But I really want to hone in on the fact that they started taking everything at once. Instead, my suggestion would be to pick the one thing that seems the most impactful or important to your health. Not only would you want to start with just one supplement at a time, but I'd suggest you start at the minimal dose for a few days to see how your body reacts. If all goes well, then you can increase the dose incrementally until you get to the maximal dose suggested by your practitioner or by the manufacturer. Only after you have gotten to the highest dose that's right for you would you then layer in whatever you think is number 2 on your list.


To assist my clients in this process, I put together a titration chart for them. Below you will see an example of what I might organize for the above example scenario. What's really great about this method is that if/when you start to feel bad, you know exactly the supplement and the dose that didn't work for you. For example, let's say the doctor wanted you to take 1600mg of fish oil, which comes in 400mg soft gels- meaning you need to take 4 to get to the suggested dose. You felt fine at 400mg, fine at 800mg, and then suddenly a little queasy after a few days at 1200mg. Then you know 800mg is the right dose for you. It takes all the guesswork out!



supplement titration chart from Own Your Wellness by Daniella Dayoub Forrest

Now, if you're really paying attention, you'll notice that I put in a combo product with K2 instead of just vitamin D3 by itself. I wrote a whole post about that several years ago. You can check it out here. In fact, there's a lot I would change about our sample, but for today's purposes, you get the gist. If you'd like to use a blank chart for yourself, feel free to download this one.


Adding supplements (the right way) has been such a hot topic lately that I even posted a video about it. Enjoy, and please let me know how your wellness journey is going. Is the titration chart helping? What other supplement questions do you have? Drop them into the comments.


Yours in health,

Daniella



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