When Selecting Your Dietary Supplements, Watch Out For These 3 Key ‘Bad Boys’

Sometimes we all need a little extra push in the right direction. Even when carrying out a weight loss plan of consistent exercise and a healthy diet, an extra aid may be that extra boost we’re looking for. Dietary supplements can offer a leg up. Supplements can, in conjunction with your other efforts to lose weight, assist in reducing appetite, burning fat and carbohydrates, and supplying you with extra vitamins for energy and effective weight control. However, when searching for the best dietary supplement for you, there are a few things that should be considered.

Not all weight loss supplements are necessarily effective, and certainly not all are healthy and safe. There are 3 key things that are especially important to watch out for when selecting a dietary supplement.

1.) Ephedra is Extra Bad – In 2004, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the sale of ephedra-containing dietary supplements. Also known as ma huang, the Chinese name, ephedra became a particularly concerning substance in the late 1990s with serious complaints of adverse side effects and even several deaths attributed to use of the substance. It functions as a stimulant (stimulants are known to suppress appetite), and has been proven to lead to short-term weight loss, but it is highly unlikely to yield long-term benefits. Even though ephedra is outlawed by the federal government, it still exists in prescription drugs and as ma huang, and could even be found in some less-known dietary supplements. Better to stay away from it.

2.) Caffeine is Lousy – Caffeine is what starts at least a good half of our nation out in the day, and as a standalone substance is not bad. But relying on caffeine to suppress appetite is an ineffectual and unhealthy way to approach weight loss. We all might have our cup or two of coffee in the morning, which won’t hurt us at all. But start taking a dietary supplement which has at least the equivalent amount of caffeine as those two cups, and we double our daily intake of caffeine. High dosages of caffeine are potentially dangerous. A sustained level of excessive caffeine intake can lead beyond just extreme urination: diarrhea, high blood pressure, and addiction aren’t the best places to look to lose weight. So, keep drinking your cup of coffee, and look for a caffeine-free dietary supplement.

3.) Dietary supplements just plain aren’t for everybody – Some individuals will react better to dietary supplements than others. Certain chemicals or unique herbs may respond negatively to other substances already present in a person’s system. If you are taking medication, or have diabetes, it would be wise to consult your physician before deciding on a dietary supplement. In fact, it may be best to consult your doctor when you choose a dietary supplement anyway – he or she may have a suggestion that they feel might work especially well for you.

Not all dietary supplements are bad. In fact, there are a lot of good ones out there – ones that are safe, effective, and will work for you and your unique system. Keep these three guidelines in mind, and you may just be able to get an extra boost to send you on your way to looking and feeling great.