[ Question ]

Nutritional Supplements: A Potted Guide?

by conjectures1 min read22nd Apr 20194 comments

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Nutrition
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I'd be interested to find a succinct and reliable guide to nutritional supplements. Understanding that the best thing to do would be to properly understand human biology, read papers on supplements, sports science etc and make up my own mind from there. Unfortunately I don't have time at the moment to do that. Nevertheless there should be a truth of the matter here.

I'd love to know how to find out:

  • What has been shown to be beneficial.
  • How reliable that knowledge is.

My own preference is to only take a punt on supplements which have a substantial effect and a strong evidence base. Other people may slide their preferences around.

The issue is that this information is very difficult to research without the fundamentals because the space is so full of spam. Hence why I am asking this here.

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2 Answers

The first question to ask, I think, is what you are trying to accomplish with supplements. Is there a specific problem you hope supplements could help with, or are you just trying to improve on the baseline of human functioning?

This could affect what supplements you want—anti-anxiety drugs are very popular, but it's not clear you'd want them unless you have problematic anxiety. It also could affect how much you're willing to invest—if you're struggling with a serious problem, spending more money/time is probably justified than if you just want marginal improvements to baseline.