Knowing the difference between vitamins and supplements might not seem all that important. However, it creates a need for experts to distinguish the difference for the general public. Proper usage of either lies in being adequately informed on certain aspects concerning the use of both classes.
While a lot of people now understand what multivitamins are, the difference between supplements and vitamins remains unclear to a lot of people. This affects their usage, as many remain unaware of the precautions to take when using vitamins and supplements simultaneously.
For men, it is important to understand what vitamins and supplements are and how they differ from each other. This is especially considering that some male supplements may cater to specific needs and concerns over others.
This article highlights both vitamins and supplements, the differences between them, and the points to note before and when taking both simultaneously.
What Are Vitamins?
Vitamins are a class of naturally-occurring nutrients required for the optimal functioning of your body. It’s worth noting that the body is not capable of producing these vitamins by itself. As such, it depends on nutrients from outside sources instead.
An important thing to note about vitamins is that they should not be taken excessively. For instance, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, and E are not easily eliminated from the body as they are fat-soluble. Therefore, when taken excessively, they can accumulate in the body.
Under normal circumstances, a proper nutrition plan should help you get all the essential vitamins you need from your food. Typically, the nutritional demands for men depend largely on their personal lifestyle. For example: if you are an athlete or a sportsman, then your nutritional demands may differ from someone who works a job that is not as physically demanding.
Vitamins carry a lot of crucial functions in the human body. Moreover, the deficiency of vitamins can also predispose the body to a wide range of disorders. In fact, a number of these can be life-threatening. Some essential vitamins to take note of include:
This is the vitamin involved in the process of forming and maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and skin. Furthermore, it aids in the maintenance of the immune system and helps develop good vision.
Vitamin B Complex
B complex vitamins constitute a class of vitamins involved in metabolism, red blood cell production, and ensuring proper brain function. Some examples of B complex vitamins include Vitamin B1, B2, and B6.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for the functioning of the human body. This is because it serves as an antioxidant, cleaning up free radicals in the body. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron and the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums.
This vitamin helps in the absorption of calcium required in bone and teeth formation. Your skin also manufactures this vitamin naturally when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant vitamin. It plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and can act as another layer of protection for your immune system.
Although it is not often listed as an essential vitamin in most dietary supplements, this vitamin can be just as important for the body’s function. Vitamin K assists your body to form blood clots and avoid excessive bleeding.
What Are Supplements?
The term ‘supplements’ can mean different things to different people. Interestingly, to some people, vitamins can be considered supplements. However, not all supplements are vitamins.
Basically, supplements often contain multiple ingredients, which can sometimes compose of herbs or other nutrients. Supplements can also complement diets. This is why, if you have an adequate nutrition plan and do not have any health conditions that require supplements, then you might not need to take any supplements at all.
Take note that supplements must complement food and not replace them. Currently, there are thousands of supplements in circulation from different manufacturers containing different ingredients. Some contain other mineral nutrients like magnesium, zinc, and chromium. Meanwhile, others can contain herbal remedies like ginseng and cayenne.
The benefits obtained from a supplement depend on its constituents. Some of the more common benefits of supplements include energy boosts, pain medication, anti-infection, and the regulation of blood sugar levels. Moreover, some supplements can also aid with some lifestyle modification choices. This is the case with some weight loss supplements that help reduce appetite and build lean body mass.
Just like vitamins, it is crucial to consult your physician before starting on any new supplements. This is to ensure that their consumption is safe enough and will benefit your body’s needs.
Now that we have established what vitamins and supplements are, we can now consider some of the significant differences between the two terms.
Difference Between Supplements And Vitamins
Although vitamins and supplements are often used interchangeably, not all supplements are vitamins. Simply put, vitamins are often used to supplement any nutrients your body may be lacking. This is why vitamins can also act as supplements. Meanwhile, supplements augment your health and add nutritional value to your diet.
Should Supplements Be Taken With Vitamins?
In healthcare, the basic idea behind every nutrient is achieving just the optimal amount of essential nutrients in the body. When these nutrients are too much or too little, they can lead to undesirable conditions. This is why it is important to properly determine whether you need a vitamin or supplement before taking either.
For instance, a sub-optimal amount of vitamin A in the body can lead to eye problems. Still, when there is an excessive amount of vitamin A in the body, it can also lead to hair loss, dizziness, nausea, headaches, and even death if not handled well.
Meanwhile, a suboptimal amount of vitamin D in the body can cause osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fragile bones, and heart disease. On the other hand, excess calcium (as a result of excess vitamin D) in the body can lead to nausea, vomiting, weakness, poor appetite, frequent urination, and some other kidney problems.
So, yes! Supplements can be taken with vitamins. However, when taken without proper supervision from your doctor, it can lead to unwanted conditions. These conditions include the overdose of a particular vitamin or potentially toxic interactions between vitamins and a supplement’s ingredients.
The implication of this is that before choosing to combine a vitamin with a supplement, you must consult your doctor to carry out necessary tests and acquire the required advice on whether to continue with the vitamin/supplement or not.
Determining the differences between vitamins and supplements can help you develop a more balanced diet and nutrition plan. This is especially beneficial when you’re looking to shed a few pounds or simply what to treat your body better. When it comes to living a healthier lifestyle, it will help to know what sort of vitamins and supplements can benefit you the most. Additionally, you can also look into some healthy foods to consume when you’re watching your weight or are trying to be more mindful of what you eat.
All in all, how you go about with your nutrition plan will be unique to you and your body’s fitness journey. As to which vitamins and supplements you incorporate into your diet will depend on what works best for you — particularly after a consultation with your physician.
We at MaximOnline in no way claim to be health experts. This article simply aims to inform readers on its subject matter, not dictate what you should and shouldn’t add or remove in your nutrition plan.