Glen Tobias explains how to know if you need to take a dietary supplement.
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"Do you eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every single day? Well, most people in this country do not. That being said you don't even know where the fruit or vegetable was grown, so you don't know about the soil that it was grown in, you don't know how long it's been on the truck, how long it's been in the store and by the time you get it home, how much of the vitamins and minerals are even left in it? So the way I look at a supplement is it's an insurance policy. Now everyone has car insurance but no one plans to crash their car. In terms of supplementation you have to figure out that if an athlete is working out more and maybe eating less food than they need because they have to decrease body fat. When you work out more your needs go up, because you're working out harder and you're trying to lose body fat, trying to build muscle, what have you. So as the needs go up you want to make sure you're getting all the nutrients your body needs without the extra calories. A lot of people feel that if they're taking a multi-vitamin or a supplement of any kind then they don't need to eat their fruits and vegetables, that they're good. And I disagree, there's a lot of things in the fruits and vegetables that we don't even know about yet. So food is always first. Supplements are there just to help out with any kind of deficiencies and in this country you don't have to worry about deficiencies. It's not really about living, it's about optimizing your performance and that's really what the supplements can help you do. "