Staying healthy takes a holistic approach. You need to consider exercise, your diet, and the nutrients you’re getting—or you might be missing out on. Taking supplements can be a positive contribution to your fitness plan, but you should think about a few factors that can influence their effectiveness.

Take Them at the Right Times

The timing of supplements can make a difference. For vitamin and mineral tablets, it’s generally recommended that you take them in the morning with breakfast. However, some types of supplements have specific directions on the labels, such as taking one in the morning and one in the evening.

For supplements designed to build muscle, such as creatine, experts are divided. Some recommended taking the supplements in the morning, prior to your workout. Others say they work best post-workout when you are in the recovery phase. The answer may be an individual choice.

Focus on What You’re Not Getting

Food is the best source for your nutrients, but it isn’t always easy to get enough of them consistently. The average person’s diet varies from day to day and gets disrupted due to the demands of life. Some essential nutrients, such as fiber and calcium, get missed.

Most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets. While it’s found naturally in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, you can supplement your diet by taking psyllium, which is found in both tablet and liquid form. Some supplements combine both psyllium and calcium.

Learn About What You’re Taking

You should always be informed about what you are putting into your body. Supplements are not evaluated or regulated by the FDA or any oversight agency. For that reason, you should get into the habit of reading labels and researching the ingredients.

Be wary of extreme claims, such as supplements that promise to help you lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time. Ask yourself questions about the ingredients, the sources of the ingredients, and manufacturing methods. Use knowledgeable and reliable websites when researching the ingredients.

Supplements can be an important part of your fitness plan. But before incorporating them into your daily routine, choose carefully what you should take and when you should take them. When you take the time to learn about them and evaluate what your specific needs are, you will find them beneficial in reaching your goals.

Check out this article on exercise that uses your whole body!