Knowledge of supplements aid student health

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Fitness supplements are all the rage these days just in time to aid some New Year’s resolutions.

For a population where more than one-third of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a lot of emphasis has been put on living the healthy life. For Dixie State University students wanting to live a healthier life and stay on top of school, there are residents in the St. George community here to educate students. 

College students should pay attention to three general groups of products: sports and workout supplements, vitamins and diet products. 

Bridgette Blake, manager of Vitamin World, located at 245 Red Cliffs Drive in St. George, said supplements like lecithin contain great components that can help with memory and cognitive focus.

“It would be great for a college student and someone that wants to focus on muscle growth,” Blake said. “They would need to eat clean foods and provide nutrients that support muscle tissue repair like glutamine, branched chain amino acids and creatine.”

Blake said antioxidants and alkaline-forming supplements can help with the body’s preventive care.

“Being a young college student, you may not be as concerned about aging,” Blake said. “As you get older, prevention becomes more serious. Take care of yourself, and supplements can help.”

The dangers of taking supplements don’t necessarily outweigh the benefits, but Kalin Ashby, a junior biology major from Orem, knows a bit about the bad products on the market from working at General Nutrition Centers in the Red Cliffs Mall, located at 1770 Red Cliffs Drive.

He said there are products called pro-hormones. They are synthetic testosterone boosters, and a lot of people don’t know they can do serious harm to their body. The biggest way people can abuse supplements in their diet is if they don’t do their homework, Ashby said. 

“I talked to a guy over the summer that took a pro-hormone for about 2 1/2 weeks, and it destroyed his pituitary gland,” Ashby said. “Now he has to go to the doctor every month to get hormone shots.”

After receiving valid advice from a supplement expert and choosing the product that fits your needs, a trip to the gym will motivate you to begin using supplements on a regular basis as you start noticing the results.

Taylor Folston, a senior business major from St. George, manages the Gold’s Gym located at 484 N. Mall Drive. He said he sees students come into the gym who jump right into an intense workout routine and quickly feel like giving up.

“Take it slow,” Folston said. “It takes about six weeks to make a habit out of working out. So you’ve got to make the commitment to go to bed, wake up early, and have something to look forward to in the day.”

The habits a student acquires now will have lasting results, whether they are good or bad. It’s unrealistic to say everyone can afford the time and money for a life-long gym membership, but what it really comes down to is how students treat themselves.

Excuse-makers are already developing bad habits that’ll transcend into other aspects of their lives, said Riley Lyons, a freshman education major from Enterprise.

“If someone makes excuses about going to the gym, they’ll make excuses like that their whole life,” Lyons said. “Get in the habit of being independent and managing your time. It’s all part of growing up and going to college.”

Lyons said he recommends pre-made lunches and protein shakes for the gym as helpful ways busy students can stay on top of their health and time management.

“A wise dietitian told me one day that abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym, and it stuck with me,” Lyons said.