Guess what?!? First Pumpkin Green Protein Smoothie of the season happened this morning to officially welcome Fall!
Now that I’m freezing, I’m drinking a cup of coffee to warm up and wake up.
Supplement Spotlight: Multi-Vitamin
Supplements are a huge piece of the health and fitness industry, and therefore something I discuss with clients and co-workers daily. I thought that I would start a series on the most common supplements I take myself and recommend to my clients.
My personal history with Multi-Vitamins like most people’s, on and off. I get really consistent with them, and then I don’t take them for weeks or months, then I get consistent again. For the last year or so I’ve been really consistent, but I think that has to do with constantly talking about them at Life Time. I remember a professor in grad school pleading with our class, “take a Multi, you are students, there is no way your diet will cover your needs.” Over time I’ve come to believe that if you find yourself in any of the following scenarios, it’s likely dietary intake alone will not be enough to get all your nutrients:
- Weight Loss – Cutting calories, even by focusing on whole foods, results in sub optimal nutrient intake.
- Pregnancy- Increased needs and why chance not giving a growing life all the building blocks it needs to be successful.
- Athletes/Training – Again increased needs and physical demands, recovery is crucial to overall health as well as performance.
- Stress – Students, working long hours, working multiple jobs, traveling, etc….
- Ageing – As we age the absorption of nutrients becomes less efficient.
Okay, so that pretty much covers everyone right? There are very few scenarios where a person isn’t up against at least one of those factors. It’s not that I think you need a Multi-Vitamin to survive. I’ve gone months during heavy training without taking one and you probably have too, but I wonder if during that time I could have trained better with some support or even reduced my risk of injury. Even if you analyze a “super healthy” diet, whatever that means to you, it’s likely that it will fall short of the recommended daily intake of many nutrients. I view taking a Multi Vitamin as a convenience of living in the modern world allowing us to fill in any gaps and provide the necessary building blocks for all metabolic processes in our bodies. That being said, you can easily pee away dollars on the wrong product.
What to look for:
- Capsule – Multi-Vitamins made from capsules tend to be more absorbable that tablets. However, I have been exposed to some quick dissolving tablets, but that isn’t the norm. Liquids are okay too; depending on what else is in the liquid (sweeteners, preservatives, etc.).
- Keylated – wrapped in fatty acids to help support the absorption of fat soluble vitamins.
- AM/PM – The formula should actually change between the AM dose and PM dose (not just divided). More vitamins in the morning and more minerals at night are ideal. For instance, B Vitamins and Vitamin D can inhibit quality sleep if too much is taken at night, but magnesium can promote relaxation and recovery. If you are going to supplement, it is important to time your nutrients well..
- Certifications – Some companies spend the time and the money to receive outside regulatory agents certifications for quality of product, processing and facility operations. One stamp to look for is “GMP”, or Good Manufacturing Processes.
What to be weary of:
- Gender Specific – These can be great options or marketing ploys. Not all Women need to be supplementing with iron within a Multi, in fact, it can be harmful in certain cases. Know the gimmicks, find out what you need!
- Age Specific – Similarly, these generally contain higher doses of vitamins like B12, which can sometimes become harder to absorb as we age. Still do your do diligence and make sure it helps to meet your needs.
- Mega Doses – claims you can get all your nutrients in one pill.
- Packs with Single Nutrients – I’m a total believer that certain vitamins and minerals can and should be supplemented in addition to a Multi. However, I believe that to be highly specific to the individual. There have been numerous studies citing single nutrient use potentially causing harm.
Where Cost Meets Quality: MultiVitamins via Life Time Flourish Blog
Questions of the Day:
Do you take a Multi Vitamin?
I currently take Life Time’s Performance Multi-Vitamin (affiliate link). Sometimes it’s hard to remember both the AM/PM doses but I get them in consistently 80% of the time. I can tell the difference from a traditional Multi. In the morning they help give me energy from the increased Vitamin composition and green tea extract. At night the combination of increased minerals and Relora (helps to bring down Cortisol our bodies natural stress hormone) to help me relax and sleep.
Update 8/19/16 – I know use a service called Healthwave for myself and my clients. For all you nutritionists and RD’s out there, I highly recommend it. They carry all the top pharmceutical grade supplements and I can pass along a discount to my clients. If you are looking for some direction on what might be best for you, please check out my nutrition services website at www.hungryhobbyrd.com. I’m happy to help!