Go into any health food store...or even the supplements section of your standard grocery store, and you'll be blown away by the number of products available, claiming to make you look and feel better and/or prevent and treat disease.
Some have true value while many others are unproven. Most are expensive.
Since I was a kid - when my parents had me take a chewable multivitamin (not Flintstones!) - I have always taken a vitamin or supplement of some kind. Over the years, just what I have taken has changed based on my needs.
I'll be honest, I eat such a healthy diet and live such a healthy lifestyle, I don't know whether it is crucial I take everything I take, but most North Americans are sorely lacking in the nutrient department and can probably benefit from some supplementation.
In my case, despite living a healthy lifestyle, I live in a big city, with a fair amount of pollution (some of it shared with us from New York State, thank you very much), and a northern climate where sunlight is often in small supply. Remember, besides how you live, where you live is also important!
I thought I would share with you what my current supplementation routine looks like.
Pre-Workout - 2 Total Energy capsules (Siberian ginseng, wheat grass, vitamin B12 and caffeine) and a glass of licorice root tea.
After Workout - 1000mg L-Glutamine
With Breakfast - 1000iu Vitamin D, Multi, 2000 Fish Oil, and Probiotics
Lunch - 2 iron pills (since developing anemia in my 30s, like my mom did!). If I have dairy in my lunch, I will take these at dinner.
After Dinner - 1000mg L-Glutamine
Because my blood pressure is so ridiculously low, I take the licorice root tea and energy pills before my workout. Please note that most people should not take these 2 in combination because it can lead to high blood pressure!
The L-Glutamine is for muscles repair and because I find it helps minimize DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). 2000mg is the minimum I take per day. If I do a heavy-duty weights workout, like on Sundays, I will take some both before and after my workout and sometimes more at nighttime.
The fish oil is to make sure I am getting enough Omega-3s.
The Vitamin D is because most of us in northern climates should take a D supplement because we can't get enough through diet and sunshine exposure alone (and shouldn't spend long periods of time in the sun unprotected!). But whether or not healthy people really do need to take a D supplement is not agreed upon by health professionals. Whether its rational or not, however, I feel better taking one than not until the data provides us with clear information.
Similarly, there is still much debate on the benefits of a multi...I prefer to take one, even if not every day, just in case. I probably don't need to though.
I just added the probiotic this week, because for some reason, I have been having IBS-like symptoms since we got back from Florida. Its normal for my digestive tract to get out of whack when we travel, but it wasn't going away. Its definitely better now, but I thought I would take this for a month to see if it can get me back to where I was before. I would love to take probiotics regularly, but they are too expensive, so I usually just take them when I am feeling under the weather.
If I had all the money in the world, I would definitely take more supplements, such as:
CoQ10 - helps with mitochondrial function of all organs
Chaga Mushroom - Anticarcinogen
Maca - Energy and Vitality
Biotin - For hair and nails
...and many others...
Until I win the lottery, I am sticking with my current routine.
What do you take?