Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Vitamins & Supplements

Like many of you, I was completely confused about what vitamins and supplements I should be taking.  It seems like there's so much information to absorb that it can get overwhelming quickly.  Couple that with some vitamins should be taken with food, some combined with others, some on an empty stomach, and some not with others.  Ahhh!  I happen to be a fan of Dr. Oz, so I often listen to his recommendations and then read/research and ask other people about what they are doing.  Here's where I am now with my vitamins and supplements.


I take the vitamins/supplements pictured above every day.  But, I've built up to this slowly over time.  I started over a year ago just taking a multivitamin and using protein powder in my shakes to help repair and build muscle.  Then, when I started doing the Live Fit plan, Jamie Eason recommends adding Fish Oil (1000mg) and BCAA (branched chain amino acids), so I added those too. (Read more about those here.) The BCAA is the bottle of "Twinlab Amino Fuel". 

Dr. Oz recommends Calcium Cocktail (Calcium 600mg + Vitamin D 1,000IU + Magnesium 400mg) - I still need to add in the magnesium.  He also recommends Astragalus (200mg 2x per day).

I talked about Biotin here before and now take it to help aid in hair and nail growth.  It's working! (Thank you for all of your comments!)

I recently added Alpha Lipoic Acid (300mg) for cell damage repair for weight lifters.  

Probiotic Restore Ultra contains the “good bacteria” that can boost your immune system and improve your digestion and much more.  Dr. Oz website actually mentioned the Advocare brand by name stating, "Of the products tested, AdvoCare’s Probiotic Restore is one that contained the amount of CFUs promised on the label." which is why I purchased that brand. 

Nighttime Recovery Amino Acid & Herbal Supplement (400mg) for muscle repair and growth.

So, what does taking all this look like in my daily life?

(oops! that Vitamin C should say "Calcium")

Every week I portion out my vitamins and put them into my pill holder.  (I got mine at Target). I couldn't keep it all straight without it! I keep the two nighttime supplements separate and my multivitamin gummy in the jar because it will dry out and get stiff if you put it into the holder.



I put the BCAA (it's a liquid) in my water bottle when I workout and I drink my protein shake after my workout.  I like the orange flavor the best and like the taste of it.  It's a syrupy consistency and one serving is 3 tablespoons.  


I keep everything right in the kitchen on the counter.


Below is the information I've read from Dr. Oz on the vitamins/supplements: 

A Multivitamin

Dr. Oz says that we only need 100% of the daily value of the 12 essential vitamins and minerals, with iron for pre-menopausal women.  When purchasing your vitamins, check for bottles labeled 100% daily allowance on label. 

Multivitamins fulfill your nutritional needs for the day.  Multivitamins contain:

Vitamin A – critical for healthy vision and skin

Vitamin B – a metabolism booster

Vitamin C – keeps your immune system strong, especially important during cold and flu season.

Vitamin D – promotes healthy bones (and your immune system)

Vitamin E – for healthy development of muscles and brain function

The Dose
Take half in the morning and half at night to maximize absorption.

Calcium Cocktail (Calcium + Additional Vitamin D + Magnesium)

Calcium is a necessary supplement for strong, healthy muscles, bones and teeth. You need to take it in combination with magnesium (to prevent the negative side effects of calcium) and vitamin D (to help the body absorb calcium) in order to get the maxium benefit.  It turns out that vitamin D is crucial when it comes to fighting off colds. An important part of Dr. Oz's anti-aging checklist, vitamin D plays a number of roles in our bodies, including:

 *Promoting absorption of calcium and bone health
 *Boosting immune function
 *Reducing inflammation
 *Healthy neuro-muscular function
 *Protecting against some forms of cancer

The Dose
Calcium (600mg) with Magnesium (400mg) and Vitamin D (1,000 IU)
Take dose with a full glass of water, 2 hours after eating.  Calcium can block the absorption of other supplements and prescriptions, so take it separately. 

Fish Oil (Omega 3’s)

To keep your brain, heart and eyes healthy, take Omega 3’s every day. 

The Dose
For women, the daily dose of Omega 3s is 1000 mg; for men, the dosage is 600 mg.

Astragalus

Although Astragalus isn't a vitamin, I take it daily for energy and anti-aging.

According to Dr. Oz, aging is the primary reason why your body feels depleted of energy. Add to that the boatload of daily tasks most of us face – work, household chores, childrearing – and it’s no wonder we're exhausted.

The supplement astragalus can help keep you going. This root, used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, contains a special chemical that research has shown may actually help slow the aging process. This chemical activates the enzyme telomerase, which works on a cellular level to protect DNA from breaking down, thus warding off exhaustion and a host of other age-related symptoms and diseases.

The Dose
Take 200 mg of astragalus twice a day, in the morning and at night. 


I buy most of my supplements on Amazon but the BCAA liquid is from bodybuilding.com.





I ordered my Advocare Probiotic Restore and Nighttime Recovery through my friend Niki Riat.


*Please talk to your doctor about what's right for you before you start taking anything. -Megan

24 comments:

  1. I was so excited about this post when I saw your tease on Instagram! Over the couple of months I've started taking supplements and multivitamins. Have you ever had any issues with energy level tanking from a multivitamin? I was good for a little over a month and then all of sudden my energy was non-existent. I thought I had a serious issue until I did some more research. After I stopped taking my multivitamin I was back to normal within a few days. I think I may look in to adding biotin and astragalus! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Interesting! What did your research say? My energy is great now, especially cutting out my afternoon coffee and eating every couple hours.

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  3. Thanks for posting this. I'm always confused on what to take. I am currently just taking a prenatal vitamin at night bc I'm hoping to maybe have a child this year but I've also started lifting weights so a lot of the stuff you posted would be super beneficial!

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    Replies
    1. Megan hits on most of the daily supplements recommended by experts, which are: multivitamin, antioxidants, vitamin d, probiotics and fish oil. It can feel pretty extreme and expensive to take all 5, which is why finding combination products can be useful (like fish oil + vitamin D or multivitamins with extra antioxidants).

      I have an article with more information called '5 supplements to take daily' on my site www.suppfinder.com

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  4. I never really take any vitamins, but it's something that I really need to start doing. Looks like I'm going vitamin shopping this weekend!

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  5. The magnesium makes a huge difference, I think. I'd definitely work that in asap.

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  6. Magnesium has really helped me. I'd definitely work that into your regimen asap. I just get the MagOx 400 mg at the CVS. The other thing that I would add to this is Turmeric, that really helps joint pain and cramping for me. I found this article about it -- http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1012314. I get that from Wonderlabs.com, the "Turmeric Extract Standardized to Contain 95% Curcumin, 300 Capsules". It's in a capsule form and I take one with each meal.

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    Replies
    1. Turmeric is an excellent herbal supplement with many benefits, but the body has a very difficult time absorbing the curcumin found in most supplements. Your best bet is to take extracts of whole turmeric (not isolated curcumin) or a product called Meriva which has a specialized turmeric ingredient designed to get into the body better.

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  7. Also, as you understand it, the only difference for post-menopausal women would be to leave off the iron in the multi-vitamin?

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  8. I really like this post but do you notice a difference between the vitamin containers and the pill organizer that you've put your pills into? One is light transparent, the other isn't. Multivitamins and vitamins should not be kept in non-light resistant containers or else, you may as well not take your multivitamins. I've came across a great brand called Sabi and they're pill planners are designed for vitamins. You should check them out!

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    Replies
    1. For long-term storage the bottles they come in are necessary to protect the supplements, but for just a week the pill containers (or even small ziplock bags like the Ezy-Dose brand) are fine.

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  9. Really enlightening post.! We should need to take the right supplements for wellness. Vitamins and supplements makes our bodies more healthy and strong.

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  10. Wow that's great! I too looked at that list by Dr. Oz. I just started taking a multivitamin myself. I have never taken vitamins, but as I hit 30 I realized I needed them. Right now I'm taking the Alive multivitamin. Have you seen that one? I plan on adding Vitamin D next and slowly adding more to my daily regimen. I have a question though, do you get nauseated when you take them? Every time I take a vitamin, especially any multivitamin, I want to puke an hour later. Ugh.

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    Replies
    1. In college I used to pop a multivitamin in the morning before class and would often feel sick about 30 minutes later. Taking your vitamins with a snack or meal usually prevents nausea (don't worry, it's not going to affect whether your body absorbs them or not). If you want to take them throughout the day like Megan that might be more challenging, though you should be fine taking them all at once if you don't mind taking more.

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    2. Thanks for posting about your daily regimen Megan. I'm a huge fan of people taking daily supplements to help support their health and usually point them towards the same type of products you mention. Just to give your readers a bit more info about amounts: the fish oil amount of 1000mg/day should be of EPA+DHA (not just total fish oil), vitamin D should be 1000-2000IU/day, and Vitamin K is often needed (along with Calcium, Vitamin D and Magnesium) to support the bone health and is usually only found in higher-quality multivitamins.

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  11. Thanks for sharing the information. I am in the habit of taking prohormones supplement because i am practicing to building my muscles and the supplements are really helpful to build them.

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  12. Really !!! great information share by the blogger. buy the men’s supplement as per your need. However, later on the doctor will help in building a diet pattern full of fruits, vegetables, meats and milk products to replenish the body with nutrients.Buy generic uroxatral online

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  13. I'm curious about how much do you spend a month on these vitamins and supplements?

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  14. Even after having adequate diet, many people still have several diseases or disorders due to lack of vitamins and nutrient in body. Your post is worth reading as now people will understand the importance of these vitamins in their life.
    Keep sharing such informative posts.

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  15. Megan I love your blog and have been following for a while now! I love all of the vitamins you take and take most of them myself. I wanted to advise you on the way you take your vitamins though- i.e. pill form verse powder. Research has shown that the body only absorbs around 20% of a pill vitamin. New technology with Isotonix has found a delivery system that when take with the proper amount of water and on an empty stomach helps you to absorb 98% of the vitamins and minerals. I started taking the Isotonix Daily essentials kit in November of last year and have noticed a world of a difference in my energy level, over all health and skin! I'd love to give you some more information or talk to with more about them if you'd like to contact me my email is maheathe@gmail.com also here is a link to the isotonix site where you can research and find more information on the products! http://isotonix.marketamerica.com/MARTHA123/USA

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  16. I'm glad I found your blog. I've recently started a new exercise program to start losing weight, and I've been wonder what dietary pills to start taking. Seems like starting off with a daily vitamin pill and maybe some protein bars can help until I'm ready to start taking some more complex dietary supplements. Thanks

    Ansel Marvin | USANA

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  17. This is really a good post!! Because I am also getting confused which would be the best supplements for vitamins and which brand will be best to buy supplements? Thanks a lot for solving my problem.

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