I want to preface this blog post off but saying I am not a doctor or health care professional. Any information I share in this post (or any of my post, really) is strictly from my own, personal experience and research. I am in no way telling you what vitamins or supplements to take nor am I saying these will treat, cure, or prevent any ailments you may be suffering from. As always, seek professional advice before taking any vitamins or supplements.
Vitamins + Supplements:
The What, Why, and How
Okay, now that I got that disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk vitamins and supplements! If you are immersed in the health and wellness world then chances are you have seen many different supplements floating around on social media, convenient stores, or friends’ medicine cabinets. And if you are just diving into the wellness, this can be very confusing and even intimidating.
This should go without being said, but unfortunately, I still feel like I have to say it…there are SEVERAL vitamins and supplements on the market that each promote different results, NOT ALL ARE SAFE, HEALTHY, OR EFFECTIVE. With that said, do your own research and make your own judgements based on you and your body.
The Google definition of the word “supplement” is “something that completes or enhances something else when added to it”. Supplements are to be paired with an already healthy diet and lifestyle. They do not make up for or replace anything, but rather simple encourage and enhance. Supplements are not necessary for everyone and many people do not take them, however, when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle they can do amazing things for our bodies. Examples of supplements are protein powder, BCAA’s, collagen, etc.
The difference between vitamins and supplements are vitamins, as stated by Google, are “any group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body”. So, essentially, we supplement our diets with vitamins to enhance the natural bodily functions of growth and nutrition. When our bodies lack certain vitamins we typically take whatever vitamin we are lacking to enhance its’ role in the body. Examples of vitamins are Vitamin C, Vitamin D, etc.
Although it isn’t always necessary to take vitamins and/supplements, sometimes our bodies require us to so we can function properly. Like I stated above, they can do amazing things to our bodies when they are paired with a healthy lifestyle. Protein powder is a common supplement that when consumed supplies the body with a specific amount of protein to promote muscle growth and recovery. However, protein is a nutrient our bodies need to grow, regulate hormones, and so much more that we need to make sure we are also consuming it through our foods (i.e. meat or plant protein). This is not to say those who lift weights and don’t take protein powder won’t gain muscle. Protein powder is there to assist our bodies in the production of muscle growth. Another example would be taking Vitamin C. We all know Vitamin C is essential for a strong immune system so we may supplement it in our diets during the winter months when germs are at an all-time high. Again, this is not to say anyone who doesn’t take Vitamin C will become sick, rather those who do take it have a better chance at staying above the wellness line.
There are several ways we can receive the benefits of supplements. The most common ways are via a powder, pill, and/or our diet. It is important to have a diet that consists of many different foods ranging in color, source, and how it is prepared. This is the first and by the far the most important way to start getting those vitamins and minerals. Introducing a powder or pill can only enhance your lifestyle. Going back to the protein powder example, it is easily consumed mixed with water or added into smoothies for quick consumption. Most powdered supplements are to be added into liquids but you can also bake with them as well. Although vitamins are usually found in pill form, they too can come in the form of a powder. Vitamins are typically taken in the morning with your first meal but can also be taken at night.
MY VITAMIN + SUPPLEMENT ROUTINE
I plan on writing up a blog post that goes in greater detail of the supplements I take on a daily basis but here is a quick overview of them and why/when I take them!
Digest & Cleanse. This is a digestive supplement from Young Living Essential Oils. I take it an hour before I eat or drink anything every morning when I wake up. It helps support healthy digestion.
Collagen Peptides. I add 1 scoop of this to my coffee every morning to not only help the digestion of caffeine but to support my gut, bones, joints, hair, and nails.
Coconut oil and/or ghee. I don’t know if you would count this as a supplement but it is an essential for me. I usually add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or ghee into my coffee to slow the release of caffeine so I don’t crash later on in the day. Fats are also great in general for the body.
Vitamin C. I hate being sick and I will do anything in my power to prevent it. Taking Vitamin C in the winter months helps ensure I won’t get as sick.
Vitamin D + Calcium. Now that I live in the North West where the sun is less potent, if you will, I need to make sure I am getting enough Vitamin D to support my body. Calcium is because I don’t eat dairy.
Evening Primrose. I recently started taking this to help support my skin.
Rhodiola. This is another vitamin I started recently taking to help deal with my mood and stress levels.
Vitamin B Complex. Vitamin B is essential for me to ensure I have energy, especially during my period.
Magnesium. This is the only vitamin I take at night. It helps relax me, especially after consuming caffeine or wine if I have had any that day.
Protein powder. I don’t use this daily but about 3x a week when I lift weights.
Electrolytes. Again, this isn’t something I take daily but whenever I perform a high intensity workout or when I am sweating a lot.
These aren’t all of my supplements I take but the ones I use every single day and/or week. It may seem like a lot to some people but keeping in mind I have an auto immune disorder, some of these are essential for me. Again, I plan on making a more in-depth blog post sharing details about the supplements I use.
I hope you gained some knowledge from this post and any other questions you have I would be happy to answer them! Share your thoughts with me by leaving a comment below or head to my Instagram page (@iamdevonjade)!