FYI Friday – To supplement or not to supplement?

Happy Friday! I’m so excited the weekend is here because I have a great one lined up.

excited

But before I get to that it’s FYI Friday!

FYI friday

Today I’m going to talk about vitamins & supplements. It’s confusing to know when you need to supplement. To very poorly paraphrase Hamlet…

hamlet

The fact of the matter is every persons vitamin needs may be different based on their age, sex, activity level, diet, etc. So I’m not going to go into detail on every single vitamin and who needs to supplement. BORING! Instead I’m going to show you what I supplement with and why.

supplements

Please note, I am telling you what I personally do but not recommending it for you without talking to a health professional who knows your health history.

Vitamin D

In my Nutrient Requirements for Active People series I talked about Vitamin D requirements. I find it difficult to meet the recommended 600IU of Vitamin D daily by diet alone. Not to mention that I personally believe that recommendation is too low. 

Our bodies can produce Vitamin D from the sun. However, I live in Canada which means my body doesn’t see sun for about 8 months of the year.

DSC_0006

Therefore I find Vitamin D to be the most important supplement that I take. I personally take 2000IU everyday even in the summer when I’m exposed to sunlight. The amount of sunlight I get daily varies. Plus I like to protect my skin with sunblock which reduces the amount of vitamin D production.

Omega 3

If you’re interested in Omega-3 fats, check out my extensive review. The gist of that post is that Omega-3 fats have many health benefits. They are good for our heart health and have promising evidence to be helpful in cancer prevention, Alzheimer’s prevention and more.

However, my problem is I don’t like fish. Growing up I never ate fish unless it came in the form of a battered fish stick. I try to eat fish sometimes now but I’m definitely not eating it twice a week which is recommended. Even when I do eat fish it tends to be white fish and not the fattier fish which are higher in Omega-3’s such as salmon, mackerel, sardines. etc.

Therefore, I choose to supplement with Omega-3 to make up for my deficiency.

omega 3 supplement

Iron

Runners are at higher risk for iron deficiency as I pointed out in my Nutrient Requirements for Active People. I have battled anemia on and off for many years. So I take a daily iron supplement.

Not this kind of iron…

iron  

This kind of iron…

proferrin supplement

Iron supplements can be really hard on the stomach. I found this particular brand which is easier on the stomach and doesn’t even have to be taken with meals. 

Calcium (sometimes)

I’m not typically a huge milk drinker though I do like my yogurt & cheese. I take chewable calcium supplements on days where I feel my calcium intake wasn’t sufficient. I don’t daily calculate and then decide how much to take but I think about what I ate and if I believe it was a low I take a supplement. It’s not an exact science but it works for me.

calcium supplement

This particular supplement also contains vitamin D. It’s hard to find a calcium supplement that doesn’t combine them. So on the days I take these, I take 2400IU of Vitamin D.

 Multivitamin with folic acid

When it comes to multivitamins if you are eating  balanced diet, you likely don’t need them. However for women of childbearing age it’s a good idea to be on a multivitamin with folic acid to prevent birth defects. Even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant, you just never know.

materna

I am not taking these right now because I’m on Accutane and I really cannot allow myself to get pregnant. Which means I am taking all sorts of precautions against it. Therefore, while on the medication I don’t feel it necessary to take the multivitamin. 

What vitamin or mineral supplements do you take?

 

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