Vitamins supplements in the fitness and health industry can become a heated discussion. Some people will tell you that you don’t need to take them as you can easily get all your vitamins through food, whilst others will tell you that you should take hundreds of different vitamins and spend a lot of money on them. No wonder beginners in their fitness journeys feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting information that they read online and on social media. When I first started my fitness journey, I wasted so much money on supplements that I didn’t need to be spending money on. I thought I had to be taking all these vitamin supplements to reach my goals. I’m in the middle when it comes to this debate and as a woman, I’m here to tell you that there’s probably three vitamin supplements that are worth taking to ensure that your body is working at its best.
As an athlete and someone who regularly trains, my body needs a lot of nutrients that I may not be able to get sufficiently through my diet. Even if I try to eat all the fruits and vegetables that cover every single vitamin in a day…it is not easy at all. On the other hand, a person who exercises regularly, eat a healthy and balanced diet would also need to take some vitamin supplements to ensure that they are consuming enough to survive and to help the body function optimally. Even if a person is really strict with their diet and their nutrition schedule, there is a likely probability that they are lacking some vitamins too.
Here I am sharing three vitamins supplements that I believe that you should take if you are living an active lifestyle, a competitive athlete or you exercise regularly. I can only talk about the needs of women, and not about men, as men require may require different supplements. These supplements are not a substitute for a poor diet. They add support and supplement your existing diet. Let’s get into it.
We should all be taking a multivitamin. Our bodies need a certain level of vitamins, minerals and nutrients to perform at its best. If you do a quick Google search, you will find a lot of research that mention that multivitamins are recommended as they are essential to living a healthy lifestyle. Multivitamins help to increase your energy levels, improve your mood, reduce anxiety and stress and helps you maintain a healthier lifestyle. This is because you are providing your body with the nutrients that it needs to perform harder tasks and/or conserve energy to perform easier tasks. It can help to reduce your anxiety and stress as the body uses vitamin B to convert food into energy, keeping the nervous system functioning efficiently, and to produce stress hormones. I like to think about a multivitamin as an insurance policy to help bridge the gaps in your diet and provide you with additional health benefits. I recommend making a multivitamin a daily habit every morning to ensure that you are getting your daily allowance.
I take Actilife Multivit every morning.
With an increase in physical activity, there is more stress on our bones, joints and tendons. It’s important that we get enough of this vitamin to help support and regulate healthy levels of calcium and phosphate in our bodies. These nutrients help keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. If we have low levels of vitamin D, it could lead to certain diseases, have a negative effect on our immune systems, reduce our levels of post-workout recovery and cause stress fractures.
Our bodies create vitamin D from the sun. In the spring and the summer, we can get all the vitamin D that we need for our bodies by spending more time outside. In the autumn and winter, especially if you live in areas that don’t get enough sunlight, our bodies are not able to create a sufficient amount of vitamin D. With isolations and lockdowns, the need to take a vitamin D supplement increased due to the lack of direct sunlight. You can get vitamin D from food such as:
- Oily fish – salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring (SMASH)
- Red meat
- Egg Yolks
- Fortified foods
I take Actilife Vitamin D3 & K in the winter.
Let’s talk about iron. As women, we lose an average 1mg of iron per day during our menstrual cycle. This number could be higher if we have heavier flows. Iron deficiency is common worldwide and some symptoms of it includes: feeling extreme levels of fatigue, feeling cold especially with your hands and feet, chewing on ice etc. The reason that I know this is because I lack iron in my diet. My hands and feet are always cold. Around the time of my period, I eat iron-rich foods to substitute for the iron that I am going to lose through my blood. As women, it does take time for our iron levels to increase after our periods which is why I increase my iron intake through foods and supplementation to counteract the loss through the blood as well as to reduce period cramps.
Iron is important for optimal health and well-being. It is an essential part of our red blood cells that transports oxygen around our bodies. Even though, it is an integral part to the functioning and performance of our bodies, we are not able to make it ourselves and need to eat it through our diet. It’s important to combine iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C to help with faster iron absorption. Iron-rich foods include:
- Liver (not to be eaten during pregnancy)
- Red meats
- Beans -red kidney beans, chickpeas, edamame
- Dried fruits
- Fortified breakfast cereals
So there we have it! These are the vitamin supplements that I take every day to ensure that my body is performing at its optimal best. I know that not everyone who is reading this is a competitive athlete but this post is written for those who exercise regularly, those who want to improve their health as well as everyone who wants to improve their overall well-being. Taking care of our bodies is a form of self-care and everyone should have a body that functioning and performing well to maintain their lifestyles.
If you take any other vitamin supplements, let me know in the comments. Share this with a friend who would find this useful. I’d really love for this to become a resource for all of you.
Until next time,