Wednesday, 19 February 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.


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

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

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