12 Apr My Daily Vitamin Stack
My Daily Vitamin Stack
You may have seen my morning routine and the plethora of vitamins I take daily. While my “stack” will fluctuate from time to time, here are the main contents of what I take and why I take them.
Keep in mind, that every vitamin I list below, I have done my research and decided what will work for ME. I highly encourage you to do the same before ever deciding to put something in your body. Know and understand what is it you are ingesting.
Not every vitamin or supplement will be beneficial to everyone, so I do encourage you to read through my list below and then conduct further research.
And remember, just as the name implies, these are supplements. They are meant to be supplemental to a healthy diet and exercise regime and not to take the place of such. These are not wonder drugs, and taking them will not magically produce any results without some hard work, time, and consistency in your diet and exercise routine.
Multi Vitamin – make sure to carefully read the labels before you purchase a multivitamin. With so many brands on the market, cheaper isn’t’ always better. So many brands are comprised of cheap fillers that decrease the amount actual vitamin and minerals your body can absorb. Furthermore, you want to choose a capsule and not a tablet. Tablets are harder for your body to break down and thus absorb the vitamins and minerals. You also want to make sure the list of “other ingredients” is short. Some vitamins contain artificial sweeteners and fillers that you don’t want to put in your body! So choose a pill with a short list.
Furthermore, skip the one a day brand! You cannot fit the amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs into one pill! Choose a brand that you take 1 -2 x daily with 1-2 pills!
Fish Oil – regardless if your goal is muscle gain or fat loss, everyone can benefit from taking a fish oil supplement. Fish oil provide healthy fats of omega – 3 and omega – 6, which your body needs. It does not produce these vitamins, so it must come from the food you eat. Some claim they eat “enough” seafood that they don’t need to supplement, but remember, fish varieties can contain high levels of mercury which can lead to more serious health conditions.
Supplementing with fish oil is the safest way to get the recommend amount of healthy omegas.
Omegas have been proven to lower blood pressure, reduce triglycerides (fatty acids), and thus lower the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke.
For weight loss, fish oil has been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body that prevents our body from readily converting food into fuel and thus storing and holding onto body fat. Fish oil also turns up the dial on your metabolism and helps in the prevention of insulin production which causes your body to hold to and store food.
Fish oil also aids in keeping your bones and joints in good health. So if you feel achy, consider adding fish oil into your daily supplement regime.
Be cautious when choosing a fish oil. For the average person, you want about 400-500 mg of fish oil per day. These milligrams are the sum of the EPA and DHA in the fsh oil pill, not the TOTAL amount listed on the front of the label. You will need to read the back of the label and add up the EPA and DHA numbers to determine how much oil you are truly getting. As a general rule of thumb, you should choose a pill where the sum of the EPA and DHA are as close to the number of milligrams listed on the front of the label.
For example, the brand I take is the Irwin Naturals pure fish oil. It listed 2000mg of fish oil with 1200mg coming from EPA and DHA (700 and 500mg respectively). The 800mg difference is from other fish oil in the product, NOT the actual omega 3, EPA and DHA content.
As far as recommend dosages, I am not a doctor, and too much fish oil can have some adverse affects, so starting with 500-800mg daily is recommended. Talk to a doctor if you further questions pertaining to your specific conditions.
Probiotic – if nothing else, this probiotic needs to be a staple in everyone’s diet. In my opinion, this is hands down the best supplement I take. Probiotics are live bacteria that help keep your gut and digestive system healthy. Most people don’t realize that 80% of our entire immune system originates in the gut. These digestive systems are called the enteric nervous system and has been referred to as our “second brain”. It balances out the “bad” bacteria in the gut that can cause inflammation, upset stomach, distention, gas, and obesity.
Not having enough probiotics in the body can lead to a digestive disorders, frequent illnesses and autoimmune diseases. BIG killers of probiotics are sugar, antibiotics, GMOs, emotional stress and other artificial chemicals (in the foods we eat or otherwise).
People on a high sugar and processed food diet, typically have lower levels of probiotics for this reason, and an unhealthy gut.
By adding a probiotic and reducing the amount of these healthy gut “killers” you can improve digestive function, lower cholesterol, boost immune system, clean up acne, and lose weight.
When shopping for a probiotic, choose a brand with 15-100 billion probiotics. The higher the amount of CFUs, the better. Look for a brand with 10-20 different strains. Probiotics used to need to be refrigerated, but these days, technology has allowed innovative ways to package and sustain these live bacteria. Just be sure to read labels and follow the guidelines above when choosing a brand.
Digestive Enzyme – when we eat food, enzymes in our bodies are responsible for breaking it down into nutrients which are then absorbed and utilized. However, for many of us, we lack certain of these enzymes to break down certain foods. Perhaps the most commonly discussed digestive enzyme is lactase as many people have an intolerance to lactose, which is prevalent in most dairy products. Lactose intolerant people lack the lactase enzyme necessary to breakdown lactose in foods, which leads to gas, diarrhea, upset stomach, and a variety of other issues depending on the severity of the intolerance.
Some digestive enzymes can alleviate these symptoms if taken before a meal.
Probiotics taken along with digestive enzymes can produce certain enzymes to assist with digestion and improve overall gut health.
CLA – short for Conjugated Linoleic Acid. It is an omega – 6 polyunsaturated fatty acid found naturally in beef and dairy products. Many studies have shown conflicting results when it comes to CLA’s affect on weight loss, but potential findings are that it aids in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and body fat. Studies have shown that CLA appears to prevent the decrease in metabolic rate which can occur when following a caloric deficit in the pursuit of weight and fat loss.
Before you go and increase your intake of beef and dairy products, beware that relying solely on these foods to obtain your daily requirements of CLA, can also exacerbate your intake of saturated fat. This is why investing in a CLA supplement of 1.5 – 3 g per day is recommended.
Hair, Skin, and Nails OR Biotin – I will switch between the two supplements to promote the growth of hair, skin and nails. You may also take a look at you multivitamin to see how many milligrams it contains. Remember, that any amount of vitamin not absorbed by the body gets flushed out.
Vitamin C – I will add this in every once and while to prevent cold or flus and support my immune system. I also add fresh citrus to my water. Again, depending on the multivitamin you pick up, you may not need an additional vitamin C supplement.
Adrenal Assist – I take the one from Vitanica. Post show, and starting my company, I was finding myself very tired, craving sweets, hair loss, decreased libido, trouble focusing and falling asleep. I knew my adrenals were suffering. I focused on whole foods, a routine sleep schedule and added in this supplement. There are many ingredients, so here is a snippet straight off the Vitanica Website:
- Nutritional support of normal adrenal gland function by providing the key nutrients in promoting adrenal hormone production with: Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Zinc and Magnesium.
- Promotes enhanced resistance to stress with tonic and adaptogenic herbs: Eleutherococcus, Panax ginseng, Rhodiola, and Ashwagandha.
- Immune system support from Astragalus, Holy basil, and Schizandra.
- Overall vitality and tonic support from Maca.
I will not delve into each ingredient listed and how they support healthy adrenals, but encourage you to read up on these if you are experiencing any symptoms of adrenal fatigue.
Green Tea Extract – Green tea is amazing alternative to coffee, with about 35-100 mg of caffeine per cup. It also boasts many antioxidants, called catechins, that promote heart health, immune health and fat loss. But if you’re like me, you aren’t particularly a fan of this bitter tasting tea. Lucky for us, there’s a supplement out there called Green Tea Extract you can take in pill form.
In order to receive all of Green Tea’s amazing fat loss qualities, one would need to drink about 5 cups of tea per day, but with the pill supplement, we can get the estimated 400-500mg all in a one capsule serving a day. This is serving size generally estimated to promote fat burning qualities. However, the effectiveness of Green Tea Extract relies on the user not being heavily resistant to caffeine. So if you are someone who knocks back 6 cups of coffee a day, the results of introducing this supplement into your routine may not be as pronounced as others.
L – Carnitine Liquid – L-carnitine is an amino acid that helps convert the fat you eat into usable energy by the body. It also as been shown to combat fatigue and suppress appetite. L-carntiine has also been shown to decrease the build up of muscle lactate, which can cause soreness and leave our muscles fatigued. With this supplement, muscles can repair quicker and stronger to increase muscle mass, strength, and metabolism.
Liquid, capsule or powder? Although research is still being conducted, a pretty solid case is mounting in favor of the liquid option. It is said to be purest form of the amino acid and doesn’t require much break down by the body.