Daily Vitamins: Should I Take Them?
Motion Specialist // Certified Personal Trainer // SFGII // SFL //Nutrition Coach // TPI // EW Motion Therapy Homewood
Most people have a morning routine, whether you are a college student getting ready for class or an adult getting ready for work. For many, part of their morning routine is taking their daily vitamins. Parents feed vitamins to their kids with breakfast before school, and adults take them before rushing out the door on their morning commute. But when and why did taking vitamins become so popular? And are they actually good for you?
Nowadays, the habit of taking vitamins is reinforced in childhood with gummies. Still, it is vital to take good quality vitamins that contain the nutrients you need for your health. We encourage our clients to take vitamins at EW Motion Therapy, but only the ones they miss from their current diet. Our nutrition coaches can assess your dietary habits and recommend vitamins to fill gaps. Even if you decide not to pursue nutrition services with us, we still want to discuss vitamins and provide recommendations on which ones you should try.
This article discusses why vitamins have become so prevalent, vitamin recommendations for different age groups, and how you can ensure the vitamins you take are the best on the market. With this information, you can take only the vitamins you need and make the best decision for your health.
Why did people start taking vitamins?
Vitamins were popular even before the rise of social media and influencer promotion - Vikings even regularly took fish oil. But in the 1980s and 90s, fitness professionals and influencers (as they were known then) started promoting different vitamins to their followers/clients as a way to get proper nutrition without eating more food. They were typically made out of natural ingredients at that time, nothing synthetic, so vitamins rose in popularity.
The modern farming industry is one of the main factors that increased the popularity of vitamins. Ever since farmers in ancient China discovered the benefits of crop rotation, farms had been using that technique not to extract too much of one nutrient from the soil. George Washington Carver pioneered this technique in the southern United States by encouraging farmers to plant peanuts or peas for one season instead of cotton, replenishing the soil. Unfortunately, to keep up with the increasing demand for certain crops, farmers have had to abandon crop rotation, and the earth is, in turn, depleted of certain nutrients by the one choice crop (monocropping). While artificial fertilizers can put some nutrients back into the soil, many are not as comprehensive, and without the total amount of nutrients, the crop becomes less nutrient-rich. Vitamins have risen in popularity to compensate for the lack of nutrients in modern crops, brought on by the demand placed on today’s farmers.
What vitamins should I take?
The vitamins you choose to take depend on your body type, goals, diet, and any preexisting conditions, but your age is another contributing factor to that choice. Here are some general vitamin recommendations for four different age groups. If you would like to try any of these, be sure to talk with your/your child’s doctor to ensure that you make the best choice.
Children need proper nutrients to grow and develop, which is why calcium intake is so crucial during childhood to grow strong bones. Another nutrient that would be helpful for children is omega-3, which is excellent for brain development. Omega-3s are naturally found in fish, but most people (let alone picky kids) do not eat enough fish regularly, so finding a daily vitamin or some other supplement that contains omega-3s would be great to support a growing brain.
Puberty has an influence on teenagers, and as kids’ hormones change, their diet usually takes a downward turn. What teenager doesn’t want to eat junk food, especially with friends? To compensate for the general lack of proper nutrition among this age group, a daily multivitamin would be helpful to fill in the gaps. Additionally, most junk food does not contain enough protein, so a protein supplement would also help, especially for active kids who burn many calories playing sports.
Adults are usually more mindful of their diet once they enter the workforce, but it is still all too easy to get fast food for lunch at the office instead of meal-prepping. A general multivitamin with a protein supplement would be great for this group, as well as a magnesium supplement to help with blood pressure and blood sugar management.
As our bodies age, we lose strength and elasticity. Seniors should investigate monohydrate supplements found naturally in red meats, which help retain water, build muscle, and protect neurological function. Magnesium supplements can help manage heart disease potential and blood sugar. They could also try collagen supplements to maintain skin elasticity and prevent wrinkles.
How can I know I’m taking good quality vitamins?
Now you know more about daily vitamins and how they can help different age groups. When you want to begin a new regimen of vitamins, it is vital to research to know that you are putting high-quality supplements into your body. Any vitamin company with third-party certifications is usually a good bet - they have invested in their label to give customers peace of mind. Many internet resources rate different vitamin companies on various quality measures. But remember that as good as some supplements are, it is truly best for your body to get vitamins and nutrients through a balanced diet of natural foods.
When your diet is not as balanced, and you need an extra boost of nutrition, supplements are a great solution. If you want to begin one, researching and discussing options with your doctor or nutrition specialist is an excellent way to start. Our nutrition team at EW Motion Therapy enjoys helping our clients build healthy habits and a balanced diet so they can accomplish any of their health goals. If you are interested in nutrition services with us, answer the questions in our self-assessment to see if our program fits your needs.