Could your energy levels use a vitamin boost?

Author -  Vicki Martin, Nutritionist and Naturopath

Do your diet and lifestyle mean your energy levels are the best they can be?

In a perfect world we would all:

  • have three good meals a day
  • minimise coffee, tea, cigarettes, and alcohol
  • not need medication
  • get plenty of exercise and sleep
  • never get the flu, or ever suffer from stress. 
  • But unfortunately we all know there are times we fall short of this.

Are vitamin supplements for you?

Check yourself out honestly. Do you have

  • high energy levels
  • no dark bags under your eyes 
  • problem-free periods 
  • skin that glows 
  • hair that shines naturally 
  • strong, healthy nails, and 
  • a good temper? 

If so, read no further. However if you fall short, maybe it’s time to think about a multivitamin and mineral supplement to get your health up to speed.

Other signs that a multivitamin supplement might be for you:

  • Have you made it to 21? If you haven’t, your bones, teeth, organs, brain, and immune system are still developing. That means they may need more nutrients to support your growth, compared to an average adult. 
  • Do you catch every bug going around? Your immune system may be struggling to keep up. Chronic ill health means your immune system isn’t getting the nutritional backup it needs. 
  • Are you a picky eater? If your appetite just isn’t there, or you aren’t eating regular meals, your nutrient levels may be low. Vitamin supplements can’t replace regular healthy meals, but they can help to boost your appetite and get your blood sugar levels back into balance. 
  • How’s the rest of your lifestyle? Smoking, caffeine, alcohol and takeaway foods demand more nutrients than normal to help your body detox and process them. Taking a multi can make it easier to give these bad habits the flick.
  • Run down, tired, low in energy, problems with sleep, or stressed out? Vitamin supplements can help to get you through busy stressful, times without compromising your health.

Start with your diet

Eating the right whole foods is certainly the cornerstone of any healthy nutrition program. But an increased pace of life increases your need for some nutrients, and depletes your body's stores of others. This is particularly true if you work or study long hours, party hard, exercise a lot, have uncomfortable periods, or are stressed out. So sometimes, a healthy diet might not be enough.

Tips for multivitamin supplement takers

  • Are you a woman? Choose a women’s multivitamin and mineral supplement that can help with your specific needs. Look for higher levels of Iron, Calcium, and Folic Acid. Horsetail herb can help strengthen your hair and nails, while Ginkgo can help to maintain good circulation. Black Cohosh can help with period problems, and Evening Primrose Oil helps keep your skin up to standard. Healtheries Women’s Multivitamin and Mineral capsules could fill the bill for you.
  • Don’t take your multivitamin and mineral tablet with tea, coffee, cola, or chocolate. These drinks all contain caffeine and tannins, which can reduce nutrient absorption. Herbal or fruit teas, water, or pure juices will help absorption and digestion.
  • Take your multivitamin at mealtimes. Vitamins and minerals require digestive enzymes and acids to be absorbed effectively. If you take them apart from mealtimes, you lower your chances of this.
  • Take your multivitamin at mealtimes. Vitamins and minerals require digestive enzymes and acids to be absorbed effectively. If you take them apart from mealtimes, you lower your chances of this.
  • Where possible, take your multivitamin supplement in the morning (or at the latest, at lunchtime). Most multis include Vitamins B and C which boost energy levels – not what you want at dinnertime or bedtime!
  • Don’t worry if your urine turns green or bright yellow. This is normal as your body breaks nutrients down.
  • Don’t store your multi in the bathroom cabinet or windowsill. Store multivitamin supplements away from sunlight, heat, and moisture. These conditions can break down some nutrients and make them inactive.

Always think of multivitamin supplements as part of your total health care program – a top up when aren’t getting a good supply from your diet. Remember that they can never take the place of fresh fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and good quality protein foods.