Everyone is different. Our bodies are unique and have various needs, based on our activity, routines, environments and overall health status. There is an abundance of vitamins and supplements on the market, in addition to an overwhelming amount of information (and misinformation) going in one ear and out the other, making it increasingly difficult to figure out what vitamins to take that are are right for you and your specific needs.
How To Figure Out What Vitamins You Need
Everyone needs some sort of supplement. It’s impossible these days to get every nutrient in adequate levels from food and we’re not the only ones who know this to be true. In a recent USDA report, most Americans are consuming too few fruits and vegetables, high-fiber whole grains, seafood, and low-fat milk and dairy products – all of which are crucial to ensure we’re getting essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. To figure out what vitamin supplements are right for you, we recommend taking a good hard look at the following factors:
- Diet and nutrition habits
- Sleep quality and activity
- Energy levels
- Fruit and Vegetable intake
- Digestive issues
- Brain processing
- Joint and bone pain
Additionally, one of the most accurate and effective ways to find what essential vitamins and minerals your body needs is to get a full-blood panel ordered through your primary care physician, or holistic specialist. This will give you an exact idea of whether or not you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Even if you’re unable to do this, you can still make a basic judgment on how to bridge the gaps in your nutrition with supplements with our quiz at the end of this article.
The Basic Vitamins And Minerals Your Body Needs
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to taking vitamin and minerals. While we all need the same nutrients, but depending on your lifestyle and nutrition, you’re going to need different ones as compared to your friend, simply because you live different lives. The following vitamins and minerals are tough to get adequate amounts into the average diet and are clinically proven to provide strong health benefits.
What Are Essential Vitamins?
The most basic way of explaining what essential vitamins are by classifying them as a nutrient required by the body for various functions that the body cannot make. When you hear the term essential, tied to vitamins and minerals, this means that you can only get essential vitamins from food. Whenever you’re deficient in essential vitamins, you can experience serious health issues that require further treatment. This is why we suggest that it’s impossible to get all of the vitamins you need, in the right amounts, from diet alone. Why? Because eating 5 to 13 servings
of fruit and vegetables every single day, as recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines, is a standard by which many of us fall short.
Many health professionals actually stand behind the idea that most of us overestimate how well we really eat and that taking vitamins can’t hurt because they bridge the gaps where our nutrition falls short. At the end of the day, essential vitamins are ‘essential’ and there are 13 of them: vitamins A, C, D, E, K, and the B vitamins, B6, B12, biotin, folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine.
What Are Essential Minerals?
In addition to the 13 essential vitamins that you must get from your food and/or supplements daily, there are essential minerals that your body needs, too. There are two general classifications when it comes to minerals; trace minerals your body only requires in small amounts and macrominerals which your body needs relatively large amounts of, daily.
There are 16 essential minerals that you need to get daily. The macro minerals are calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. The trace minerals are iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium. While all of these sound straight off the periodic table, the chemical structure that differentiates vitamins from minerals is that unlike vitamins, minerals do not contain a carbon atom, making them “inorganic”.
What are Essential Fatty Acids?
In addition to vitamins and minerals, the body requires essential fatty acids, or EFAs, that the body requires for optimal health but cannot make on its own. Again, back to the ‘essential’ meaning, these types of fats must be consumed in the diet or by dietary supplement. We need both groups of EFAs (omega-6 group & omega-3 group) to survive. Backed by clinical studies and scientifically proven to effectively increase overall health and wellness, a Krill Oil supplement is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Other Nutrients For Optimal Health
In addition to providing the body with an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals through supplementation, there are other nutrients classified and clinically proven to optimize overall health, wellness and bodily function beyond just vitamins and minerals. In addition to the Krill Oil mentioned, the following nutrients have been closely studied with respect to maintaining and improving health through both food consumption and supplementation.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant, which can help protect against nasty bacteria and viruses, and oxidative stress. Supplementing with CoQ10 helps produce and generate ATP more efficiently, and has been proven to improve heart health, delay muscle fatigue, and improve peak power output in trained athletes.
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A notable phytochemical found in cruciferous vegetables linked to hormone regulation and other benefits like fighting cancer cells, controlling stress levels, improving sleep quality, aiding in weight loss and even regulating PMS symptoms.
Turmeric & Curcumin
Turmeric is a natural herbal supplement that belongs to the ginger family and contains the active ingredient Curcumin. Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant, which supports exercise-induced inflammation, recovery after exercise, and healthy joints and mobility.
RELATED ARTICLE What Are The Health Benefits Of Turmeric Curcumin?
Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) For Vitamins, Minerals, and Other Nutrients
For individuals without any major health concerns, most people can follow the US Food and Drug Administration’s Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of essential nutrients to regulate overall health and function. The RDI is the baseline level of each nutrient to meet the requirements of the general population (97-98%). In 1997, RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) was replaced by RDI as a broader set of dietary guidelines, used in both the US & Canada. The reason? RDA only covered the baseline amounts of vitamin and mineral recommendations whereas RDI includes new guidelines, like the tolerable upper intake levels (UL) to warn against excessive intake of nutrients.
The RDI is used to determine the DV% (Daily Value percentage) that you see on current food labels. Essentially, the RDI helps ensure that you aren’t consuming too much or too little of any nutrient in a given day. But how does this help you choose what vitamins and supplements to take? Take a good look at the food you eat and compare it to the RDI or DV% on the nutrition label. If you are falling short of the RDI of vitamins and minerals, it’s time to think about taking a supplement. Find out what’s right for you with our quiz.
RELATED ARTICLE The Complete Guide On How To Read A Nutrition Label
Too Many Vitamins Can Be Harmful
Well, too much of anything is bad, but consuming too much of an essential vitamin or mineral can be just about as dangerous as having too little. This is where the upper limit (UL) comes into play. Think of it this way: RDI represents the low end, or baseline amount of a particular nutrient you need everyday and UL is the most you can take in of that nutrient in a day. There are adverse side effects of consuming too many vitamins and minerals in any given day. Signs of reaching ULs include diarrhea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, neon urine, or otherwise.
You can feel confident when taking a nutritional or vitamin supplement when you know you A) don’t meet the RDI of vitamins each day and B) are unlikely to exceed the UL of the nutrients from your diet in a day. Keep in mind that the RDI is a useful benchmark for the bare minimum of essential nutrients an average person needs in a day. But vitamins aren’t by any means a one-size-fits-all, just as we mentioned previously, and most likely, you have gaps in your nutrition because you live a busy, active lifestyle, with little time to sit and eat the entire recommended daily servings and amounts of food for optimal functioning.
What Vitamins Should I Take? Takeaway
Everyone is different. Various factors contribute to nutrient needs like lifestyle, environment, food choices, age, and even gender. Just about everyone needs some sort of supplement and you’ve come to the right place to find out which ones are right for you, your health, and your lifestyle. Consider your goals, be realistic, and start living each day at your highest, healthiest human potential. Take our quiz and find your personalized vitamin stack and start living the way you were designed to feel, today!
Wondering what vitamins you should take? Take our quiz and find out what vitamins are right for you and your goals?
SWOLVERINE is an endurance athlete and active lifestyle brand. Made for the elite athlete, and the strong-willed our products were designed to fuel your athletic performance. We perform when you perform.
We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle.