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September 4, 2018

Supplements: What I Take and Why

Here’s something you might not know about me: I’m a health and nutrition nerd. When I’m not hanging out on the beauty side of the internet, I’m often in the world of fitness and nutrition. Just like skincare, there’s a lot to research when it comes to ingredients and the benefits/drawbacks they have, so I like to learn everything that I can. My supplement routine definitely isn’t perfect yet, but I thought you guys might be interested in seeing which supplements I take and why I take them. If you guys enjoy this, I’ll start making supplements a regular feature on the blog!

Please note, this is not me giving nutritional advice, nor am I qualified to give any nutritional advice. Always consult your doctor before taking any new supplements or vitamins, especially if you take any medications because they can have negative interactions. Always tell your doctor every single vitamin or supplement you take so they can help you make the best decisions for your well-being!

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. This post does not contain affiliate links. I purchased these products myself with my own money.

Supplements: What I Take and Why

I thought it would be helpful to give you guys a bit of background information on me first so you have an understanding of what I’m trying to address with supplements. First off, I’ve been a vegetarian for 10+ years, so it’s important to me to try to fill in any nutritional gaps that aren’t addressed by my diet. It’s a myth that vegetarians and vegans can’t get enough protein through their diets, but I know that I personally don’t eat enough protein on a regular basis. Paired with my love for weightlifting, protein is definitely something I personally should be supplementing. I’m also a picky eater, so I try to cover all of my bases when it comes to micro nutrients. Lastly, I focus on supplements that support general wellness. In the future, I’d like to add on to this routine with adaptogens, greens, and more antioxidants.

Nature’s Way Alive! Adult Gummy Multivitamin

I’ve used Alive Multivitamins for years and I love them! I used to take the capsules, but for the past few years I’ve been buying the gummies. They taste delicious and I actually look forward to taking them. Most gummies use gelatin, which isn’t veg-head friendly, but these use fruit pectin. They do contain beeswax, which means they’re not vegan. As for the benefits of these vitamins, they contain 14 vitamins and minerals- including a full range of B vitamins which many vegetarians and vegans don’t get enough of, plus a blend of fruits and veggies to supply you with important micro nutrients. This multivitamin helps to support healthy eyes, brain, bones, heart, and immune system functions.

Pro tip: these are way cheaper on Amazon than they are in any grocery or health stores. As with most things on Amazon, the price changes, but they’re typically between $9-14.

Protein Powder

When you think of protein powder, you probably think of gym bros who seem to consume nothing but liquid meals. Yes, protein powder does support muscle growth and repair, but it also supplies the body with essential amino acids which are needed to support healthy cell function, transport and store nutrients, and encourage waste removal from metabolic processes. Whey protein has also shown potential for lowering high blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar, reducing inflammation, and increasing fat loss. I typically add my protein to a shaker bottle like this one and just mix it with water, but you can also add it to smoothies, yogurt, mix it with milk or your favorite milk alternative, and even bake with it.

Quest Salted Caramel Whey & Casein Protein

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Quest used to be my favorite nutrition brand by far, but when they switched out sugar for stevia, they kind of ruined everything for me. Their products don’t taste nearly as good as they used to, so I’ve been struggling my way through this protein powder. I do think Quest makes great quality protein, so if you’re down with fake sugar (and an extremely sweet caramel flavor) then you might like this. I add peanut butter or PB2 to mine to take down the sweetness. For my taste, I really prefer…

Optimum Nutrition Blueberry Greek Yogurt Whey Protein

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Not only does this protein powder taste great, it blends beautifully in a shaker- no blender needed! It’s not overly sweet, and the greek yogurt gives it a creamy, slightly tangy flavor. It has little dehydrated blueberries in it, which you might love or hate depending on your texture preferences. This protein powder also contains greek yogurt, which provides calcium and B-12, plus chia seeds for energy and an amazing range of micro nutrients.

$19.99 for 1.02 lbs at BodyBuilding.com | Amazon

MuscleTech Creatine

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Creatine is a supplement which helps to increase strength, energy, speed up muscle growth, improve brain function, and may even combat neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. Creatine is an especially important supplement for vegans and vegetarians because most sources of creatine are meat, but creatine supplements are created synthetically, making them completely vegan. I take creatine daily, usually in a smoothie, but it’s a tasteless powder that you can mix with water if you’d prefer to use it that way. For the most part, all creatine supplements are the same, you’ll just want to look out for creatine monohydrate, which studies have shown is the superior form of creatine.

$10.78 for 400 g at BodyBuilding.com | Amazon

Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy

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This particular supplement is a blend of branch chain amino acids (BCAA) and energy-boosting ingredients typically found in pre-workout supplements. I used to take pre-workout and BCAA supplements individually, but decided to try this instead. I’ve found that I prefer to take them separately, so that’s what I’ll go back to after I finish this tub. I do really like the tangy and sweet strawberry lime flavor though.

If I’m using a combination supplement like this, I use it prior to a workout, but if I’m using BCAA and pre-workout separately, I like to take BCAA after a workout. Digesting anything, even BCAA, during a workout can make me feel nauseous, but if I take it afterward I’m fine. I use pre-workout to get through tough high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, and BCAA to support muscle growth and recovery. If you eat meat, you probably don’t need to take a BCAA supplement, but it’s a good way for vegetarians and vegans to increase the amount of amino acids in their diets that they might not be getting from other sources.

$18.99 for 9.5 oz at BodyBuilding.com | Amazon

Schwartz Advanced Strength Probiotic

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Probiotics help fill the gut with good bacteria, which in turn support digestion, heart health, and the immune system. Probiotics may also help to improve skin health. More and more research is showing just how much of our overall health is connected to the digestive system, leading some people to refer to it as the body’s “2nd brain.” With this in mind, I wanted to start taking probiotics. Unfortunately, I felt like this Schwartz brand of probiotics did absolutely nothing for me. I had much better results, especially in terms of skin health, from The Beauty Chef’s Collagen Inner Beauty Boost but it’s very expensive and I’d like to try to find something more reasonably priced.

Schwartz: $18.76 at Amazon

The Beauty Chef: $16-50 at Sephora

Echinacea

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Echinacea is an incredible supplement that can help prevent you from catching a cold and other minor illnesses, and it can also help you to recover faster if you do get sick. I only take it when I start to feel sick, or if I know I’m going to be doing something that could compromise my immune system, such as traveling. However, my mom has taken it every day for 5+ years. Neither one of us is ever sick more than once per year, if that. I like to buy GNC’s brand of Echinacea or the Nature’s Way brand capsules because they’re gelatin-free. Alternatively, you can also get the health benefits of echinacea through echinacea tea.

$15.99 for 100 capsules at GNC

HUM Nutrition Beauty zzZz

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I’m good at a few things, sleeping isn’t one of them. It takes me a long time to fall asleep, and I wake up throughout the night. If I’m having a particularly restless night, I take one tablet of HUM Beauty zzZz to help me calm down and fall asleep. Please note, this is not a sleeping pill, it’s a sleep aid. Beauty zzZz will not force you to fall asleep the way a sleeping pill does. Beauty zzZz is a combination of melatonin, calcium, and Vitamin B-6. Melatonin signals to the body that it’s time for sleep, while Vitamin B-6 supports a healthy sleep cycle, metabolism, and immune system among other things. Calcium also supports a healthy sleep cycle, and contributes to the body’s natural production of melatonin. Together, these ingredients create a sleep aid that isn’t habit-forming, meaning you won’t become dependent on it to help you fall asleep, which is a side-effect of many other sleep aids. There are many melatonin supplements on the market, but I like this blend of ingredients. It helps me fall asleep and doesn’t leave me feeling groggy the next morning. Many of HUM’s supplements are also vegetarian/vegan, which I really appreciate.

$10 for 30 tablets at SephoraHUM

That’s everything I take! I’m not trying to live forever, but I’m definitely working to keep my body fully functioning for as long as possible. I’ve been incredibly fortunate that I’ve never had to take any prescription medications, and I’d like to keep it that way if there’s anything I can do about it. Again, this post is not intended to provide any medical advice. It’s purely a list of supplements that I take and an explanation of why I personally choose to take them. Please do your own research and consult with a doctor to make the decisions that are right for your personal health.

Thanks for reading!

xx

Cristine

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If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Farmacy Clean Bee Ultra-Gentle Facial Cleanser Review

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