Beyond the basics: vitamin supplements to support a busy lifestyle

In the previous blog, we went through the basics of making sure that your food intake is supporting your busy lifestyle, as it’s easy to overstretch day to day. Beyond that, there are some supplements that you can take to boost energy or well being in the short term if you are recovering from illness or going through a stressful period, such as changing jobs or studying for exams. There are some cases where people need to take some supplements, such as the reasons outlined below:

  • As the popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets increases, it’s important to make sure that you are getting balance in your diet as certain food groups such as proteins can be more difficult to get your recommended intake. Vitamin B12 and D are something that you should consider supplementing daily on a vegetarian and vegan diet , as meat, fish and dairy products are typically the main source. Your Allcare pharmacist and team can point you in the right direction with tailored advice.
  • If you are feeling run down with a cold or sore throat, taking vitamin C and zinc are thought to help speed up your recovery by supporting your immune system. For recovery after illness, some people find a tonic such as Fosfor or Metatone helpful, that is made up of amino acids that help to build up protein, growth and repair in the body.
  • At times of stress where people may be prone to mouth ulcers or cracking, taking a B complex vitamin in the short term is thought to help support your metabolism. Taking lysine supplements when you have a cold sore is also thought to help speed up repair, although not everyone will benefit from this.
  • CoQ10 supplements are thought to help boost your body’s metabolism and energy levels. At a higher dose, they are also recommended for some people taking heart medicines such as statins that lower cholesterol, as they are thought to deplete the body’s natural stores of the nutrient.
  • With relation to iron supplements, it’s best to speak to your Allcare pharmacist about what might work best. Typically, (as much as you might dread it) a blood test and GP consultation is needed before starting an iron supplement to make sure that you are treating the right thing that may mask other conditions.
  • Omega 3 supplements and fish oils are thought to help support concentration and brain health, which may help to support busy studying periods.
  • Probiotics can help to regain balance in your body after a course of antibiotics by boosting the good bacteria count that work in your body to produce new nutrients as well as combat against future infections.

Important disclaimers to remember before starting supplements, however, are as follows:

  • Supplements do not substitute the basics of a healthy lifestyle, such as a balanced diet, regular exercise and a good sleep pattern. They should be seen as a support, and your Allcare pharmacist or GP should be consulted before you start to take them in the long term.
  • As a means to support your health, your Allcare pharmacist can offer you a five point health check, where your cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose level and BMI can be measured after a short consultation. These consultations help to screen or manage chronic conditions, and can point you in the right direction with regards to your health.
  • If you are on medication or have any allergies or underlying medical conditions, speak to your Allcare pharmacist before you start taking any supplements. While the natural route to health might be perceived as the safer way, there are some serious interactions that exist with medicines and conditions that need to be ruled out first.

In terms of specific supplements to fit your lifestyle, speak to your Allcare team in store who will be able to advise on the best products available for you. Find your nearest Allcare pharmacy here.