BIG Nutrition: Staying on track in 2019—Should you add a vitamin-mineral supplement to your routine?


BIG Nutrition: Staying on track in 2019—Should you add a vitamin-mineral supplement to your routine?

Maybe. If your intake includes an abundance and wide variety of nutrient dense foods, then supplements aren’t needed. Especially since supplements generally only contain micronutrients known to be necessary for life. The additional constituents in food (eg, antioxidants, many types of fiber) that are associated with health are generally not included in vitamin and mineral supplements. Yet, if you decide to add a vitamin and mineral supplement to your intake:

  • Choose a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement.
  • Select a supplement with ~100% of the recommended daily value (DV). More is not necessarily better and for some vitamins and minerals, amounts many times more than the amount recommended daily can be harmful.
  • Requirements vary by age and sex among other factors including activity level, so choose vitamins and minerals that provide information who the vitamin is intended for (sex and age group). Women of childbearing age, children, and men all have different vitamin and mineral needs with considerations for health and illness.

Keep vitamins and minerals safe:

Vitamin and mineral supplements can be dangerous in excess for children. Since many come as gummies or sweetened, they look like candy to children. Iron containing supplements are one potential source of poisoning in children given the ease of access at home.

Three organizations independently test vitamins and minerals:

They certify the vitamins and mineral contain the contents listed and in the quantities on the label and ensure freedom from contaminants (eg., microorganisms, heavy metals).

  • USP (US Pharmacopeia)
  • NSF International including a special NSF Certified for Sport app (free)
  • Consumer Lab

Sorting out whether to take a vitamin or mineral supplement can raise questions, so feel free to contact me to evaluate if one is recommended for you!

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

Need help with what to eating to support WODs 5-6 day/week? Contact me at [email protected]. Private Nutrition Services are available for BIG Members (@ 30% discount) and the Community. They are listed here.