Do You Supplement?
I am often asked by my students and clients if I take any supplements; and if so, which ones. I personally like to eat as healthy as I can; but I also think supplementing my diet with great vitamins and minerals is important. My dad, an M.D., never takes vitamins and yet, he’s still really healthy. He and the rest of my family often make fun of me when I bring my pill case home with me or on vacations! He jokingly tells me I have the most expensive pee of anyone he knows. I take all of this with a grain of salt. Maybe he is right to some extent; but, he also lives in Idaho in the great outdoors and has a lot less exposure to toxins and NYC stress. There are also many studies out there that support certain supplements, so here are my top picks and the ones I take:
1. Fish Oil–high in omega 3 which is an essential component of healthy brain function. Fish oil has been shown to fight depression, help with arthritis pain, lower cholesterol and rejuvenate the skin. I eat a ton of salmon, sardines, walnuts and other foods high in Omega 3; but it’s still a great to get the extra essential fatty acids. My favorite brand is Barleans. It is super fresh, high quality and comes in so many awesome flavors and forms. I love the swirls, they are so good in yogurts, protein shakes, or on their own.
2. Vitamin D–I take one of these every morning. Vitamin D boosts your immune system and for bone health. I like Nature Made chewable Vitamin D3 it makes me happy!
3. Calcium–Along with Vitamin D, Calcium is good for bone health as well. I take a chewable OsCal which also has vitamin D in it 2 times a day, one with lunch and one after dinner. It’s not a good idea to take it in the AM if you are a coffee drinker (I have 1-2 cups every morning) because the caffeine interferes with the absorption.
4. Mulit-Vitamin–I take one at lunch everyday. I vary the brand often, right now I am taking one by New Chapter.
5. Magnesium–before bed for muscle recovery and to help me sleep. Metagenics makes a really quality magnesium but any brand is fine.
6. Evening Primrose or Borage Oil are also great before bed, I often forget to take these, though. Both are good for skin, hair, nails as well as for PMS and other female symptoms related to hormones. Again, I really love Barleans.
I don’t go crazy if I am on a long vacation and leave my little travel case at home. In general I do think if you can follow a healthy diet, exercise and sleep well, you probably don’t need to supplement with much. I am not a doctor or a nutritionist; but this is what I’ve found helps me personally. I’ve experimented with certain healthy supplements (such as the one’s I’ve mentioned) over the years and through all of my research in the fitness industry. I think it’s always smart to be cautious and check with your M.D. if you do have questions. I definitely stay clear of any gimicks or products that promise weight loss or act like they are a magic bullet for anti-aging. Real health comes from within–having a positive outlook, being with friends, family and loved ones, eating well and moving often. There is no supplement or pill that can replace that!
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!