Let me start by saying this: I am Not Good at taking supplements. And that’s despite being fully away of their benefits. I’m not always terrible – my supplmenting fluctuates throughout the year. Here’s how it usually goes: I attend a product launch with clear clinical studies documenting the exact results I’m reaching for. I go home, dust off my various boxes of pills, and go to town. That day (and maybe even the next), I boost my levels of Hyaluronic Acid, collagen, allllll the vitamins A thru Z. But my sporadic peaks of internal wellness boil down to inconsistent punctuation within months of total inactivity. The boxes are returned to their nicely organised box, stashed in a cupboard, and promptly forgotten about. But why? My best guess is the sheer over-exposure to options, which makes any effort pale. So I thought I’d simplify things. Incase, like mine, your home is the place that well-intentioned supplement packets go to die.
A reasonably self-explanatory category. These hard-workers support your day-to-day essential functions.
Vitamin A – Bolsters the immune system, aids vision, and fights free-radicals.
Vitamin B – The energy one. Vitamin B has all manner of sub-sections, but for the purpose of keeping things simple lets surmise that vit B is widely responsible for allowing the body to extract energy from food.
Vitamin C – Another antioxidant, vit C is responsible for healthy skin, blood vessels, bones and cartilage.
Vitamin D – Reduces inflammation, controls infection, and keeps bones, teeth and muscles healthy. Ideally we’d get this from the sun, but a combination of cloudy climate and responsible SPF use means most of us are running empty.
Calcium – You’ll probably remember pictures of milk and cartoon skeletons next to this in primary school text books. It holds true. Calcium is the main man in building and maintaining strong bones, teeth and muscles. It also helps the body absorb vitamin D so it’s useful to take them in combo. Bloom Hair is a great one for this.
The beauty supps
I deleted and re-wrote this heading about 17 times before conceding, because to limit this particular category of supplements to aesthetics seems almost condescending. So as full disclosure, these guys aren’t just for the bits of you that you see – they support internal workings, too. For example, collagen is an essential component of muscles, etc etc. But now that we’ve got that out the way, here we go…
Collagen – After the age of around 20, the amount of collagen that your body produces begins to decline, meaning there is less cushioning within the skin to plump it out, which is why we start to notice loss of volume and the beginnings of fine lines and wrinkles. Although there are many topical solutions for this (serums, oils and creams), they cannot penetrate fully through the epidermis, which means a supplement that stimulates your body’s own collagen production is essential for maintaining younger-looking skin. Try Gold Collagen if you’re into a liquid supplement, or my favourite in capsule form are HUM Collagen Love and Evolution_18 Beauty Glow
Omega 3 & 6 – These essential fatty acids help regulate oil production, and dramatically improve hydration, which basically allows the skin to function as it should – i.e. as a barrier, locking in moisture and keeping out external irritants and aggressors. Minami wrote the book on Omegas – shop their range here.
Hyaluronic Acid – You’ll have heard all about HA before. It’s the beauty buzz word that’s launched itself into mainstream consumer brands over the past decade or so, and for good reason: one HA molecule can hold up 1000 times its own weight in water, meaning it is super, SUPER hydrating. Used in supplements, HA helps improve skin’s moisture levels (obv), and flexibility. Try Advanced Nutrition Programme Skin Moisture Lock.
The sleep supps
Note: these won’t knock you out in the way that prescribed or over-the-counter sleep aids will. This is a longer-term strategy to support your own natural circadian rhythm.
Magnesium – A little relaxation ninja, magnesium activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is a network of nerves responsible for relaxation your body after periods of stress. I love Nature’s Truth Levagen+.
Glycine – Lesser known Glycine is an amino acid that plays a plethora of roles in the body. Recent studies suggest it also has a calming effect on the brain and body, lowering core temperature and therefore helping you both fall asleep and stay asleep.
L-Theanine -Perhaps best known for it’s anxiety-relief properties, L-Theanine can also help sleep by soothing the central nervous system as it increases serotonin levels.
Of course, it’s actually quite rare to encounter a supplement that does just one job – most boast combinations of benefits. Like Innopure Irish Seas Moss & Bladderwrack, which squeezes support for joint & bone health, digestive health, energy, and hormonal health all into a one-per-day capsule. Which is helpful, because if you took one of every single ingredient you’d probably rattle…. (not really but y’kno..)
If you are taking multiple supplements, a handy way to stay on top of them is Khila Life’s Pod System. The aesthetically pleasing 7-day stacking pods are perfect for staying organised on-the-go.