As a vegan, you may often hear how easy it is to become deficient in certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. While that is not entirely true, it’s still important to keep all of those factors balanced to live a healthy life.
Keep in mind, this is MY vitamin/supplement regimen. I am not a professional and I advise you to not take this article as professional suggestions. I just want to share what I take and my favorite brands that I always use.
I suggest going to your doctor to get a blood test to check your vitamin, mineral, and hormone levels so you know what is best for you! I also suggest that you aim to consume most vitamins and minerals from a healthy diet! Food is nature’s medicine you know!!
Multivitamin – Ritual
How often: Daily
Why: Ritual vitamins contain 9 essential ingredients that many women do not get enough of; Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, Vitamin B12,
Boron, Iron, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Folate, and Omega-3. Check out their website for a description on the importance of each ingredient!
All of their ingredients are vegan, they have the coolest looking pill I’ve ever seen, and they’re delivered right to your door every month.
Vitamin C – Doctor’s Best or Solaray
How often: Half a pill every other day or one pill every other day (depending on concentration)
Why: To boost my immune system of course! Also, the body tends to use larger amounts of vitamin C when under stress (like working out for example), which is why it’s important to ensure that you’re getting enough. I used to take Vitamin C daily, however I started to notice I would get an upset stomach. After some research I found that vitamin C can cause this, which is why I decreased to half a pill every other day.
There are MANY brands that are great quality. I typically first go by price (and if they’re vegan) and then I’ll research them. I look for the vitamins with the best reviews across multiple websites, which is why sometimes I’ll change up the brand!
If I start to feel a sore throat or if I’m traveling, I’ll drink Emergen-C for a few days straight!
Probiotic – Zenwise Health Daily Digestive Enzyme
How often: Daily
Why: Probiotics contain “good” bacteria that will help keep your gut healthy. If you’ve ever been prescribed strong antibiotics, the doctor should also recommend you purchase a probiotic to prevent diarrhea. Probiotics are also known to help with digestive issues. I’ve been taking Zenwise for months now and I think they’re the best. I used to take Renew Life Ultimate Flora which is also a good option because they also promote vaginal and urine health!
If you don’t want to take a pill try Good Belly! It comes in the cutest packaging and tastes great!
Vitamin D – Doctor’s Best or Natural Factors
How often: Once per week (Take daily if not enough is in your multivitamin)
Why: Vitamin D is probably one of the main vitamins women should take. I am actually severely deficient in vitamin D (as many women are). The sun does provide natural vitamin D but it may not be enough, especially if you’re not getting outside enough. Vitamin D strengthens and protects our bones, ultimately to prevent osteoporosis.
The Ritual vitamins have 2000 IU of Vitamin D3, which is a sufficient amount per day, which is why I only take this once a week for an extra burst!
Vitamin B-12 – Doctor’s Best
How often: Once per week
Why: As a vegan, it’s easy to become deficient in Vitamin B12 because we don’t eat foods containing it (meat, eggs, milk). Lack of B12 can lead to nervous system damage or anemia. The good news is that we don’t need to consume a lot, just a few micrograms are sufficient and my Ritual multivitamins have enough. So, similar to the Vitamin D, I only take this once a week for a boost!
Protein powder – I like Orgain Organic Protein and MRM Veggie Elite Performance Protein (most protein powders disgust me after a few drinks, these are the only 2 I recommend)
How often: It varies (I usually just take it occasionally, sometimes consistently)
Why: I think I may need to write a whole different post on protein consumption, but I’ll sum up my thoughts here in the mean time. In the “bodybuilding world” it’s preached that we should be consuming at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, if not more. I even fell for this for awhile, but I don’t believe that is necessary. While protein is a necessary nutrient, we can get enough by consuming a whole food, plant based diet, meaning A PROTEIN SUPPLEMENT IS NOT NECESSARY.
I also would like to point out that I have gained the most muscle, lifted the heaviest weight, and looked the best AS A VEGAN WITHOUT CONSISTENT PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS. I have never consumed protein powder consistently for longer than a month. Occasionally, I will mix up a shake after an intense leg day or if I’m in the mood to drink one!
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) – PEScience
How often: It varies (I should drink them daily though!)
Why: BCAAs reduce muscle soreness and produce muscle and energy while exercising. There are many more benefits to drinking BCAAs and I think this is one of the only supplements you should consistently consume. However, I am not as consistent with drinking them as I would like to be!
Red Maca Powder – The Maca Team
How often: It varies (usually with my protein powder)
Why: Maca powder has multiple benefits including increased energy, increased stamina, improved libido/sexual function, reducing depression, anxiety, and stress, regulating hormones, enhanced memory and focus, skin improvements, and the list goes on and ON! If you want to read more benefits check out The Maca Team website, they even have a survey to help you determine which type of Maca is best for you.
So there you have it! All the vitamins and supplements I take to try and achieve the healthiest body I can! Honestly, keep it simple and find supplements that offer the most bang for the buck. Taking 100 pills per day is not ideal nor necessary!