Maybe you don’t see every new supplement as a shiny new toy like I do, but there’s no doubt that the wellness world is confusing AF. Between probiotics, collagen, vitamins, and countless brands with pretty packaging, it seems like a new brand or supplement comes out every day that many of us feel like we need to achieve optimal health. It’s like every wellness influencer and doctor swears by a different vitamin that I believe in my heart will finally be the secret to healing all of my symptoms, getting radiant skin, or giving me more energy. The end result? A lot of money spent on smoothie add-ins and bottles of pills, and a whole lot of confusion over what our bodies actually need.
For the betterment of humanity (and I’ll be honest, for selfish reasons), I interviewed 15 practitioners, trainers, educators, and all-around wellness advocates on the supplements they take, in an attempt to demystify the supplement world once and for all and find the best supplements. FYI, this advice is not meant to further confuse you and make you spend $$$ in a desperate attempt for perfect health. Instead, it’s to show that everyone is different and needs different things–including wellness experts.
If you’re interested in upgrading your supplement routine (me, always), this article is intended to spark inspiration, help you identify what your body needs, and then talk to your doctor about some options that might be right for you.
1. Berrion Berry, Period Educator, Practitioner, and Founder of The Flo Academy
“When it comes to supplements, I’m very specific because optimum hormone health is a must for me. Every day, I take a menstrual multivitamin called Ovamoon. It has a lot of micronutrients and vitamins like B vitamins for energy, chromium to boost mood, taurine for estrogen metabolism, and papaya enzymes to support digestion. When I’m on my period, I take Semaine, a plant-based period pain relief, and it truly works wonders for me. It contains ingredients like Boswellia for anti-inflammation, silymarin to support the liver and reduce bloating, and quercetin to help lessen cramps. I love to keep my vitamin and supplement situation simple and uncomplicated.”
2. Danielle Duboise, Cofounder of Sakara and Author of Eat Clean, Play Dirty
“I’m eight months pregnant, so I take The Foundation: Prenatal every single day. It was created because we struggled to find a prenatal that met our high standards for purity and potency. It’s plant-based and specifically formulated for optimal health throughout the stages of pregnancy and motherhood with choline, chlorella, folate, iron, and omega-3. As a busy mom, I know there are days when I won’t be able to get in all my greens and essential nutrients, so it gives me such peace of mind that my baby and I will be supported.”
3. Les Alfred, Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach, and Host of the Balanced Black Girl Podcast
“I keep my supplement routine pretty simple and vary what I take depending on my needs. On a typical day, I take a women’s multivitamin, a probiotic, and an adaptogen blend in my morning coffee or tea. The week before my period, I take a B-vitamin supplement and magnesium.”
4. Dr. Mona Vand, Pharmacist and Digital Creator
“I personally think supplements and multivitamins are often overused. Instead, I always recommend a micronutrient panel (which is a much more comprehensive blood work panel than a regular CBC) to see what you’re deficient in, and then individually add whatever you have low levels of. Here’s what I take based on my needs:
- CoQ10: This is a great one for anyone! It supports heart health, overall antioxidant function, and enhances fertility. It hits a broad range of benefits that make it a no-brainer.
- Iron: I take an iron supplement because I tend to run low on iron and ferritin, which is your body’s storage of iron. Low iron can be common in vegans and vegetarians, so I suggest getting a comprehensive micronutrient panel to check your levels and then supplementing if needed.
- Vitamin D: I like a vitamin D supplement because many people are deficient in it. Personally, I avoid sun exposure at all costs (no thank you hyperpigmentation, melanoma, and premature wrinkles!), which means I’m missing out on the natural source of vitamin D, so supplementing is helpful.
- In terms of natural powders/supplements that I like to add into smoothies, my favorites are spirulina, chlorophyll, and high-quality collagen (Bulletproof is an incredible high-quality brand).”
5. Valerie Agyeman, RD, Women’s Health Dietitian, and Founder of Flourish Heights
“I take vitamin D regularly. As a result of blood work, I found that I was vitamin-D deficient and was prescribed vitamin D. Now, I keep up with labs to make sure I am within the normal range for my body. Vitamin D plays a big role in women’s health, from immune support to mood regulation, so it’s something I make sure to keep up. It’s important to obtain nutrients from food first, but taking a multivitamin regularly helps me fill those nutritional gaps, especially for moments where my eating pattern is all over the place, because… life. Also, I’ve been taking magnesium regularly for the past year, and it’s helped with stress and sleep, along with other things. ”
6. Sahara Rose, Ayurvedic Practitioner, Best-Selling Author, and Host of The Higher Self Podcast
“As an Ayurvedic Author and Practitioner, I love to take Ayurvedic herbs that come from whole plant ingredients and work with the entire system of the body. My favorite brand is Banyan Botanicals. One I’ve been taking every day is their Adrenal Nourish, which is incredible for balancing adrenal fatigue. I also practice breathwork, dance, and meditation to bring my body into balance.”
7. Amanda Kloots, Professional Dancer, Celebrity Trainer, and Instructor at Studio B
“I love Bite Gummies right now! I take three different gummies every day: Baby Face, a youth-boosting gummy with superfood ingredients like silica, acai, omegas, and collagen; C-Food for skin-nourishing greens like sea moss, kale, kiwi, aloe, papaya, and spirulina; and Lighten Up, which is an antioxidant powerhouse with ingredients like apple cider vinegar, pomegranate, beetroot, and B vitamins.”
8. Erika Polsinelli, Kundalini Breathwork Healer and Founder of Evolve By Erika
“First and foremost, I believe so much of our minerals and nutrients should come in its truest form: fruits and vegetables. As it gets colder outside, I love drinking green juices first thing in the morning to get extra nutrients in, and I add ginger to my water to help boost immunity. I also take zinc and vitamin D, which also help to boost immunity. Vitamin D is also said to help combat depression, which helps in the colder winter months. Probiotics are also essential in my routine.”
9. Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Expert and Author
“I’m currently taking zinc, magnesium, curcumin, vitamin-D, and using CBD topically to support my system during a time of stress.”
10. Lo Bosworth, Founder and CEO of Love Wellness
“I always start my day with the Daily Love Multivitamin, Good Girl Probiotics, and Perfect Condition Vitamin. These three are the baseline to not only my nutritional needs, but they are also helping to keep my gut health in check. I’m also a huge fan of Bye Bye Bloat, a Love Wellness fan-favorite. Anytime that I’m feeling a bit bloated, it really does the trick (especially around the holidays!).”
11. Chevy Laurent, Fitness Instructor and Founder of RydeFYR
“I regularly drink the Tone It Up Protein Powder, but in the last several weeks, I’ve started to use the new Gummy Vitamins. I like the multivitamin specifically formulated for women and the ACV gummy, but my favorite is the Vitamin C immunity support gummy. I love how these products are made by women that I know, love, and trust. I’m committed to taking them regularly because it’s so important to focus on doing everything you can to improve your overall health, especially during these crazy 2020 times.”
12. Serena Poon, CN, CHC, CHN, Leading Chef, Nutritionist, and Reiki Master
“I’m a huge proponent of eating a rainbow of whole foods to get your most bioavailable source of vitamins, minerals, and core nutrients. However, I am just as enthusiastic about including high-quality supplements to give added support and balance to the body. I am ritualistic about taking certain vitamins because of the many years of experience I have with my own body and working with clients. After my daily warm lemon water, I start with a liquid elixir that is a blend of mushroom tinctures, apple cider vinegar, whole leaf aloe, herbal immunity blend, and colloidal silver. I follow that with a Just Add Water, which is a superfood blend. Throughout the day, I take a variety of supplements and vitamins, including a probiotic, nootropic brain support blend, L-Lysine, zinc, evening primrose oil, turmeric (Elixinol), cranberry, and magnesium glycinate (before bed).”
13. Ariel Belgrave, Health & Fitness Coach and Creator of The L.E.A.N. Method
14. Alana Kessler, MS, RD, Founder of Be Well by AK
“I take vitamin D and K for anti-inflammation, heart health, and bone health; Glutamine for gut integrity; milk thistle (glutathione) for detox support, magnesium for neuromuscular support; and a B-complex for hormone health, cellular metabolism, and energy.”
15. Jasmine Marie, Breathworker and Founder of black girls breathing
“As I navigate being a founder, space maker, and human during a collectively hard time, the most reliable supplement for me has been magnesium. I take it orally and absorb it through my skin by adding epsom salts to baths. I can tell a difference in my cycles, energy levels, and overall body when I take it. A hot and piping peppermint tea is also a favorite in the colder months during the evenings or when I’m reading, and I drink it iced during the summer months when I’m trying to limit coffee.”
Please consult a doctor before beginning any treatments. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.