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Caffine & Vitamins
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Caffine & Vitamins

I drink a lot of coffee/tea/soda....is this depleting my vitamins?  

Also, should I take extra vitamins each day?  I spend abt $50 on vitamins a month but I am wondering if I am wasting my money.

Anyone know?
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Avatar_n_tn
the quality of your vitamins is much more important than the quantity of them.  more is NOT necessarily better, and can actually cause you to approach toxicity levels if you're not careful, especially with the fat soluble vits (A,D,E,K).  try a food-sourced vitamin from a company like MegaFoods.  i have never personally used their line, but have researched it enough to understand the company philosophy and i believe they put out a quality product.  many other brands also use food-sourced vitamins, though, so this company is by no means the only one.  it's just the first one that pops into my mind.  their vitamins are all from organic and sustainably farmed products and are in a highly bioavailable form.  the vits you'd get from Centrum are just lab products that aren't as easily absorbed or used in the body.

i dug around a bit and found some sources that indicate a high enough caffeine intake can interfere with absorption of zinc, potassium, magnesium, the B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.  a second source indicated iron and calcium might also be added to this list.

if you're giving your $50 to GNC, chances are you're not spending it very wisely.  a good multivitamin is probably all you need to maintain good health.  if you're getting sucked into buying MSM and glucosamine and shark cartilage, then i believe the 50 dollar pricetag!  it's not that those things are bad, persay, but they aren't completely necessary for an otherwise heatlhy individual.  do you mind detailing what exactly you buy for 50 dollars each month?  i'm curious!

if you're looking for some additional supplements to a multivitamin, i'd go with flax meal or flax oil and an additional calcium supplement.  most multis aren't physically big enough to include all the calcium you need in a day.

and i'm sure it goes without saying, but your best bet is to cut back on all the caffeine-rich drinks you're consuming!  start with the soda and tackle the coffee next.
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Avatar_f_tn
Great information, thanks!  I'll try the MegaFoods brand once I'm out of my regular stuff.  I've seen it at health food stores.  I'm just tired of taking so many vitamins a day and not really feeling any different.  

I don't like the GNC stores because they are always trying to get me to buy the shark cartilage, MSM and other stuff.  Expensive and I don't really know what it will do for me anyway.  

Here's what I am taking daily:

Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega (fish oils - EPA & DHA)  - 2 soft gels - this stuff is very expensive b/c it's pharmaceutical grade
365 (Whole Foods brand) Adult Multi (iron free)  - 1 tablet
Solgar Vitamin D3 - 1000 IU w/Vit A  - 1 Soft gel
CVS Vit C 1000 mg w/rose hips - 1 tablet
CVS Folic Acid 400 mcg - 1 tablet
CVS Natural Beta Carotene 15 mg - 1 soft gel

And I have abt 4 cups of coffee a day.  I love the taste of coffee but am immune to the caffine.  I can have espresso right before bed and still sleep pretty good though I might have some weird dreams.




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Avatar_n_tn
haha, you're not immune!  your epinepherine receptor site production has just increased to the point where caffeine no longer has a noticeable effect on you.  if you stop coffee or cut it drastically down, you WILL feel the effects then!    (God help you if/when you do, cause you'll have the biggest withdrawl (withdrawal) headache of your life!)

you're taking a lot of stuff, that's for sure - but it's not bad, persay.  at the same time, i see no need for the extra vit C, vit D/A the beta carotene and the folic acid (unless you're trying for a baby, in which case you should make sure you're taking a total of at least 800 mcg of folic acid a day).  the whole foods brand of multi is much better than other brands you could buy, so you're not that far off, actually!   what are the levels of all of the extra supplements in your current multi, and why did you choose to specifically enhance the intake of these particular ones?

the fish oil is great - it falls under the same umbrella as the flax oil/meal i had suggested... all those omega fatty acids are great for your body!  if you want to stay on the fish oil i think that's a great idea, actually!

why do you go with an iron-free multi?  has your Hemoglobin or Hematocrit been tested recently?  are you worried about over-intaking the iron?  most multis won't add too much, but for women especially it's important to keep your iron intake adequate enough.
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Avatar_f_tn
I tried to get off caffine but got the worst migrane (migraine) that lasted a week!  I had to start drinking it again just to feel normal.  I must be addicted.
Do you know a good way to get off the caffine?  It's a bad vice I admit but I just love the stuff....more than wine even....

I'm taking the extra stuff to help my skin and prevent aging???  I am almost 50.  I heard D was good for preventing cancer too.  A is good for the skin and folic acid is good for preventing cancer.  I used to smoke so am a little paranoid of getting sick.

I take the iron-free multi because I am menapausal so don't get a period.  I had heard that the iron could "build up" and cause problems.  I do eat red meat a couple times a week plus a bunch of vegetables (broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, leafy lettuce).
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Avatar_n_tn
take it slowly.  do 3 cups a day for a full week, then 2 cups a day for the next week, then 1 cup a day for the following week, and then a cup every other day.... then once a week.... then none :)

physically speaking, your body has adapted to the presence of high levels of caffeine by increasing your epinepherine neurotransmitter receptor sites in your brain, so it will take awhile for the levels to go back down in response to your slowly depleting stream of caffeine on a daily basis.  if you go cold turkey you'll get that splitting headache like i described above (and which you mentioned also!)

so take it slowly.  take a month or so to wean yourself off entirely if you're trying to do it as pain-free as possible.  or...  go cold turkey and lay in a dark cool room until the pain goes away :)

i think your general "health improving" reasons for taking all these extra supplements aren't convincing enough to warrant the crazy pill popping you're doing!  stick with the multi and the fish or flax oil and you should be fine.

the longer you have been smoke-free, the healthier and cleaner your body will be.

for all these good benefits, eat a clean and lean diet full of fresh foods and wholesome ingredients that are minimally processed and organic whenever possible.  that alone will do much more for you and your health than an isolated vit E capsule :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I am going to do the caffine withdrawal you suggested.  I fear that I am addicted to it way too much.  Yes, when I tried to go off it the first time, my head was ready to explode - literally.

I think that once my vitamins run out, I'll just stick to one good multi and the fish oil and then eat good, unprocessed food.  Thank you for all your helpful advice!!  I am so glad you answered my post!!!!  Hope you have a great 4th!
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Avatar_n_tn
I drink a cup of coffee on my way to work everyday.  But I read somewhere that you need to wait atleast an hour to two hours to take any type of vitamins so they get absorbed better.  So I try to take my multivitamin and then some about an hour and a half to two hours after I'm at work.  Also, I drink two cups of green tea in the afternoon and another 2 at night.  Here's the thing though.  I take a multivitamin (One Source Multivitamin w/ Lutein, Lycopene, and CoEQ) and 7 other things: 1200mg Calcium w/ vit. D, 500mg Vitamin C, 1200mg Fish Oil, 50 mg Zinc, 400 IU Vitamin E, 1000mg Garlic, and B-Complex. I have read numerous articles about how the tea is good for you because of the antioxidants.  And I recently came across an article about coffee containing a ton of antioxidants.  But, I've never heard of that before.  I work out on a regular basis (every other day) doing weight lifting so I know the antioxidants help with soreness and the free radicals in the body.  What should I do about the vitamins in the morning?  Can I take them all during lunch?
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Avatar_n_tn
you're overdoing it with your vitamins.  you really don't need the B-complex, the zinc or the vit E.  in fact, you really want to be careful with the heavy metals and the fat-soluble vitamins (read: zinc and vit E) because they are not as easily excreted from the body and shouldn't be supplemented too much.  the fish oil is a great supplement if you're getting it from a quality company.  the vit C is... ehh..  not all that necessary, as your body can't absorb mega-doses of it like you're trying to put inside yourself.  the garlic... you can take or leave it.  it's not bad, but it's also not vital.

as for your tea...  why 4 cups a day?  that seems excessive to me.
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Avatar_n_tn
Antioxidants is the main reason for the tea.  I'm taking the vitamin E because the fish oil supposedly depletes the vitamin E in the body.  Equilibrium I guess would be a good way to explain it. Do you recommend the zinc every other day? or just not at all? Is it alright to take all the vitamins at once, or should I spread them out throughout the day and take them with different meals?
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Avatar_n_tn
the A C and E you're already taking are also antioxidants.  like i said before, i think it's just too much.  i don't take issue with tea at all.... but 4 cups a day is completely unnecessary, especially if you're drinking caffeinated teas.

you want to take your calcium separately from your multi and especially separately from your vitamin C.  C and calcium can bind with eachother in the digestive tract and limit eachothers' absorption to some degree.

i take zinc when i feel i need it...  i.e. when i feel my immune system taking a nosedive.  definitely don't take it every day.  take it like you'd take medicine.. when symptoms arise.

you don't need the extra E.  i have never heard that fish oil depletes the E in your body, though there may be a study out there that says that.  you're already getting E in your multivit, so don't OD on it.

if you place more of a focus on eating well and keeping your live sources of vitamins and minerals high (produce, grains, lowfat dairy, lean meats, etc) you should be just fine.  a handful of pills popped each morning is definitely NOT the answer to optimal health, i can tell you that!
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