Supplements, Vitamins, and basically paying any attention to my diet whatsoever has been the exact opposite of everything I’ve ever done in my entire life. Growing up, my parents never gave me a multivitamin, nor did they take one themselves. In fact, I’ve taken vitamins only twice in my life. I failed both times. I just cannot take pills regularly (also why I prefer anything but The Pill). It’s not that I’m forgetful, I remember and I’m just a little lazy… or something.
I spent the majority of my middle and high school years exhausted, but what adolescent didn’t? I loved napping (um, I still do.) I would go to school from 8am – 2:30pm, track/cross country practice until 4:00-4:30pm, and then promptly come home to pass out on the couch until 6pm. That was always the time my parents decided to wake me up. Generally, I’d be back to sleep by 11pm and up to do it again the next day. So my Dad told me to take vitamins, but I never remembered and I was convinced they didn’t work anyways.
After about 7-8 months of PT to no avail this past year, PT Chris suggested I take some Vitamin C and D supplements. I think I spent fifteen minutes in the supplement aisle at Wegmans reading the back of each bottle looking for the one that was organic and didn’t have extra “stuff”. It lasted probably about a month before I stopped taking those, too, and I’m not really sure what it did anyways.
Seeing as though I’m struggling through just another little overuse injury without actually overusing, I’m trying to figure out what else I can do and in that, I began researching supplements. Ironically, today I was reading Kris Lawrence’s latest post which touches on minerals and vitamins but not in the format that’s really applicable to me at the moment (hi, I’m barely running 9 miles a week) but it’s definitely worth a read! A lot of what I’m reading is that vegans and vegetarians typically don’t get enough of the vitamins and minerals needed, and I was always like “Hey, that doesn’t apply to me because I’m a meat eater, I get everything I need!” except for the fact that I kind of am a pseudo-vegetarian and I have the worst diet. Ask J, I eat like a grown ass child: pizza, pizza logs, mozzerella sticks, chicken finger subs (the only time I really eat meat), mac and cheese, french bread pizza, pasta with alfredo sauce, coffee, coffee, coffee, bagels with cream cheese. It would not be shocking if I had a full analysis done on my blood and was found to be completely imbalanced. Fruits and vegetables? I like them, I just rarely make time for them in my diet.
I wish I thought about this six months ago while I was still under my parent’s insurance since they covered so much more than my own. I doubt they would go ahead with a blood draw and analysis due to my curiosity because the nurse at my PCP was pretty much like, “Stop running?” last time I went with a complaint about something caused by running, but it would have been worth a shot. Wouldn’t that be something if my injuries could have been at least a little to blame on my diet, rather than my Jeptoo-esque running style? Sigh – wishes upon wishes.
The thing about researching vitamin and mineral intake is there’s opinions pointing you in every which way and without a doctor guiding you in the right direction, you’re kind of SOL. That’s kind of where I’m at right now. I know my body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs because I suck at feeding myself. I hate cooking, I never
have time for it make time for it, groceries are expensive, and I love carbs more than anything. I don’t eat meat often, but then I also don’t eat legumes, leafy greens, or anything I know is good for me. My diet is the opposite of balanced and I think that’s the one consistency in the past 18 months — something isn’t right.
Maybe I shouldn’t “self diagnose” and start taking vitamins and minerals without a doctor recommending them, but honestly, the worst that’s going to happen? My body will rid itself of excess naturally? Probably, unless I go crazy and triple dose myself on everything under the sun (totally unlikely). I have some more research to devote my time to in order for an educated attempt at supplementing and seeing where that takes me. I’ve already started doing something for myself after workouts by taking Vega Sport’s Recovery Accelerator, which I do love but it’s hard to tell what recovery drinks do. It’s better than the nothing I would take before, even during my hard training cycles.
One thing I am certain to start taking again is Vitamin D. I live in Western New York – I go to work in the dark and I come home from work in the dark – I need some Vitamin D. Given that my injury status has been soft tissue, this article in Runner’s World was interesting to me. Out of 32 runners, thirteen got injured during the course of the study, all of which were soft injuries and 77% of those injuries occurred after decreases in Vitamin D. Say what?
This has been a post I’ve been dying to write for a few months now, so I’m glad I finally got the kick in the ass to do so, but I’m more interested in anyone else who stumbles across it. Do you take any vitamin or minerals? Do you pay careful attention to eat a balanced diet? Would you like to cook meals for me every day because I don’t want to do it? Have you noticed any differences before/after taking supplements for an extended period of time? Can you fix my soft tissue injuries for good?