When it comes to your fitness routine and your diet, there’s something to be said for playing the field—like, doing a different workout every day to challenge different muscle groups, or hitting up new farmers’ market stands each week to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients. But does the same go for your supplement regime?
The short answer: It depends. If you’re taking vitamins or minerals based on medical advice and are feeling healthy and happy, there’s no reason not to stay committed. Vitamins don’t become less effective over time. That said, there are certain scenarios in which it could be beneficial to replace, drop, or add a nutrient into your rotation. (Just make sure to check with your doctor first, since supplements can interact with one another—in nutrition, as in dating, it pays to be strategic.)
Is your supplement shelf due for a makeover? Here’s how to tell.
The seasons are shifting—or you’re moving to a whole new climate
According to Craig Elbert, co-founder and CEO of supplement brand Care/of, there’s no specific rule for when you should reassess your supplement arsenal. “Everyone is unique; there is no universal frequency,” he proclaims. “That said, we like to talk internally about making adjustments for the micro-adaptations and macro-adaptations of our lives.”
Micro-adaptations, he explains, are seasonal adjustments that tend to be cyclical or temporary in nature. Macro-adaptations are made in connection with lasting lifestyle and life-stage changes, such as moving from the rainy Northwest to the blazing-hot desert.
For instance, if it’s winter or you’re not getting as much sun as you’re used to, you may need some additional vitamin D or more energy support from supplements like B12 or functional mushrooms—all of which you may be able to phase out in the warmer months, when you’re exposed to more daylight.
Spring and fall, on the other hand, are prime times for supporting the immune system. “Elderberry is one great example [of a supplement for cold-prevention]—it’s an herbal product that has been used in traditional medicine, and has really powerful benefits for immunity,” says Elbert.
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