Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I am horrible at taking my vitamins. It has been brought to my attention lately that I really need to start taking them regularly.

For one, I need the calcium. I don't like a lot of dairy, so if I don't want to be afflicted with osteoporosis when I'm older, I better get on the Calcium + Vitamin D supplements. I would hate to reach age 60 and realize that my life would have been so much easier had I just taken those damn vitamins when I was younger, you know?

Secondly, I need folic acid. If for nothing else, just for the sake of my future babies. Spina bifida? Not good. Again, I hate to think of possibly having a baby with a birth defect and knowing that I could have done something to prevent it. My doctor says that all women who are of child-bearing age should make sure to have enough folic acid. (Yes, even if you aren't planning on having a baby anytime soon. And yes, even if you're on birth control.)

Third, I need iron. I'm not anemic, but I have skated along the line between normal and low iron for a while now. Whenever I donate blood, it's always a crapshoot at whether or not I'm going to pass the iron test. I haven't been rejected in a while, but I certainly have been in the past.

And then there's like the other 20 essential vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be good for me. I suppose it wouldn't hurt for me to get more of those, either.

What's my problem? Well, the problem is that I hate taking vitamins.

Let's talk about the normal, everyday vitamin tablets. A typical multivitamin, or a typical calcium supplement. COULD THEY MAKE THOSE THINGS ANY BIGGER? I mean, seriously. I manage to choke one of those puppies down and I swear I can feel it stuck in my esophagus for the entire damn day. Not to mention the havoc they can sometimes cause on my stomach. The nausea, it's sickening.

So one day, someone mentioned, "Hey Heather, did you know you can take Flintstones vitamins, just like you did when you were a kid? They have pretty much all of the essential vitamins and minerals, even for adults!" This excited me. Add to this the excitement at finding chocolate and caramel calcium chews, and I thought I had solved my problem.

WRONG. You see, Flintstones? It turns out that they're not so tasty. In fact, after a week or two of taking them, I could no longer stomach the purple ones. The pink ones became inedible almost as quickly. Finally, even the orange ones began to send shivers down my spine.

And the calcium chews? Same thing, except worse. They need to be taken TWICE a day. And um, well... after the honeymoon period--"Wow, this almost tastes like candy!"--was over, they actually started making me gag. Yes, GAG!

To summarize: I can't handle the adult vitamins. I can't stomach the baby vitamins. This has led me to only one possible conclusion.


(I hope my little friend Will does not mind me borrowing his signature phrase.)

So what's a girl to do? I decided last night that I think I just need to find the right vitamins. I mean, they must make them smaller, right? RIGHT? I'd rather take like 10 different small pills a day than have to choke down two of those horse pills.

Does anyone else suffer from the same aversion to vitamins? More importantly, does anyone have any suggestions on how to move past this? (Types of vitamins, certain brands, anything?) My future bones, my future children, and my blood will all be tremendously grateful, I assure you. Help?

Oh, and just in case there are people out there who don't know where my post title comes from (ohmygodnoitcan'tbetrue), I leave you with this hilariousness:

[1 year ago: Gentlemen!]


Blablover5 March 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

Just be careful in what vitamins you select. A lot out on the market are far beyond the Daily Recommendation with the stupid assumption that more equals better and you can overdose. While it is very difficult to OD on water soluble vitamins it can happen rather easily with lipid soluble.

Vitamins are not regulated by the FDA so it's a crap shoot a lot of the time. There's a good chance what they claim is in there isn't really.

Kristin and Tim March 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

I feel the same way. Even the smell of the adult vitamins turns me off. And my brother and I split half a bottom of the Flintstones ones when I was five and they've disgusted me ever since. When I was in Weight Watchers, though, my leader said one of the chewable vitamins gives you all the vital nutrients and vitamins you need from a multivitamin - so I take the gummy kind :-) They. Are. Like. Candy. And not chalky candy. It's the only way I can get my husband to take daily multi-vitamins, too.

Michelle March 4, 2009 at 12:06 PM  

The folic acid vitamins I take are teeny tiny. Smaller than a pea and really flat.

I recently purchased gummy multi-vitamins for my husband. Yes, they are shaped like gummy bears. They come in an adult formula to ensure you get the right amount of each vitamin. I got them at Target.

Anonymous,  March 4, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

I can't take those regular multivitamins either! I'm glad to hear I'm not alone. They are so hard to swallow, and they give me insane nausea. The smell is terrible, too. I'm really wanting to take something though, so I'll have to tune back in to other readers' comments to see their suggestions. The gummy kind might be a good option; I haven't tried them yet.


Natalie March 4, 2009 at 12:12 PM  

Low grade multi-vitamins will make you sick to your stomach if you take them on an empty stomach. I learned that the hard way. Just an FYI.

If you go to a multi-vitamin store they will be able to help you further.

Amy March 4, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

Have you tried gummi vitamins? I take those and they are YUMMY!

Anonymous,  March 4, 2009 at 12:50 PM  

I take the Target pre-natal vitamins myself. They are big, but not as big as a lot of the other ones I have seen. The first couple of days I was like ugh, but after that they are easy to swallow. I take one every morning after I eat breakfast.


Chelsey March 4, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

I take a Finest brand pre-natal complete, got them at Walgreens. They are big, but really no bigger than like a Tylenol Gelcap. I take them with dinner and have not had any stomach issues.

My sister keeps the gummies at her house for my nieces and everytime I'm over there I eat like 5 because they are that good! I haven't looked at the contents though, I doubt they have the folic acid you need. Maybe take one a couple of those a day plus a separate folic acid supplement...?

Heather March 4, 2009 at 1:27 PM  

I have not tried the gummi vitamins. I just never thought they would be good, plus aren't they pretty expensive? At this point, though, I'm less concerned about cost and more concerned about just actually taking the damn things.

I would still probably have to take an extra calcium supplement and folic acid. Like Michelle said, the folic acid tablets are tiny, so I'm not worried about those, but I have yet to find a calcium tablet that is not ENORMOUS.

Heather March 4, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

Annnnd I have no idea why I just spelled gummy with an "i." WHOOPS!

jennrs March 4, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

Have you considered visiting with a herbalist/ holistic medicine provider? I just made an appointment with one to talk about what vitamins I should be on, my diet and exercise, and just general health. I've heard great things about herbalist and holistic care providers.

Jamie March 4, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

Check out Deva brand vitamins, I purchase them from Amazon:

I think it's hard to judge if they are "working" or not, since it's such an unregulated industry, but i actually feel good purchasing products made by Deva. I can't say the same for most of the mainstream companies!

Also, please note that calcium comes from so many other and better sources than dairy (broccoli, leafy greens, Blackstrap molasses, fortified soy products, almonds, etc).

The Long Haul March 4, 2009 at 4:42 PM  

I guess I'm no help- I love the Flintstone's vitamins!

The Jesse March 4, 2009 at 6:19 PM  

centrium has a chewable vitamin. its orange flavored. thats what i take. they dont taste bad at all, but dont chew one right before or right after brushing your teeth!

Anonymous,  March 4, 2009 at 7:09 PM  

Hey there! I HATE vitamins...two babies later and I still refuse to take my prenatals. They make me soo sick. Centrum isnt too bad, but they sre still kind of big. I just wanted to mention TUMS. I dont know if you use them for heartburn (they dont really work for me becaue I have heart burn soo bad) but they are a great source of calcium and the tropical fruit flavors arent that bad. But NOT the berry ones! I just thought if you could handle taking a couple of those a day, that would help with your calcium. My mom is actually is early menopause and thats what our doctor suggested!

Laura March 4, 2009 at 9:06 PM  

when i was a child, i misstook flinstone vitamins for candy and consumed an entire bottle. from that point on, i have had a strange relationship with vitamins.

at this point, i just suck it up and take my daily vitamin. i also have to take 2 fish oil pills a day, which are gross. be thankful you don't have to take those!

good luck finding a vitamin substitute!

Sarah March 4, 2009 at 9:42 PM  

Oh, you sound just like me - I HATE taking vitamins!!! I get the woman's multivitamin from GNC, and they are huge (and they smell horrible to make it even worse!). I can't choke down vitamins with water - it has to be juice or pop. Water + Multivitamin = Bad. I also take a fish oil pill, and those are 100 times worse. I think I may have to try some of those gummy vitamins now!

Cara,  March 4, 2009 at 10:20 PM  

As for vitamins, I'm no help because I don't mind the Flinstones. I've also heard the gummy ones are better than the regular kind.

Several cereals contain 100% of your daily amount of folic acid. So, if you like cereal, you can get it that way.


Amanda March 4, 2009 at 10:58 PM  

There was a doctor report a few months ago in a magazine that you can take two of the Flintstones (gummy or chewable) for the same amount of nutrients in the horse pill style prenatals. I personally use Viactiv Chocolate chews and eat one with a glass of milk.

Heather March 4, 2009 at 11:11 PM  

I feel horrible for all of you who take the fish oil pills. Michael's uncle has heart issues so he takes them, and I have vivid memories of him telling us once that he constantly burps them up all day. And, yeah... all he tastes is FISH. So disgusting, it makes me gag just thinking about it.

Cara-- I actually was aware of the folic acid in cereal. But, my doctor recently informed me that if you eat a diet high in fiber, a lot of the folic acid you intake does not get absorbed. Sucks because the cereal that I eat is all very high in fiber!

I am hoping to figure out a good vitamin "cocktail" within the next few days. I'll be sure to post back about what I'm taking, so those who are struggling with vitamins themselves can maybe get a few ideas. :)

Anonymous,  March 5, 2009 at 6:39 AM  

I tried the women's one a day and it made me SO sick, but I tried the pre-natals (in an attempt to get my hair and nails nice for my wedding) and they have worked out great. And I talked to my PCP and she said, if those are what works for you, go for it.

Becky D. March 5, 2009 at 11:35 AM  

I used to take my multi-vitamin and calcium in the morning after breakfast, but I would be sick to my stomach. My DR. said that it was because you don't have any food in your stomach. I switched to taking them at least an hour after lunch or at night and haven't had any problems since.

I started to set an alarm on my computer at work or on my cell phone so it would ring when I am supposed to take my vitamins. It has worked out really well.

I also started to take fish oil as well and talk about HUGE pills! They are gross...all of them are, but I can suck them down in one gulp and instantly have a Heshey's Kiss afterward to reward myself - and to relieve the taste!

Becky D. March 5, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Oh and I take fish pills just for heart health. I don't have any problems! The Nature Made Fish Oil doesn't have the nasty after effects (it says so right on the bottle!! and it really is true!) - we recently bought the Costco brand of fish oil and they are fine too! I have never experienced the "burps", but if I had, that would TOTALLY turn me off from them. GROSS!

Deanna,  March 5, 2009 at 1:55 PM  

Hi Heather, I am 43, so you got me beat! I have purchased and purchased so many vitamins and I just can't take them. My mind plays tricks and I think makes me forget to take them or I throw them up! Yea, what fun!

noisy penguin March 5, 2009 at 4:28 PM  

The fish oil pills weren't as bad as my prenatals. I literally gag every time I have to take them...which is probably why I fail to do so fairly often. Vitamins ARE disgusting. I may have to look into the gummy ones too.

Anonymous,  April 22, 2009 at 2:31 PM  

One thing you can try is splitting your vitamins in half, and taking them over the course of the day. I take One-a-Day Weight Loss formula, and they give me nasty stomach aches when I take a whole pill at once. Now, I split it in half and take half in the AM with breakfast and half in the PM with dinner. No more upset tummy.

For everyone out there taking fish oil, my mom swears by putting them in the freezer. She's been taking them for about a year, and she says if you take them while they're frozen, you won't taste them or burb up fishiness during the day. Haven't tried them myself, but she swears by it.

Kristin May 5, 2009 at 5:07 AM  

I'm always browse GNC for all my health and fitness needs.

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