What Happens To Your Body When You Start Taking Vitamins?
There are many reasons why you might decide to take a vitamin supplement, from correcting specific deficiencies to balancing hormones, increasing energy or simply giving your body a good foundation for optimal health.
But, whatever your personal motives, you might be wondering what kind of impact your daily supplement habit will have on your body and how long it might take for you to feel the effects.
At Get More Vits, we’re here to help, so in this article we will share seven key outcomes you should expect when you start taking vitamins.
7 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Start Taking Vitamins
1. Your energy levels will increase
Think of your body like a car – both are fuelled by chemical energy in the form of food or petrol to generate heat and movement. If we provide our car with the correct fuel and keep it running regularly, it should work well and last for a long time, and the human body is much the same.
Feed us a nutritious diet made up of quality ingredients at regular intervals, don’t let us run on empty for too long, exercise regularly and we will generally do ok.
However, these days with busy lifestyles, we all know how easy it is to let good intentions slip and that’s where vitamins can come in handy. If you’re feeling low in energy, it may be that stores are running low and you’re not giving your body what it needs to function at its best, so a little tune-up may be beneficial.
Start taking key vitamins involved in the energy process such as B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, B9 and B12), vitamin C, iron, magnesium and zinc, and you should expect to see your energy levels increase.
In addition, if you are lacking key nutrients in other areas of health, adding in a multivitamin can help to correct underlying imbalances that you might not know about and give you a boost.
2. More food will be converted into energy
When it comes to increasing energy levels, B vitamins are right up there – this is because they help your body transform the food you eat into energy.
Most of our cells depend on carbohydrates for energy and we need B1 to make this happen, B1 helps to convert the carbs you eat into energy, which is essential if you’ve signed up to a new challenge like a marathon. While B1 is a carb lover’s best friend, B2 helps to transform fats and protein into energy, which is particularly important for the heart and muscles.
Along with B1 and B2, B3 helps release energy from food, but B3 is also needed to produce thyroid hormones, and if lacking can make you feel tired.
B5 is also important for hormone health, especially those involved with the stress response, another reason to top up if you’re feeling frazzled. B6 protects our DNA and is involved in the breakdown of glycogen stores, which is what we tap into in the absence of carbs to create energy, so another crucial B vitamin for aspiring athletes.
3. Short-term memory will improve
A recent three-year study into cognitive health and the use of multivitamins and minerals showed positive results on short-term memory for adults over 65. With the rise in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, even if you’re not quite there yet, there’s no harm in starting early!
4. Your immune system will become stronger
There’s no single food or miracle supplement that can ‘boost’ the immune system - when it comes to building robust defences, it’s about laying strong foundations.
The key nutrients involved in a healthy working immune system are vitamins A, B6, B12, C and D, along with copper, folate, iron, selenium and zinc. Except for vitamin D, which is impossible to get enough through food alone, if you’re eating a diverse diet, you should be ticking all these boxes, but again, life is busy so a multivitamin can be a good idea.
5. Muscles will become stronger
Not only does muscle tissue have receptors for vitamin D, but it also contains the enzyme that transforms vitamin D2 into its active form D3 and plays a key role in both muscular and skeletal health.
In extreme cases, a lack of vitamin D causes a condition in children that affects bone development called rickets and in adults can cause osteomalacia (softening of the bones) and muscle weakness.
Vitamin D has been found to have an important role in muscle damage and regeneration. While most of the research into vitamin D and muscle strength has been conducted on the over 50s, given what we know about the role of vitamin D for overall health, we say, start strong.
6. Skin will look healthier
When it comes to your skin think ‘FACE’ – fatty acids, vitamin A, C and E will help you get that glow from the inside out. Fatty acids such as omegas 3 and 6 work to create a healthy skin barrier and manage inflammation.
Vitamin A is what the popular skincare ingredient retinol is derived from due to its ability to strengthen the skin, protect collagen against degradation, and stimulate skin cell turnover.
It’s not a good idea to supplement with vitamin A in its pure form due to toxicity concerns, but you can’t go wrong with the plant form of vitamin A, beta carotene, which has antioxidant effects that maintain healthy skin and increase defences against UV radiation.
Vitamin C is our no.1 healing nutrient and a critical ingredient in the formation of collagen, while vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, helps to combat inflammation, soothe skin and prevent skin damage.
7. You might experience some side effects
It’s important to always read the label on your vitamins as different formulations have different instructions, for example, whether to take them with or away from food and drink. If you experience nausea, it may mean your vitamins are better paired with food, so take them at mealtimes.
Whatever your supplement, always take it with a glass of water rather than a hot drink - tea and coffee are known as ‘antinutrients’, which means that they can prevent the nutrients in your supplements from being absorbed, and in the case of probiotics, the hot liquid will kill off any beneficial bacteria.
When you start taking vitamins, you should expect to experience the following benefits - your energy levels will increase, more food will be converted into energy, your short-term memory will improve, your immune system will become stronger, your muscles will become stronger, and your skin will look healthier.
However, you might experience some side effects such as nausea, so always follow the instructions when taking any vitamins. Remember, with any supplement protocol, it can be a marathon rather than a sprint, so to really notice the benefits, you’ll need to give it 3 months.
Enjoyed this? For more information, read our article Why Can Taking Vitamins Make You Feel Sick?