Are You Taking the #1 Supplement?
But even more interesting were some of the other stats that they revealed, including which supplements were the most popular. Multivitamins ranked number one (a whopping 72 percent of those polled said they took one regularly), with Vitamin D (51%) and Vitamin C (49%) coming in second and third. After the big three, the following other supplements ranked as follows:
- Calcium (43%)
- B vitamins (42%)
- Fish Oil (40%)
- Iron (27%)
- CoQ10 (11%)
To be honest, some of the data revealed seemed like common sense to us. For example, multivitamins typically rank high for most people because they tend to consider the all-purpose supplement to be a kind of “catch-all” for any nutritional holes they may have from eating a not-so-perfect diet.
Vitamin D’s popularity seemed obvious as well. Although Vitamin D is the only vitamin your body can produce on its own with just 15 minutes of sunlight exposure, 70 percent of Americans are estimated to be deficient in it—not good when you realize it’s essential for everything from calcium absorption and regulating immunity to fighting depression and lowering your risk of diabetes and certain forms of cancer (including breast, colorectal, and ovarian).
But the most fascinating fact brought to light by this study was how taking a vitamin or supplement seemed to make people actually feel fitter. An overwhelming 93% agreed that they felt more confident about their overall health when taking vitamins and/or supplements.
You might think that effect may be more common among top athletes who may be so keenly in tune with their bodies that they’re able to notice even the slightest improvement from a supplement. You might even assume that the “feel fitter” phenomenon could be more popular with beginners who just feel better knowing they’re popping a pill. But no—it seems that effect is felt across the board, no matter what type of exercise you’re into, or what level of fitness you may be presently at.
Of those surveyed, 81% considered themselves to be “active” when asked to define themselves. An even closer look revealed that:
- 22% described themselves as athletes
- 21% felt they were a “weekend warrior”
- 17% coined themselves a cardio cruncher
- 16% defined themselves a runner
- 14% labeled themselves a health nut
- 9% considered themselves a gym rat
- 14% said they couldn’t describe themselves in any category
Among those who considered themselves “super-active,” vitamins and supplements even scored higher when it came to things they felt to be necessary for achieving their fitness and health goals, ranking higher than caffeine, electrolyte-enhanced water (or drinks), vitamin-enhanced water, meal replacement bars, and even energy drinks.
So what do you think? Are there certain supplements that you simply can’t live without, and do you feel a noticeable difference when taking them? Do you feel “fitter” because you invest in some form of supplement and take it regularly?
—Myatt Murphy, Fitness Reporter
Fitness expert Myatt Murphy, CSCS, is the author of the best-selling books Testosterone Transformation (Rodale, 2012), The Body You Want in the Time You Have (Rodale, 2005), The Men’s Health Gym Bible (Rodale, 2006), and Men’s Health’s Ultimate Dumbbell Guide (Rodale, 2007). His work has appeared in innumerable magazines and online.