Are those Supplements Really Necessary?

Before I left for my 3-week vacation, I decided to conduct an experiment. What would happen if I left all my supplements at home and took absolutely nothing while away? (BTW: I normally swallow a handful of various pills each day--vitamins, minerals like magnesium, amino acids, fish oil, and other assorted stuff.) I was about to find out. In addition, I did little exercise, ate vast amounts of carbs, and drank wine daily. Several times daily.

What was the overall effect?

First off, I definitely gained weight on my "abandon all rules" vacation diet. Normally I eat 1-2 turkey muffins for breakfast. While in Europe, I ate AMAZING fresh fruit, yogurt, and granola every morning, along with tea most days and coffee while in France. Lunch varied greatly, but always included wine, and often bread. Dinner began with wine, followed by more wine with the meal, and concluded with wine and sometimes after-dinner drinks. I'm sure I drank at least 3 glasses of wine per day--often more.

I can't tell you how much weight I gained because I hate bad news and therefore never get on the scale. I made no exception for this experiment. But it took less than a week for me to lose all that I gained, so I'm guessing it was only about 5 pounds or so. Not a disaster.

In terms of the supplements, I have continued to avoid taking any since I've been home. So it has been more than a month with no vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.

How do I feel? Absolutely fine.

I returned to my full schedule of teaching classes last Monday. I taught 1-2 classes per day for 5 days straight with no problem. At least once per day I've been dancing full out for one hour, sweating profusely, with no added mineral supplements. (Often I'd take magnesium or a multi-mineral supplement in cases like the heat we've had this past week.) And I feel great.

I did immediately give up all alcohol upon returning to the US. Although I enjoyed the wine just fine on vacation, I don't believe daily drinking is a habit I want to pick up. I'm perfectly happy without alcohol, and I'm sure it does nothing for my waistline! Probably just giving up the wine dropped my total daily calories by at least 300. Maybe closer to 500.

SO what does all this mean?

Maybe I don't actually NEED all those pills. I do not plan to resume taking any supplements at this point. I'd like to give my body more time to get used to processing only whole foods. If, at some point in the future, I feel that I really need to add something back, I will. But for now, I don't see the need. I will try to eat as great a variety as possible of fish, meat, eggs, veggies, fruit, dairy, and a little whole grain. If my husband and I both give up all supplements, I'm guessing we will save hundreds of dollars per year. At least.

What is your story? Do you take vitamins? If so, why? Or why not? Share your supplement experiences below!


  1. It is NOT natural to fill one's body with pills. All anyone is doing is peeing good money down the drain. So many are not absorbed or need another supplement or food for absorption that it turns into a nightmare. I think all that anyone needs is MAYBE a one a day kind of multivitamin. If you have decent food to eat and you exercise and don't over indulge in the bad stuff, why bother to waste the money and plus put excess pressure on your liver/kidneys to detoxify?

    1. I think the exception might be if your doctor tests you and finds you are deficient in something. Many people are taking vitamin D due to discovering a deficiency. I may return to taking at least Vitamin D during the winter months when it is impossible to get it from the sun.


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