Navigating the alphabet soup of the vitamin aisle can seem incredibly confusing. The bottle of men’s supplements in general is too generic, and the seemingly endless pill bottles are so vague and indescribable in their packaging that it’s impossible to know which ones would help you the most. And then there’s this lingering question in the back of your mind: do supplements even do anything?
Vitamins and Supplements According to Jules Miller
The world of vitamins isn’t very newbie-friendly, so in our quest for answers on all things supplementation, we spoke to Jules Miller, founder of luxury supplement brand The Nue Co. Miller is. in a unique position to help us understand the truth, myths and misconceptions behind vitamins and, luckily for us, she is generous with her wisdom.
Vitamins are sort of a family business for Miller, as his grandfather was part of the research team that discovered vitamin B12 at the University of Cambridge. Now, with The Nue Co., Miller is elevating health supplements to the status of organic art by using bioavailable and highly absorbable organic foods to improve long-term health.
“The supplement market is a confusing place that it’s increasingly difficult to navigate, so our products are functional, straightforward and easy to understand,” Miller told The Manual.
How many supplements should men take?
Miller gets straight to the point with his first idea: extras are not a buffet table. More is not always better, especially in this case. As the founder of a supplement company, her take is refreshingly honest.
“If you eat well and don’t have major health issues then I would say you probably don’t need to take a ton of supplements,” she says. “I constantly run into people who take six to eight different supplements a day, which is totally counterproductive as they can start to cancel each other out.
You don’t need to take out an entire medicine cabinet of supplements every day. In fact, Miller thinks this is the biggest misconception about supplements. A few targeted supplements will serve you better in the long run.
What is the best supplement to take?
If she had to pick just one supplement that she recommends for men, it would be a mix of probiotics or prebiotics for gut health. If you suffer from a sensitive stomach, this addition to your daily routine could be a game-changer. Nue Co.’s Prebiotic + Probiotic Capsules, $ 85, provide 15 billion spores per dose and have been formulated specifically to help fight symptoms of IBS + digestive issues over the long term.
“Our gut is as unique as a fingerprint, and an imbalance between good and bad bacteria can have a huge impact on overall health,” says Miller. “Put it this way: About 85% of the body’s serotonin is created in the gut. If something is out of balance there, you will feel it all over your body.
A happy gut leads to a happy life, apparently.
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Are All Supplements Created Equal?
While Miller recommends the “less is more” approach to supplements, quality matters. Some players in the vitamin industry save money by filling their products with harmful additives and fillers. She suggests looking at the bottom of the bottle for a long time before ingesting something you may not fully understand.
“Typically, your standard supplement will contain around 50 percent active ingredients, and 50 percent will be synthetic fillers, bulking agents, and processed ingredients,” she warns. “Basically nothing your body needs. Before you take a supplement or vitamin, look at each ingredient and ask yourself, “Would I eat this?” If the answer is no, don’t take it.
How do supplements fit into my diet?
Miller also clarifies: Supplements are not a substitute for healthy, whole foods. The best way to provide your body with the nutrients it needs to survive and thrive is with healthy choices and a good variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Vitamins are not a quick fix.
“Synthetic and isolated vitamins go through vigorous processes, leaving us with an ingredient that our bodies have a hard time recognizing, let alone benefiting from it,” says Miller. “That’s why we make our blends entirely from food. We take proven vitamin formulations, but remove all unnecessary preservatives, bulking agents and fillers and replace synthetic actives with strong organic foods.
The process of Nue Co results in a supplement that your body recognizes and is easily digested and absorbed, so that it can actually work in your body doing what it is supposed to do.
How much should I take?
In terms of dosage, finding the right amount that makes a significant difference without straying too far from the dangerous end of the spectrum can be tricky. Miller recommends a personalized approach.
“There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so you should take supplements to suit your lifestyle, taking into account diet, general well-being and activity level,” she says. “For example, if you exercise daily and are looking to build muscle, you should increase your protein intake.”
What happens if I skip a day?
If you really want to see results from taking supplements, consistency is key. Miller says this is especially important when it comes to prebiotics and probiotics because they have a cumulative effect.
Are Supplements Right For You?
Like anything you ingest, you need to do your research and make sure it’s safe and effective. Even if you think you’re eating healthy, your supplements may contain things that you wouldn’t otherwise consume. Miller has personal experience of being duped by the vitamin and supplement industry.
“When I developed [irritable bowl syndrome] in my mid-twenties, I tried to be careful about what I ate and started taking store-bought supplements to treat my symptoms, ”she says. “Pretty quickly, I was taking five to eight different things a day and felt terrible. It was my grandfather who pointed out that even though I avoided processed foods and sugar in my diet, I still consumed them in my supplement cocktail.
She created The Nue Co. to be “the antithesis of the traditional supplement”. The Nue Co. prides itself on creating products that are highly absorbable, nutrient dense, natural, and most importantly, simple.
“We don’t look like or behave like a supplement brand, which is something that people really connect with,” she says. “We want to prove that natural can be effective, sustainable can be luxurious, and supplements can be ambitious.”