Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Try it Tuesday: Pills

Yeah, you heard me. Pills. **Insert Lindsey Lohan substance abuse joke here** (Sometimes they are just too easy – like Lindsey Lohan! Heyooooo)

Each day, I take this 6 pill concoction that I feel helps me stay strong and virile….for when the time is right  healthy and wise. Each pill has a specific purpose that I read about on the internet at one point or the other.  Some are to keep me from getting sick while others are to keep me healthy while running.  The damage:

Apologies for the green matrix style picture, still no iPhone

Here is what I THINK they are doing for me
  • Claritin D: This one is a must. I have pretty bad allergies to all things….earth
  • Fish Oil: Helps my brain create these witty blog posts as well as lubes up my joints
  • Vitamin C: Fights colds (see below for very important info on this)
  • Multi-Vitamin: Gets me the good stuff that I don't get from a diet rich in Chipotle and McFlurries
  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin: Helps my cartilage / ligaments absorb more water thereby providing more cushion
  • Calcium: Helps keep my bones strong (a hold-over from my stress fracture)

If you get nothing from this post, please read this A recent study has found that the 36-48 hour immune system dip after 90+ minutes of hard endurance activity can be significantly reduced by 200 mg daily of vitamin C. Unfortunately, the study showed no immunity boost for non-endurance athletes for taking daily vitamin C. Suckers. Here is the clip from NPR’s Fresh Air:

DAVIES: If you're just joining us, we're speaking with science writer Jennifer Ackerman. She's written a new book called "Ah-Choo! The Uncommon Life of Your Common Cold."

So let's talk about remedies and cures. Vitamin C, for years and years, people have sworn by it, both to ward off colds and to fight its symptoms when infected. Anything to it?

Ms. ACKERMAN: Well, unfortunately, you know, Vitamin C has been the subject of study for years and years and years. And the bottom line is that when it comes to preventing the common cold in the general population, Vitamin C gets a grade of about D.

If it's taken on a regular basis, it really doesn't help to prevent colds in the general population. If you take daily Vitamin C, it may reduce the severity of symptoms but only very slightly. It has this ability to dry nasal secretions a little bit. So there is some positive effect when you have a cold. It can actually shorten the duration of a cold just a tiny fraction.

There is some preventive benefit for people who are engaged in endurance exercise or people who are exposed to extreme cold. The studies suggest that for these people, these sort of - in these extreme environments or doing this extreme exercise, a daily dose of about 200 milligrams actually reduces the incidence of colds by half.

DAVIES: So if you're a marathon runner or work on an ice-breaker, maybe, huh?


I don't think I need any more evidence than that!  The radio said it, so it has to be true.

  • Placebo effect. I think they are working, so they're probably doing SOMETHING
  • I can eat like crap. Sure, getting all of these vits/minerals from food would be good, but it sure is nice knowing that I don’t HAVE to if I don’t want
  • NPR says so

  • When you are taking them a handful at a time like you're popping peanuts at a bar, people look at you like you are a heroin addict trying to get by on pain meds until your next hit
  • While not horribly expensive, these things aren’t not cheap. I am not sure what I spend a day, but I honestly don’t want to find out

The verdict? I still take them. I’m sure that 90% of their effects are mostly a placebo sugar pill effect, however the other 10% probably is actually doing something. And for that, they get my seal of approval:

Of course, as I type this, I’m a bit sniffley and my throat is sore. I’m getting a cold. SUCK. As much as I would like the pills to counterbalance the 5 hours of sleep I’ve been getting and the high stress of my job, I know better. So for that, my pills get the FAIL killer whale eating my seal of approval:

Does anyone else take this many pills every day?  I am sure that at least some of you have strong opinions about this one.  Anyone know of any good seal eyeballs, whale penis remedy that will keep me potent until I'm 90?


Erika said...

While I have no remedy for you, I do also take a huge group of pills...Glucosanine, calcium, vit B super complex, flaxseed oil (or fish oil), multi, hair/nails/skin vit. Lots and lots. I swear I can tell when I don't take them though. Maybe I should add Vit C to the mix. I do take Zinc when I'm not feeling well...hmmm. Something to think about:)

Ace said...

I take one giant pill a day. It's wrapped in a flour tortilla and covered with aluminum foil. Then I wash it down with an oreo blended ice cream concoction. It keeps me from running too fast.

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

Have you ever tried Emergen-C?
I drank it for the first time (instead of Airborne) when I thought I was getting sick a few weeks ago. It worked.

But I have a friend who takes one every night before she goes into work and she says it gives her energy too.

I think it has like 8,000% Vitamin C.

C2Iowa said...

I take a multi-V and L-Glutamine everyday. Other than that -- nada. I believe that diet has more to do with staying healthy and the occassional Cabo Wabo drink. I have not been sick for years -- maybe there is something to the Cabo????

Jamoosh said...

I can't even take pills that are prescribed on a consistent basis. If it's not contained in beer, I don't get it.

Wait a minute: fortified beer. I am so on this!

Jaime Runs said...

Yes, I take a multivitamin, folic acid, fish oil, flaxseed oil and an allergy pill (during allergy season only). Fun times.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Krill, Vitamin D, Red Rice Yeast, Ubiquinol, every day - RRY twice a day

Running Through Phoenix said...

I take a multi-vitamin and a fish oil daily. Used to take a low dose aspirin, but since I've been running for the past two years, my BP has gotten into line. I heard that vit C can cause kidney stones, and I heard that calcium can cause gall bladder problems and erections lasting longer than four hours.

ShutUpandRun said...

Everything you take minus the extra C and the Claritan (and the unlisted Viagra). Sometimes probiotics too. Like you I do everything NPR says, so Vit C it is.

Jess said...

I like the reasoning of "NPR says so." And I actually heard this exact program the other day.

The Sean said...

I take a multi-vitamin when I remember to... 3-4 days a week. Otherwise I try to eat well, and wash my hands.

funderson said...

HA! All I take is Calcium (thanks to the bi-weekly allergy shots I'm off the Clariton) and I never get sick...but that's because I'm a badass...

Johann said...

I take vitamin C every day and all the other stuff you take every second day. During hard training 90 - 120km (55.8 - 74.4 miles) per week, I take all every day. I include some Ibuprofen as needed sometimes with painkillers and...and... Lets just say I'm not one of those "all those pills are bad for you" people.

Runners Fuel said...

I take 4 pills on a daily bases. Gotta stay healthy!

BrianFlash said...

I take nothing. Maybe the occasional aspirin when I'm sore. But I'm also a luddite who thinks that we collectively take too much of that crap.

However, fish oil is theoretically good for your good cholesteral or something like that.

Emz said...

OMGosh - I'm just a walking pill

D, C , Multi, Calcium, fish oil, joint juice [wait that's liquid], B-12 & something for my attitude.

Matty B. said...

When in doubt about which pills to take, just go to the counter at a gas station and purchase the ones colored like bees with alternating yellow and black stripes.

While I don't know what they do I sure feel different afterwards.

Those are the ONLY pills I trust.

Jill said...

I take all those you do, plus I take L-Glutamine for a couple days after a hard run or hard wt training workout and I take D-Ribose or Beta Alanine about a week before a marathon. My favorite, though, are the berry flavored vitamin C tablets - they are better than crack! ;)

Jill said...

Oh, and hope you're not sick and coming down with something - eat up that Vit C today!!

AZ said...

Occasionally I take something for allergies but that is it. I guess I don't believe in the benefit. Also, I don't eat so well. I think doing that would probably help.

Chad said...

I make my own fish oil pills. I farm raise Salmon in green pool behind the foreclosed house next door. Then I stack the dead salmon on wood palates and collect the drippings. I prefer to drink it straight, but my wife likes me to put the oil into capsules.
I recommend you stop taking these pills and see if everything fixes itself. Haven't you ever seen Disorderlies? Have The Fat Boys ever led you astray?

RunnuRMark said...

Well, I can't say that I take THAT many. But the main reason for that is the cost. But I pop a multi and two fish oils. And sometimes a Zyrtec...except when it can't handle the raging seasonal allergies like right now. That's when I reach for the Flonase instead. FYI, I always figured you for a junkie!

Spike said...

One day the seals will rise up and revenge themselves against those very mean killer whales.

Nobel4Lit said...

My current regimen:

2 glucosamine/chondrotin/MSM
1 multivitamin (women should do this)
1 iron supplement

All at once!

Jamie said...

I take a multivitamin (gummybear form, of course)and an iron supplement. I'm not really sure why I take the iron pill, but I seem to be okay. I may switch to fish oil soon.

Her Name is Rio said...

I only take a multivitamin because I have a problem with swallowing pills (all mental). However, I did try the joint juice with glucosamine. If it's not too expensive, I'll try it.

christine* said...

You know big brother vitamins aren't regulated by the FDA so forn all you know you're taking 4 pills of saw dust, clariton, and olive oil in a gel capsule. Either way enjoyed the post as usual!

Pam said...

I've read lots of stuff about how your body actually only absorbs a very small percentage of the contents of a multivitamin pill. I've read that it's more effective to opt for a liquid version or a whole-food supplement.

That's very interesting about the vitamin C though!

Anonymous said...

(this is kathy in mexico)

We actually don't get the cold down here (Yucatan) and I don't miss it at all. We came close last year with all those nortes, but no flu, no colds. I took fish oil until I ran out, mainly to increase my good cholesterol. I should probably get that checked. I also take the old lady (over 50) multivitamin as insurance and gluco+chrondo 3 pills a night (had to bump it up to 1800 as 1200 wasn't cutting it) but it ELIMINATES my 40 some odd years of knee pain.

wendy_kresha@charter.net said...

I don't think your wife wants you to stay potent until you are 90. In fact in a few years, there is a good chance she will buy you tighty whities and make you sit in hot tubs that are hundreds of degrees. That being said, no I don't take any pills of any sort. But, according to my running buddy who is also a doctor, we should all be taking Vitamin D.

RunningLaur said...

"...that will keep me potent until I'm 90?"
On that note, I saw an infomercial for an honest to goodness penis pump this morning. Like an hour long. Like an Austin Powers penis pump.

Colin Hayes said...

We take nearly the same pills. My morning junkie routine consists of:
1 multi-vitamin
1 fish oil cap
1 flaxseed oil cap
1 Glucosamine
1 vitamin C

My kids marvel at how I swallow them all in one shot (used to take six horse pills at once awhile back).

As for whether they just make for expensive urine...eh...placebo works for me, too. But since I've been taking the glucosamine (10 yrs now), my formerly cranky knee has been fine.

Megan said...

I feel like that some days.
Everyday is 2 pills for my high BP
Most days claritin/zyrtec
Occasionally advil

I don't take a multivitamin. I never have. Not even when preggers. I think you should eat a balanced diet and exercise and you'll be alright. Seems to work for me and my kiddos. Having said that we do get flu shots & vaccinations