I Tried the Latest Health Obsession: Monthly Vitamin Subscriptions
Photo: C/O Care/of
While I recognize the importance of taking vitamins, I've never been able to commit to a supplement regimen. I believe it has a little something to do with the fact that I never really understood what I was taking or why I was taking it. Sure, a multivitamin seems like the simple solution, but many nutritionists will tell you that, with some “magic pills,” you may be reaching vitamin levels that are higher than recommended. Enter: Care/of. One of the latest subscription services to hit the market, they help guide you to the right dietary supplements you should be taking daily and deliver them to your door.
Founders Craig Elbert and Akash Shah started the company in 2016 with hopes of making personal health a little less intimidating and much more attainable. With the monthly subscription, your daily doses are delivered to your door at an affordable cost (vitamins range from $5 to $12 per month, with the exception of some specialty and prenatal vitamins which are more expensive). All you have to do is go online and let the prompts guide you through the pain-free process. They are transparent on scientific research and product sourcing and are driven by real recommendations.
When you first arrive at the website, you’re invited to create a profile. Then, you take a quiz that helps determine what area of your health you want to focus on, what needs improvement, and what you should start taking care of (see what I did there?). They get to know your lifestyle habits through a series of questions about exercise, stress patterns, sleep habits, and food intake, and at the end of the quiz, the algorithm spits out out recommendations of what supplements you should be swallowing. However, these are just a suggestion. You have the option to add, remove, or completely alter your package.
After you confirm your preferred dosages, it’s as simple as placing your order and waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
Photo: C/O takecareof.com
After completing the quiz myself, Care/of suggested I take digestive enzymes, vitamin D, astaxanthin, rhodiola, and a probiotic blend. I brought my results to Joseph Askinasi, DC, DABCO, a chiropractic orthopedist and vitamin expert (and, yes, my dad) for his professional opinion. He suggested I increase the dosage of Vitamin D to 2000 mg per day from 1000 mg per day, as well as add Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) to increase my mental performance and energy levels. Our bodies produce CoQ10 naturally as an antioxidant needed to help cell growth and maintenance, and according to Mayo Clinic, our bodies produce less of this as we age.
The site provides nutrition facts, research, and an “honest assessment” of how each vitamin works. They show success rates, and let you know if the vitamin is still being tested. Dosage and ingredients are also broken down rather specifically, all so that you can be the most informed about what you’re putting in your body when your package is delivered. All of this combined really did make me more confident in my choices.
Photo: C/O Care/of
My vitamins arrived in a box designed like a straw dispenser–you pull one packet out from the bottom of the pile and then rest fall down toward the opening. It’s a sleek design that looks modern and fun. Each packet contains your daily intake, whether you ordered one vitamin or eight, and has a daily fact or quote (which is honestly my favorite part about the service). But unless you're like me and read the Dove chocolate wrappers before you eat the chocolate, you probably won’t get as excited for the packet facts as much as I did.
I have been taking the vitamins for one month now. Though I didn't see a change in my energy or memory, it’s important to note that with antioxidants and supplements, you won’t necessarily “see” the results right away. They’ll be working within your bodily system and the effects will show more in your long-term health. However, I have noticed a calming in my stomach, which is likely from taking the probiotic blend. I was not taking any vitamins prior to this trial period.
If you’re someone who wants to start a supplement regimen, but doesn’t quite know where to start, I would recommend Care/of. Committing to a subscription service like this will also help you stick to a routine without draining your wallet. Care/of is more than just a convenient online drugstore, it proves to be a good resource for those of us who don’t know much about vitamin practices.