As we transition from spring to the warmth and sun of the summer season, our nutritional needs subtly change. With more time spent outdoors under the sun, coupled with increased physical activity, certain supplements and vitamins may become even more beneficial. In this article, we will highlight the best supplements and vitamins for the summer, explaining why they could be useful during this time of year for some individuals.
1. Vitamin D
Perhaps the most noteworthy supplement for summer is vitamin D. This vital nutrient is synthesized in the skin in response to sunlight. Despite summer’s ample sunshine, modern lifestyles often restrict our sun exposure, which might result in vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption and bone health support.* Recent research also suggests that it might play a role in immune system regulation and mental health.*
2. Vitamin C
As a potent antioxidant, Vitamin C may help support the body against oxidative stress, which can increase due to more exposure to UV radiation in the summer months. Vitamin C could also contribute to promoting a healthy immune system and aids in collagen synthesis, which can play a role for skin health and healing.*
Staying properly hydrated is essential, especially in the summer heat. But hydration is about more than just water — electrolytes can also play an important role. They may help balance the amount of water in your body, move nutrients into your cells, and help support your nerves and muscles function.* Key electrolytes include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. If you're spending a lot of time outdoors or engaging in rigorous physical activities, consider adding an electrolyte supplement to your routine to support hydration and electrolyte balance.*
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their potential health benefits, including heart health and brain function support. However, these fatty acids may also play a role in supporting the skin from UV damage and may help support your skin health in the sunny months.* They're found abundantly in fatty fish, but a supplement might be beneficial for those who don't consume fish or other types of ingredients which contain omega-3 regularly.*
With the arrival of summer, we often alter our dietary habits – we eat out more, consume more cold beverages and ice creams, all of which can potentially disturb our gut flora. Probiotics may be beneficial to promote a healthy gut, supporting digestion and immunity.* Some research suggests that certain strains of probiotics might potentially even help with sun damage and skin health for some individuals.*
A lesser-known supplement for summer is astaxanthin. This potent antioxidant has been shown to potentially help support the skin from the harmful effects of UVA radiation, acting as an internal sunscreen.* Additionally, astaxanthin may help support skin moisture levels and elasticity, promoting overall skin health.*
7. B Vitamins
B vitamins, especially B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and B6 (pyridoxine), are useful for energy production, a necessity during the active summer months. They might also support a healthy nervous system, skin, and hair health.*
8. Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is a potent antioxidant that may help support the skin from oxidative stress.* Oxidative stress can increase during the summer months due to higher levels of exposure to UV radiation. Additionally, CoQ10 may support heart health and cellular energy production, which can be beneficial for those engaging in summer sports and outdoor activities.*
Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A, which is important for supporting healthy skin and eyes.* When consumed, the body converts it into vitamin A, according to its needs. This nutrient has been shown to potentially help support the skin from sunburn and other damage caused by exposure to UV radiation, making it a suitable supplement for summer.*
10. Green Tea Extract
Rich in antioxidants called catechins, green tea extract may offer numerous health benefits.* In addition to supporting heart health, playing a role on weight management, and promoting brain function, green tea extract may help support the skin from UV damage, promote skin hydration and skin elasticity.*
Zinc is an essential mineral that supports a variety of bodily functions, including immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis.* Moreover, zinc has been shown to potentially support the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, and it's a key ingredient in many physical sunscreens. If you're not getting enough zinc from your diet, you might consider supplementing.
Derived from turmeric, curcumin is known for its potential antioxidant properties. Research has shown that it may also help support the skin from the harmful effects of UV radiation, thus potentially having an effect on the risk of sunburn and premature skin aging.*
This essential mineral plays a role in protecting the body from damage caused by oxidative stress, which can be amplified during the summer months due to increased UV exposure. Selenium has also been found to help support skin elasticity and might offer some protection against UV-induced skin damage.*
While some of these supplements can help boost your wellbeing during the summer months, it’s crucial to remember that they should not replace a healthy diet and lifestyle. Always strive to obtain most of your nutrients from a balanced diet, plenty of water, regular exercise, and adequate sleep. You may also want to read about magnesium glycinate.
And lastly, it's always recommended to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement routine. They can provide guidance based on your personal health history and current medications to ensure you're supplementing safely and effectively.
Here's to a healthy and vibrant summer!