In a world as busy, chaotic, and expensive as ours is these days, it’s OK to pursue convenience whenever we get the chance. For instance, Costco is so popular in the United States because of its convenience—you can save time and money by buying things in bulk at a lower price, all in one trip to the store. You can purchase almost anything there, from food to cleaning products, and electronics to clothing items, they have it all. And one thing they have plenty of are vitamins and supplements. But what are some of the best Costco supplements to buy, and how can you know if you need to take a supplement?
“Do you need to take excessive vitamins, minerals, and supplements if you eat a balanced diet? Not usually. While there are a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health, many of them are needed in small quantities and consuming them in excess typically does not improve your health or performance,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook and member of our Expert Medical Board. “A good ‘rule of thumb’ for seeing if you need a supplement is to evaluate your diet and see if there are any foods or food groups you don’t eat, then evaluate what nutrients are the highest in that food or food group to see if you are getting enough. If not, then consider supplementing.”
People with really busy schedules who may struggle to eat a balanced diet, or those with specific health complications that may require higher levels of a certain vitamin may also benefit from taking supplements. But before you purchase any supplement to add to your daily routine, it’s important to talk with a health professional, first. “People should always check with their doctor before they decide to take any supplement every day, as each person has unique health needs and dietary habits,” says Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, registered dietitian and author of The First Time Mom’s Pregnancy Cookbook and Fueling Male Fertility.
“This multivitamin has been third-party tested by consumer labs and it actually contains all the nutrients that are listed on the label (this is not true for every supplement),” says Sydney Greene MS, RDN. “In addition, it is free of heavy metals and it disintegrates properly. Whether or not you eat a robust diet, it can be beneficial to include a daily multivitamin to cover nutrient needs.”
The daily use of a multivitamin is helpful for those who may not be getting enough of their basic nutrients through their regular diet, according to the National Institutes of Health. And while some studies have found that there may be longer-term benefits of multivitamins on disease prevention, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that many of these studies are observational and may not take into account that most people who take daily vitamins also live a healthier all-around lifestyle than those who don’t. If you’re unsure as to whether or not a multivitamin could be helpful for you, talk with your doctor before buying one.
“Vitamin D is important for calcium absorption, bone health, and osteoporosis prevention,” explains Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and member of our Medical Expert Board.
“Especially in the colder months when we aren’t being exposed to sunlight as much, many of us can become deficient in this vitamin,” adds Manaker.
A possible solution? Head to your local Costco and pick up the Kirkland D3 supplement.
“This vitamin D is USP-Certified and it is a great value,” Manaker continues.
For all of your future supplement shopping endeavors, if something is USP certified, it means that when it comes to potency and quantity, the supplement product contains what is listed on the label and is currently compliant with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Process guidelines. Furthermore, this designation means the supplement will dissolve and break down in the body, and does not contain harmful levels of contaminants.