I’m at the age where Flintstone vitamins just don’t cut it anymore. But what’s a maturing college girl supposed to do when I want to maintain my health? Brands like Care/of and Persona have cracked the marketing code by offering mass customization in the form of vitamin pack subscriptions, containing a few supplements that are tailored to your selected needs. Vitamin packs have become a handy solution for students who are on-the-go that also wanting some help in the health department.
The only problem is that commercialized vitamin packs are expensive. Persona suggested a plan that cost $66 (with free shipping) after I completed its quiz, whereas Care/of quoted my vitamin needs at $52 (with free shipping). For students have the cash, these subscriptions are totally worth it for the convenience. But if you are constrained by a budget like me, I’ve created a DIY vitamin pack guide that’s a budget-friendly alternative, so you can create your own daily supplement ritual at home.
Figure out your personal wellness goals.
The best way to create a usable pack is to pick anywhere from three to five achievable goals that you want to accomplish with your vitamin journey. Do you need more energy for a lecture that makes you want to snooze? Maybe you’re looking for Instagram-worthy hair or clear skin? Vitamins can provide crucial nutrients missing from your diet, and even aid with peaceful sleep. Essentially, they’re a safe and natural solution to most college-related problems. It’s important to start with general, attainable objectives because long-term, they will allow you to evaluate if your pack is working.
Then research the best vitamins for your needs.
Research is absolutely essential when creating your own vitamin pack. The best place to start is with a simple Google search for vitamins that align with what you’re looking to achieve (e.g. “vitamins that help clear skin”), or to read through a vitamin guide that breaks down the most common ones you can find at the store and even at your local Trader Joe’s. Like with any academic paper, you want to get your information from *credible* sources. Some of the most common vitamins that will likely be recommended include:
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin D
Additionally, a compelling reason to do effective research is price point. There are many supplements that make promises with “unique formulas” to help with everyday issues, but they cost upwards of $20 for just a few capsules. If you’re living on a Chef Boyardee budget with hopes of pursuing a healthier lifestyle, then cost matters. That’s why you’re trying to avoid expensive weekly vitamin subscription packs in the first place! So consider this your reminder that reliable sources are always the best option, as opposed to sources that are just trying to sell a product on Instagram.
Let’s talk storage.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, college has a completely different set of rules. Around mid-semester, I lose all motivation to look nice and develop a horrible habit of waking up 15 minutes before class, with nothing but hope between me and a tardy on my attendance log. If you’re anything like me (and hopefully you’re not) then a major part of creating your own vitamin pack is quick accessibility. The last thing you need is to spend a ridiculous amount of time shaking out bottles when you need to be somewhere.
Ditching the bottle also some health benefits. According to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, medical correspondent for CBS News, you need to store products in dry conditions, out of areas that are humid. “If you open and close a vitamin bottle, say, in the bathroom, a little bit of moisture gets trapped in there each time,” Ashton explains. Brands that offer commercial vitamin packs are alluring because of their undeniable accessibility. For example, Care/of offers daily packs that come in prepackaged plastic wrappers with your name on them. Unfortunately, their service comes with an expensive price tag, and that’s not the most sustainable option either.
After distinguishing your goals and using your research to make a purchasing decision, it’s time to look for storage methods. I’d recommend that you take the old school approach and buy a standard pill organizer. Really, it’s all about what works best for you and what’s the easiest to maintain and refill each week when juggling your academic schedule and extracurriculars. If you’re searching for a more sustainable method (as well as stylish), you can find simple and chic pillboxes at Port and Polish for $20.
The most important part of creating your own vitamin pack is evaluating the results after some time. There are a lot of vitamin-based solutions on the market and not all of them are going to work for you. If you feel like your combination isn’t effective after a few weeks of use, then repeat step two. The beauty of fashioning your own pack is that trial and error are significantly less expensive. You have the room to experiment and discover what truly works for you and your long-term goals. Realizing health goals shouldn’t be unaffordable.