I admit: I'm weirdly interested in the color of my pee. Always have been. And, come on, you can admit it here: You are too.
We all feel like good little hydrators when we note that our urine is basically a match for the water in the toilet bowl, and we've all noted the bright yellow pee first thing in the morning, or when we're dehydrated.
For me, for the past few months, I have been strangely entranced by what I refer to as the "prenatal vitamin pee." It occurs about 30 minutes after ingesting my monster prenatal vitamin (seriously, it feels as though it's the size of a T-Rex egg), and I can't help but wonder a bit about all the nutrients I'm potentially flushing down the toilet.
I have always had a contentious relationship with vitamins: I HATE swallowing them. I gag every time, and especially in my first trimester, I had to time them for just the right period of day -- otherwise, they were certain to make a re-appearance in the toilet, and I don't mean in the form of expensive urine. But, of course, it's advisable that pregnant women (and women who are trying to get pregnant, as well as breastfeeding women) take their prenatal vitamins. And, for me, with both my current pregnancy and with Norah, I was also prescribed an omega-3 vitamin, which is truly "the gagger" of the two. It's advisable because studies have conclusively shown benefits in the consumption of increased levels of iron, folic acid and omega-3 for both the mother and the development of the infant.
But, what about all those other vitamins that are a part of the prenatal, and which haven't demonstrated diddly for effectiveness? Am I peeing away just as much as I would with a regular multivitamin?
It's been demonstrated by THE INTERNET that a person only digests about 10-15% of the nutrients in a multivitamin (the problem isn't in the vitamins and minerals themselves, but in the method of delivery -- the body simply can't absorb those amounts in that way), and most doctors and dietitians say that supplements are just providing you with "expensive urine." And if you eat a sufficient number of calories and varied food, supplements are, essentially, a waste of money and gagging. Most people are better off spending their money on food, not supplements.
But, is this true for prenatal vitamins as well? I don't know. And certainly I don't want to experiment by not taking them, but I can't help but ponder, especially when I see that yellow vitamin pee, how much my gagging through these horse pills is necessary. Plus, in my professional research (i.e., Wikipedia), I have found nothing pertaining to prenatal vitamins except the authoritative directive of: TAKE THEM OR YOUR BABY WILL GROW UP TO BE A TERRORIST.
So, what are your thoughts on vitamins and supplements? Do you take a multivitamin? Are you enchanted by the color of your urine 30 minutes afterward?