Vitamins were the sort of thing I always casually knew I should do, but I did it haphazardly in the past. Starting about three months ago, I would track whether I took a vitamin every day, and at the end of the week list how many days I remembered to take a vitamin. It's been 7 out of 7 pretty much every week since then.
The first vitamins I picked up in Seoul were chewable vitamin C tablets. I was pretty tired and run down at that point and wasn't sure why, so I changed my diet a little, started doing more walking, and started taking vitamins and my energy picked up quite a bit. I don't know how much of that was the vitamin C, but since then a couple times I've felt a little under the weather I took two of them that day, and my energy has been pretty high.
I was just about out of vitamins, so I bought some more here in Hong Kong. I got vitamin C again, and I was also looking for something for joints since I had a knee injury in the past. I was looking for some L-Glutamine which I heard was good, did a little casual research on, and it seems good:
It is also known that glutamine has various effects in reducing healing time after operations. Hospital-stay times after abdominal surgery can be reduced by providing parenteral nutrition regimes containing high amounts of glutamine to patients. Clinical trials have revealed that patients on supplementation regimes containing glutamine have improved nitrogen balances, generation of cysteinyl-leukotrienes from polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes, and improved lymphocyte recovery and intestinal permeability (in postoperative patients), in comparison to those that had no glutamine within their dietary regime, all without any side-effects. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glutamine#Aiding_recovery_after_surgery
Yeah, that sounds like a winner to me. The store I went into didn't have any, but they did advertise fish oil capsules as being good for joints. I'm not sure if it is, but from what I've seen fish oil looks like a positive thing without any real downside so I'm going for it. Fish oil seems to be a natural anti-inflammatory, which is good. Inflammation is a big problem with joint injuries.
Especially when I'm traveling in foreign countries, I try to buy vitamins from a doctor's office, pharmacy, or reputable health store. It might cost a little more, but I'm hoping better ingrediants mean a higher absorption rate and less chance of bad stuff in there. Maybe it doesn't make a difference - not sure, I still have to learn more about this. Next time I run into a nutritionist or biochemist, I'm going to ask about where they buy their own vitamins and why.