Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Calcium, Chocolate, and Cash

Among my various endocrine issues (seriously, if you have a functional endocrine system, give thanks) is osteopenia (mild depletion of bone mass). To maintain my bone mass, I have to take a calcium supplement (with Vitamin D2, so as to make sure I actually absorb the stuff, which is probably the problem in the first place). Have you ever taken a calcium supplement? By and large, they're nasty: big, chalky, mouth-coating, gag-inducing tabs of grossness.

Except for Adora. I found these by accident--wonderful, serendipitous accident, when I was shopping for cheesecake-making supplies at Whole Foods. They were featured in an aisle endcap, and K went, "Calcium! You take that!" and then my calcium-supplement-taking was revolutionized. Because, you see, Adora calcium supplements are calcium in chocolate.

Yes, the chocolates are a wee bit gritty. And yes, they have a few more calories than a normal calcium supplement, so you sort of have to think of them as food. And--here's where it gets relevant--naturally, the Adora supplements are more expensive than the gross supplements: about $6 for thirty tabs (thus, about $12 for a month's supply).

The great thing about the Adora chocolates, though, is that because taking them is not actively a chore, I actually do take them--regularly. I ran out of that first package a couple of weeks ago, and my supplement-taking reverted to the very sporadic. I have a really hard time making myself put those things in my mouth, because of their high level of grossness. So yesterday, having not taken a chalk-tab in like two weeks, I stopped into Whole Foods and bought another bag of Adoras.

Much as I would like to change my habits and my behaviors, much as I would like to say, "Yes, I will take the gross calcium supplements twice every day to save $6 or so per month," I think the best thing I can do here is work with myself, and say, "Yes, it is worth it for me to spend that extra $6 or so, even though spending $12 every month on calcium supplements is not my idea of a good time, to make sure that I actually take the stuff I'm supposed to take so that my bones don't disintegrate." So that, I think, is the conclusion: Boo, gross chalky calcium tabs! Yay, calcium chocolates!

(Though, actually, before I get too set in my calcium-chocolate ways, I should try those Viactiv chews and see if they're palatable--they're much cheaper.)


Anonymous said...

I've had the Viactiv ones before, but it's been a few years. I remember them being pretty good, not very chalky. Definitely worth trying!

Anonymous said...

My bf goes to grad school with some students from China, and apparently they were buying multivitamins and CHEWING them up and eating them (!) because in China they apparently don't swallow pills the way we do.


$6/mo is a small price to pay to keep your bones healthy!

Anonymous said...

I hear that. Endocrine issues here, too.

The chocolate-flavored Viactiv chews are nice. There was a caramel flavor that was so awful, I still gag when I think about it. Go chocolate or go home!

MindBoggled said...

I found the fruit flavored Viactiv chews to be chalky and kind of gross (still better than standard supplements), but the mint chocolate flavor (the hardest to find as it is often sold out) is actually candy. I'm serious. I ate way more than the required 2 daily for a while.

Anonymous said...

Just adding my vote for the chocolate Viactiv chews. They're not bad!

Anonymous said...

The chocolate Viactiv is pretty good, but then I also like the caramel that someone else hated.

One thing, though, it sounds like you are taking 2 per day and the Viactivs have you taking three so make sure you compare prices based on that.

Anonymous said...

I used to take Viactiv, but I didn't think they tasted as yummy as regular chocolate, and the cost was prohibitive, so I stopped after a while.

Instead, what I do is keep calcium w/ Vitamin D supplements at my desk at work. At least once a day, I treat myself to a couple of dark chocolate covered peanuts (also kept at my desk) or a Starbucks, and I make it part of my routine to take the yucky supplements before the chocolate. That way, the grossness is wiped out by the taste of the yummy chocolate/Starbucks. Same destination, different road. :)

1001 Petals said...

I also take calcium chews, chocolate flavoured. I buy the generic drug store brand though. I also take vit D, 2000mg, a day. Everyone should imo, for a variety of reasons (won't write an essay here. . . :))

To the other commenter -- if you take vitamins with coffee, if that is what you're getting from Starbucks, your body will hardly absorb any nutrients. Coffee actually leeches calcium and iron from your body.

Sense to Dollars said...

viactiv is what i take...they taste fine to me--they are kind of yummy. they're like candy to me. since i'm not a big sweets person, i hardly ever eat candy.

i haven't tried the adora ones so i can't compare.

Kim said...

I, too, am a fan of the chocolate Viactiv, never having heard of Adora.

Anonymous said...

I would agree with the previous statements - the Viactiv chocolate supplements are ok. But I shell out for the Adora too; I honestly think it's worth it. I think the monetary difference is minimal. Plus taking care of yourself is an investment in it's own right.

E.C. said...

Just say no to the caramel flavored Viactiv. They have this delightful fake chemical flavor. The chocolate ones are ok, although I am too cheap to buy them regularly.

boots586 said...

If you have a Target near you, they have house brand calcium chews similar to Viactiv, but costing less. And sometimes they go on sale. Check them out.

Sarah @ 20saver said...

I think the Viactiv chews are yummy. I bought a few boxes of them when they went on clearance at a local grocery store. I just bought a few bottles of the Viactiv Flavor Glides because they went on clearance too. I haven't tried them yet, but they're supposed to taste better going down than regular pills.

Jerry said...

Viactiv chews. Are they good? I think I'd just take a supplement as my insurance and call it good. Never knew that Whole Foods was selling Adora. You've enlightened me...


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