In a perfect world, eating a balanced diet with just the right amount of nutrients is just what you need to nourish your body properly. In reality, even if you lead a healthy lifestyle and eat a varied diet, you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs. And on average most peoples diets have insufficient amounts of essential nutrients, as a result, the proper nutrition is not received from daily food intake.
Taking vitamin and mineral supplements can help fill the nutrient gaps in your diet. Supplements can help your body maintain immune function and peak performance by providing essential nutrients lacking or deficient in your diet, but to get the most out of your mineral and vitamin supplements, you need to take them the right way. We spoke to Jessica Sepel, founder of JS Health who shares her professional guidance to maximise gain from vitamin supplement intake.
The Best Time Of Day To Take Supplements
You have to always read the label and directions of use on formulations, as different supplements should be taken at varied times for optimal results. The label will guide you. For example, I personally encourage people to take JS Health Hair + Energy on a full stomach at breakfast time - as zinc on an empty stomach can cause nausea, and iodine increases energy, therefore more enhanced benefits if taken in the morning. Another example is taking magnesium at night time for better sleep and muscle relaxation. Iron, magnesium and fish oil supplements are also the most common culprits for digestive upset when taken on an empty stomach, so take extra care to have these with a meal or snack.
How To Stay Consistent
I suggest trying to Incorporate taking your supplements and vitamins into a routine that you do every single day. That can be after breakfast, lunch or dinner, before brushing your teeth, at bedtime, before putting on makeup, or perhaps you could coordinate it with other medication you already take. It’s sure to become a normal part of that routine and something you won’t have to actively remember to do.
Find a place to keep your vitamins somewhere you can easily see them, I like to keep mine on the kitchen counter so I can’t miss them. You could even have a daily reminder in your phone or invest in a pill box.
If it isn’t practical for you to remember to take multiple supplements at lunch or other points during the day, don’t worry, why not consider a multivitamin or any fat-soluble vitamin and have that with some food as soon as it comes to mind?
What To Do If You Forget To Take Your Supplements
If you forget to take a supplement for one day you generally will not have any side effects, just take one as soon as you remember.
The Importance Of Good Quality Vitamins
It’s so important that the ingredients are quality, backed by research and targeted to your needs. Look out for brands that use minimal fillers, binders and preservatives. We understand that the supplement world can be confusing and overwhelming for people, so we created our range with the mission to simplify supplements by creating formulas that are targeted to support specific health needs, whether it be skin health, stress and anxiety, sleep, bloating or any other common concerns. The names of our formulas reflect their purpose.
How To Avoid Overdosing On Supplements
I do not encourage people to just take everything. It is much better to use supplements as ‘supplements’ to support the body during times of need. For example, If we are coming into winter there is no denying that taking an immune formula, a probiotic and vitamin D to help support an individual's immune system during the colder months.
Research states that magnesium at around 200-800mg is effective for nervous system support and muscle relaxation. Also note that your body absorbs calcium more effectively when you take 600mg or less at a time. If you’re taking more than that per day, you may want to split up the dosage into morning and evening doses. However, It’s always best for people to check in with their health professional to determine the right supplement regime for them, achieving a tailored approach for individual needs.
Vitamins To Avoid Taking Together
If you take a multivitamin, you're going to be consuming many different nutrients together, this isn’t usually a problem because you’re not generally taking large doses of vitamins or minerals all at once. However, try and avoid taking high amounts of some vitamins/minerals with other nutrients, since they can compete with one another and block absorption in the body. Vitamins/minerals that shouldn’t be taken together in large amounts include:
Vitamin C and vitamin B12
Iron and calcium
Vitamin C and iron
Zinc and magnesium
Calcium and magnesium
Vitamins Better Together
Some nutrient dynamic duos include vitamin D to boost calcium absorption and vitamin C to boost iron absorption. That’s why taking in these nutrients simultaneously via supplements or boosting with food sources is ideal. A classic example is having your iron supplements with a glass of orange juice to get the absorption-boosting effects of the vitamin C.
Also fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K are better absorbed when you have them with a meal or snack that contains at least a teaspoon of fat (about 5 grams of fat). The same goes for your multivitamin, which contains these vitamins. For example, if you’re taking your multivitamin with your breakfast, consider having some almond butter with your oatmeal or avocado with your eggs and toast.
For probiotics, preliminary research suggests taking them with a meal or 30 minutes before a meal could be better than taking them after eating. Hydration plays an important role too. Fluid intake is especially important for the disintegration of the supplement tablet or capsule and for dissolution of water-soluble nutrients such as vitamin C and B vitamins. So be sure to wash down all supplements with a tall glass of water.