Often times the labels of various vitamin supplements define, how to best take any particular vitamin supplement. But sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they just say “a serving once daily with water”, “a serving twice daily with water” or any other amount of that. But none of the supplements ever actually explain, why it’s important.
At least for me and I’ve found many other people being that same way, it is really important to know, why exactly is it important to take a supplement particular way, because it’s way more easier to stick to the recommendations then. In this article I will to cover not only how to take vitamin supplements, but also why that particular way is the way it should be done and why it’s crucial for most benefit.
To make it easier for you to find the information paramount to you, first I will go over the general stuff. And after that I will go into detail on several different vitamin supplements, looking at some examples and explaining the specifics of how to best take each of them.
The General Stuff On How To Take Vitamin Supplements And Why?
So, essentially it’s no rocket science. You may have vitamins coming in various dosage forms.
Vitamin supplements in forms of tablets, pills, capsules and similar of that kind you should take with a glass of water. This makes them easier to swallow. Nonetheless, they can also be taken without water in case you don’t have any at hand.
But depending on the supplement this may result in kind of a “heavy feeling” in your neck or lower neck area. And that should best be dealt with by having some food on top of it or having some water as soon as possible to flush it down.
Don’t take gummy vitamins and don’t fall for their nonsense that vitamins in tablets, pills, capsules etc. are hard, disgusting, unpleasant to swallow. It’s a marketing trick. Gummy vitamins are usually low on nutrients and they contain many unwanted additives, including a whole variety of different forms of sugar. Sure, they’re tasty, but sugar shouldn’t be in you daily supplement as all it will do over a long period of time, will harm you.
Can water be replaced with another beverage?
Yes, it can. However, the options are quite limited. Preferably it should be either water, freshly squeezed natural juice out of fruits or vegetables, or at least a juice without sugar, glucose syrup or any other sugar containing additive.
Nonetheless, you should always avoid alcohol, coffee or sugary drinks when consuming vitamin supplements. This is because these beverages are very likely to mess with the nutrient absorption, which essentially means that you’re getting less of any given supplement. Thus, also lesser of a benefit.
The dose you should take at one time depends on how much tablets, pills or capsules etc. does the supplement defines as the serving size or the size for daily consumption.
If there’s just one tablet, pill, capsule etc. meant for daily, then there’s no need to divide it in some way. Just take it daily depending on when it’s best to consume it (see below or draw parallels from an article I wrote on multivitamin supplement intake timing)
If there’s more than one tablet, pill, capsule etc. to take daily, then preferably you should divide the doses in equal amounts to take them throughout the day. For example, in general if you have to take two, you can take one in the morning, one in the afternoon. But for example, if you have to take three, you can take one in the morning, one midday and one in the afternoon.
Any amount beyond that (4, 5, 6 and so on) tablets, pills, capsules etc. you need not to divide in doses so that you would take one tablet, pill, capsule etc. at a time. Depending on your preference divide it no more than in three parts throughout the day.
Dividing the daily dosage into smaller doses throughout the day may not be always necessary and it will highly depend on what type of vitamin supplement we are talking about. But for some it is crucial for superior benefit.
Singular Water Soluble Vitamin Supplements
This category concerns singular vitamin supplements of vitamin C and B vitamins.
Solubility and absorption wise these supplements can be taken without drinking the glass of water, if one decides to do so. This is because you won’t absorb less as your body itself contains lots of water.
These vitamins are best consumed no less than twice daily. This is because these are the kind of vitamins that either can’t be stored or can be stored in very insignificant amounts. And every 12 hours or so any amounts that are not yet used by the body will be excreted.
And this essentially means that if you are to consume the whole dose of a supplement right in the morning, in the afternoon your body does not have those with the supplement gained vitamins anymore as they got excreted.
Therefore, as I said, divide the daily serving in at least two doses that you can take throughout the day.
Singular Fat Soluble Vitamin Supplements
Fat Soluble vitamins are vitamin A, D, E and K.
Because of the fact that these supplements contain vitamins that are fat soluble, either the supplement has to have an oil within it, or they should be consumed together with an oily (fat containing) substance. This is needed as the amounts that the body can absorb are highly dependent on, whether there is a fat containing substance present.
If there won’t be, the absorption may be troubled and you may not gain the desired benefit solely because of that fact.
However, don’t get me wrong. You don’t have to take your vitamin supplement with a sup of oil. Rather have your food be cooked or fried in an oil, have some in your salad or have it in any other pleasant and enjoyable way in your meal.
Unlike water soluble vitamins, these vitamins body can store pretty efficiently. Therefore, if you do not want to, you need not to divide the daily dose throughout the day.
Omega-3 supplements are pretty straight forward. Take them with or without water, best twice daily.
As most omega-3 supplements come from fish oil, they are best to consume right before a meal. This prevents any “fish oily” burps and unpleasant taste in the mouth later in the day.
And it’s best take them right before you eat. This is because these kind of supplements contain to the digestive system friendly microorganisms that enhance the digestive system’s health and nutrient absorption both from food and other supplements that you may take.
As proper multivitamin supplements contain both water and fat soluble vitamins, they are best to take at least twice daily with meals that contain at least some fat (see also an article on multivitamin supplement intake timing).
Vitamin Supplement Combinations
And this one might seem obvious, but I still feel that I should mention it.
Whenever you consume multiple vitamin supplements at the same time, it is not necessary that you on each particular one drink a whole glass of water. Of course, you can do that, if you choose to. But in terms of getting better absorption drinking multiple glasses of water won’t affect it.
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