How to Get the Most out of Vitamin Supplements- Thomas DeLauer:
When should you take your vitamins? To learn more about how I can help you, head to http://www.ThomasDeLauer.com
Many factors play a role on how available vitamins and supplements are when you take them. Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Vitamins A, D, E and K-
These are stored in the liver and fat stores in your body, so you do not need to consume these every day. They are easy to get from food as they are not easily broken down by heat when cooking. These are the most important vitamins to eat with food, as the name implies, they are only absorbed and used by the body in the presence of fat. These vitamins dissolve in fat and are then delivered to the bloodstream for use in the body. Not much fat is needed, but if taking a supplement, or even eating fruits and veggies, but sure to have some fat added. If you make a healthy smoothie, add some almond butter or you favorite oil, such as macadamia nut oil. When eating salads, do not use fat-free salad dressings! Olive oil and lemon juice are great options. Be careful if you supplement these vitamins and be sure to check with your doctor if you feel you may need to do so. These vitamins are only needed in small quantities and can build up to a dangerous level if too many are taken. Vitamin D is the main fat-soluble vitamin in the US where deficiencies are common. This is due to inadequate exposure to sunlight. Fortified foods and supplements can help. Try to obtain 5-15 minutes of direct sunlight twice per week to avoid a deficiency, and if this is not possible then talk to your doctor about supplementation.
Water-Soluble Vitamins: Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins are water soluble vitamins that you need to be sure to include in your diet daily. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, these vitamins are not stored in your adipose tissue or liver and are in essence washed from your body daily. Food storage and preparation are important when making sure to get sufficient quantities of these vitamins. Deficiencies are uncommon, however vegans do not have a natural source of vitamin B12 and usually need to supplement. While deficiencies are not common, it is still important to consume daily for bodily functioning. As these vitamins dissolve in water, you do not need to take these with foods, although you can if you want to.
Minerals: Calcium and Magnesium (2,4) – These are best taken with food and good to take at night. Calcium is linked to improved sleep due to its muscle relaxing abilities and magnesium has calming effects on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.
Zinc (2,4) – Take with or after meals to avoid stomach upset. Do not take with dairy as calcium hampers absorption. Also avoid taking with iron as large quantities of iron can also hurt your body’s ability to absorb zinc. Avoid taking excess zinc, which can lead to anemia through suppression of copper absorption.
Iron (4) – Best to take on an empty stomach. Avoid taking with zinc, calcium and vitamin E as these can decrease absorption. If you have a sensitive stomach you may not do well when taking iron on an empty stomach. If so, take with a light meal.
Probiotics (4) – Best to take 30 minutes before a meal as this is when digestive enzymes, bile salts and stomach acid are at low levels. These levels peak after a meal, so this is the worst time to take a probiotic.
Fiber (2) – Be sure to separate taking fiber from other nutritional supplements as fiber can hamper mineral absorption.
Fish Oil (4) – Fish Oil is best to take with food and with your multivitamin, or other fat-soluble vitamins, if you take them. The fat in the food that you eat can help to aid in digestion and absorption. As fats take a long time for your body to digest, it is best not to take fish oil pills or eat a fatty meal pre-workout. This can cause digestive upset.
Multivitamins: As these contain both water- and fat-soluble vitamins, take with plenty of water and some food with fat in it, but try not to take with dairy as this can reduce your absorption of zinc.
1. Fat-soluble vitamins
2. Water-soluble vitamins
3. Get the most from your vitamin supplements
4. A guide to timing supplement intake