People always ask me when the best time to take supplements is. We can easily tell usage from the suggestion in product’s label. For example, you may find it here:
Recommendation: Take 1 tablet daily, preferably with food.
It is one multivitamins/multiminerals product, normally contains vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and other nutrients. To have a better absorption of these fat soluble vitamins or minerals, you’d better take it after a meal. For calcium, magnesium and iron, stomach acid helps them released from the supplement tablets and lead to a better absorption for zinc.
And if it has multiple pills in daily serving, you may divide them evenly to your three meals in morning, noon, and dinner, although some products may state as a time release caplets.
For some workout products, such as protein, glutamine, and here is the suggestion when you should take it:
- 30 minutes before workout;
- Right after you’ve done with a workout session;
- Before your bedtime and just wake up in the morning;
But if the product label didn’t have any suggestion, when shall we to take it?
This is a kind of herbal supplement, in order to have a best effectiveness you’d take it in each morning before your breakfast or before each of your meal.
For the following herbal products below, you should be aware of above suggestion for best practice:
- Grape seed extract
- Milk thistle
- Bilberry extract
- Ginkgo biloba
- St. John’s wort
- Saw palmetto
- Ginger root
- Black cohosh
Some nutrition supplements have an enteric coating, one protective layer applied to a softgel, capsule and caplet. Normally made of materials, such as starch and plasticizers. This coating prevents the ingredient from being released in the stomach and destroyed by acid in the stomach, e.g. some digest enzymes. So the ingredient can keep intact in stomach acid and reach the small intestine for a better absorption. Sometimes, supplements like fish oil or garlic are designed with enteric coating, not just for the maximum absorption in small intestine, also to avoid the unpleasant aftertastes or burps after taking the pills.
So for these supplements with strong smell you shall follow the recommendation in the label, possibly take them after a meal.
Somehow, you may find probiotics supplements are suggested to take in an empty stomach, or may also be taken with food. You can take as suggested in the label, but you may need to know some tips when you take probiotics:
1, some strains can survive from stomach acid, such as:
Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and Streptococcus species
So probiotics included above strains are not necessary using enteric coating, but according to a study, only 10-20% of strains are able to survive from stomach acid if took without food. But it has more times of survival rate if the probiotics supplement has enterically coating. So normally the probiotics supplement with coating effects better than the one without coating, of course, the price will be costly also.
EnteroGuard® Coating is one kind of enteric coat technology.
2, some products are with enteric coating technology, but some are not. If the pill doesn’t have an enteric coat, you’d better take it just before you have a meal or during a meal.
Here is a few recommendation of the best probiotics for infant.
We can find whole food source supplements become popular on the market. Although most of these food base supplements are more expensive than others, we still can get benefits from the ingredients from natural food.
For example, the above mentioned prenatal vitamins is the best prenatal vitamins, gentle organic formula and can be taken with or without food.
As it contains vitamin B6 and ginger root, that will help soothe the stomach from upset in the morning when a pregnant woman in her first trimester.
And some supplements are prescribed from your physician, you have to follow the instruction from a professional. Be careful, some supplements may interact with medicine, such as natural vitamin E will thin your blood, if you’re taking warfarin or aspirin, don’t take them at the same time in a high dose until you have a suggestion from a pharmacist!