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How to get the most out of your supplements

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Do you feel like your supplements aren’t working? Or, they do work, but you wish them to offer more benefits. Luckily, you can make your supplements work better for your body with a few simple tricks. Remember, not all supplements are made equal and there are several factors that identify a supplement's absorption and quality. Read on to learn how to avoid wasting your money on supplements that don’t work effectively.

1. Choose your brand wisely

Supplements are generally created to be taken on a daily basis for them to be useful in providing your body with the nutrients vital for your health. You might be taking supplements for weeks, months, and even years, which is why it’s important to choose your brand wisely.

Taking poor quality dietary supplements daily over a prolonged period can negatively impact your health, studies claim. You might not feel the negative impact of a poor quality supplement, but you’re more likely to experience mental and physical health issues in the long-term.

Poor quality supplements can be compared to sugar consumption. We believe sugar doesn’t cause any health problems, but then wonder why diabetes, heart disease, and cancer develop. How do you choose a trustworthy supplement brand then? Here are a few criteria:

  • Check out the label: If a brand doesn’t reveal nutritional information and all ingredients on their label, chances are they might be hiding something. Doubtful brands often change the ingredient names to sound better. For instance, ‘dehydrated cane syrup’ might be used instead of “sugar.”

  • Pay attention to unrecognizable ingredients: If you see more unrecognizable ingredients than the ones closest to their organic sources, it’s best to avoid buying this supplement.

  • Check the brand’s reputation and history: Trustworthy supplement brands share information about quality control, their own clinical trials, educational resources, proof of effectiveness and safety, etc. If you google the brand and you find no information, consider choosing another brand.

  • 100% Organic: Supplements should meet the aforementioned criteria and must be certified organic. No growth hormones or antibiotics. No GMOs or synthetics. 

  • Any independent testing certification may be a sign of quality.

2. Find out how long you should take a certain supplement

If you really want to get the most out of your supplement, you should know the exact length of time you should take a supplement. For instance, you need to correct a nutritional deficiency let’s say iron. It’s recommended to take an iron supplement for at least 3 months to fix the deficiency. If you take it for a month and stop, you might not experience the desired result. When it comes to supplementing, make sure you talk to a medical expert to know the length of supplementation time.

3. Stay consistent

Consistency makes supplements produce fantastic results. If you take the pill today and forget to take it tomorrow, or in a week, you’re less likely to see and feel any results. Leave your supplement in the place where you can see it and so see it. Or, you can leave a reminder on the fridge. Your supplement isn’t going to work when left in your cupboard.

4. Take your supplement with a meal

One of the reasons people don’t get the best results from nutritional supplements is because they take supplements on an empty stomach. While there are certain supplements that work great on an empty stomach, most of them should be taken with a meal. This way, supplements are broken down and absorbed in a proper way.

The thing is, most nutrients require the digestive enzymes and stomach acid in order to be absorbed quickly. These enzymes are stimulated by the food you eat. Moreover, taking supplements on an empty stomach can trigger stomach-burning nausea.

Fat-soluble vitamins and micronutrients like vitamins A, E, D, and K, carotenoids, and CoQ-10 should be taken with meals containing healthy fat for better absorption. Magnesium and calcium work better in the evening. Research showed that calcium deficiency is associated with disturbances in sleep. The body needs calcium and magnesium at night as they’re natural muscle relaxant.

If you take iron and calcium supplements, make sure you take them 4 hours away from one another. Iron is best taken with vitamin C for faster absorption. On the other hand, herbal supplements are recommended to be taken on an empty stomach for more effectiveness.

5. Learn how to combine medications and supplements

If you take any medications on a regular basis and you’re considering supplementation, let your doctor know about it. There are some medications that decrease the absorbability of certain nutrients. Taking medications with multivitamins aren’t recommended at all. 

For instance, birth control pills reduce the absorption of folic acid and vitamin B while antibiotics may interact with magnesium supplements. If you’re taking a blood thinner, be extra careful with vitamin K, Ginkgo biloba, omega 3s, and vitamin E supplementation.

6. Stay away from coffee, tea, or soda within at least 2 hours of taking a supplement

These beverages are the sources of polyphenols, which decrease the absorption of most vitamins and minerals. Swap those drinks for plain water, lemon water, or orange juice. If you’re going to drink coffee, tea, or soda, enjoy the drink at least 2 hours after taking your supplements.

7. Choose the most absorbable form

Oxides, carbonates, and sulfates are less absorbable forms while amino citrates and acid chelates are considered as highly absorbable forms. Amino acid chelate forms of supplements offer 3 to 10 times better assimilation and absorption than the non-chelated ones. For instance, look for iron citrate or calcium citrate if you want to fix these nutrient deficiencies fast. Stay away from supplements (particularly, liquid ones) that contain fructose or extra sugar as it can disturb assimilation.

The final word

Taking supplements can truly increase your body’s performance, improve your health, and boost your overall quality of life. However, this can happen only if you choose a high-quality brand. The top quality supplements offer more health benefits if you take the right dosage and at the right time. To get advice on your unique supplements needs fulfilled by the best brands available in Singapore from the comfort of your home, click here to start your assessment