If you are like me — you are just starting to realize why it is important to add supplements to your diet. Even if we are eating a clean, healthy and unprocessed diet; the mineral content of the soil that our food is grown in just isn’t equivalent to that of our predecessors. I won’t even begin to touch on the topics of pesticides, GMO’s, contaminated water supplies etc. Let’s face it — most of the food / water/ products that we put in our bodies simply aren’t healthy anymore. So I do think we need to augment our nutrition these days with some good quality supplements.
You can refer back to previous posts that will explain which supplements I think are important for most people and why—
But here is another big question—- WHEN should we take these supplements and WHY?
So here is the low down!
Take these with the main meal of the day!
Multivitamins contain the major fat soluble vitamins A,D, E, and K– and should ideally be taken with a meal that contains some fat.
They also contain B and C vitamins which can notoriously cause some mild nausea or acid sensitivity when they aren’t taken with food.
The only exception is a B12 vitamin which is better absorbed on an empty stomach — however, I usually recommend using a sublingual formula of B12 which is placed under the tongue — so it doesn’t matter if it is taken with or without food
Fish oil can cause some GI upset. That is why it is best to take it with your main meal of the day. Another little tip to remember is that if you are prone to getting “Fish Burps” or gas from taking fish oil, you can keep it in the freezer and take the supplement frozen. Remember, it is almost better not to take fish oil at all if you aren’t getting a high quality supplement. You want to avoid any fish oil that is generated in a farmed setting or that could potentially have high amounts of mercury. I recommend using something like Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver Oil or Carlson’s fish oil. Reputable supplement companies such as Metagenics, Pure Encapsulations, and Thorne are also safe bets.
Magnesium (see Magnesium- the unloved mineral) is quite beneficial as a supplement as it is necessary for many processes in the body and it helps stabilize calcium in the body. I like magnesium glycinate. It is quite bioavailable and doesn’t tend to cause diarrhea like magnesium sulfate or citrate. Taking magnesium before bed is helpful because it also assists with sleep and muscle relaxation. There is also a good supplement called “Natural Calm” which is a drink you can do before bed. They make magnesium sprays that you can use topically or you can take a bath with 1-2 cups of epsom salts dissolved in it if you don’t like taking the oral supplement.
Probiotics include helpful bacteria to re-colonize the gut micro biome after taking prescription antibiotics. I believe they are helpful to take on a daily basis if you don’t consume a lot of fermented foods (kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, kombucha) It is always best to get good bacteria from foods but taking a quality probiotic with at least 7 different strains of bacteria including lactobacillus and bifidobacterium species can certainly be beneficial (see Probiotics). I suggest taking these on an empty stomach and at night. Preferably 2-3 hours after your final meal of the day.