Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients that our bodies need to function properly. While most of us will have no problem getting the necessary amounts through our normal diet, some of us will need the help of a vitamin supplement to reach our daily requirements.
In order to get the most out of your vitamin, you need to ensure you’re taking it properly and following the various directions for use. Research has found that taking too much of certain vitamins can have adverse effects on your body.
Other studies have shown that taking multiple vitamins and minerals will cause them to compete with each other -- meaning your body won’t absorb everything that you consume.
While there won’t necessarily be a “one-size fits all” solution for vitamins, there will be several universal guidelines you should follow when adding vitamins and multivitamins to your daily regimen.
Vitamins Enhance Your Diet, They Don’t Replace It
The main rule of thumb when it comes to taking a vitamin properly is to refrain from using them as a replacement to getting the vitamins the old-fashioned way (through our diet). Vitamins should be used as the “side-kick” to your typical healthy eating habits and shouldn’t take away from that.
If you’re getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals already, there’s no need to take more. A majority of vitamins are going to be water-soluble and won’t get stored by the body, so any excess will just be excreted at a later time.
Be Careful When Combining Vitamins
If you’re targeting one specific vitamin, then you’ll have a much easier time managing the intake. If you’re trying to tackle several different vitamins and minerals, things can get a little tricky. While multivitamins will likely provide what you need, they’ll also provide a lot of unnecessary nutrients and might not provide the right amounts of each nutrient.
When combining vitamins, there will be some that work better together than others. Here’s a quick breakdown of some things to keep in mind:
- Calcium always pairs nicely with Vitamin D and K
- Magnesium is a good match with Vitamin D
- Vitamins E, D, A, and K are fat-soluble, so they are better absorbed by the body when taken with fat
- Vitamin D3 and A work well together
- It’s best to consume Vitamin C with foods high in iron
- Be aware of the zinc / copper balance
- B-complex vitamins assist in the production of energy, so these are best taken in the morning
- Magnesium can help you feel sleepy, so it’s a good one to take at night
Before purchasing a vitamin, it’s always important to read the label to see what’s included in each serving. They’ll list the percentage of each nutrient in relation to your daily recommended amount, so you can easily see how much is in there.
For most vitamins, water will be an adequate drink to down them with since most of them are water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins will likely benefit most when taken with fatty foods or even milk.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to properly take a vitamin, contact us today and we’ll be happy to assist you!