How to optimize your daily supplement routine

How to optimize your daily supplement routine

As you walk down the supplement aisle, there is an overwhelming combination of vitamins – pills, liquid and dissolvable – that are meant to enhance your current intake.

But are these vitamins really necessary? Which ones should you be taking and when? Dr. Shaheera Kader, an integrative primary care physician and women’s health specialist at Aurora Health Care, opens the bottle on supplements and how to increase optimal absorption and benefits.

Should you take your supplements with food?

Fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K are recommended to be taken with meals containing healthy fats for better absorption. Water-soluble vitamins like B and C can be well absorbed on their own.

When should you take your supplements?

The time of day when vitamins are taken can make a difference. For example, magnesium has a relaxing effect and is best taken at night in the form of magnesium citrate or glycinate. B vitamins and vitamin D are best taken during the day as they have benefits on energy metabolism.

Should vitamins be taken together?

Vitamins and minerals can have an impact on each other. For example, vitamin C increases the absorption of iron.

Taking vitamin K and vitamin D with calcium is important for its optimal absorption into the bones and to prevent accumulation of calcium in the arteries or soft tissues which can lead to other complications. Calcium interferes with the absorption of magnesium and the two should be taken separately.

How much should you be supplementing with? 

Dr. Kader also cautions that it is possible to take too much of a supplement. For example, excess amounts of Zinc can disrupt copper metabolism and high doses of iron could lead to an accumulation that could create adverse effects.

“Each person requires different nutrients and therefore may need different supplements,” says Dr. Kader. “For example, age, gender, health history and current medications all contribute to an individual’s need for supplements.”

While the vitamin itself is important, so is the quality of the product.

“The caveat is that the vitamin is not the end all. The quality of the product matters,” says Dr. Kader. “Make sure your vitamins come from a reliable source with good manufacturing techniques.”

Above all, it is best to try and obtain essential nutrients from your diet. And, it’s important to consult with your doctor about what supplements are right for you before beginning your own regimen.

Are you trying to lose weight? Take a free online quiz to learn more about your healthy weight range here. 

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  1. With all the supplements in our lives, I welcomed this article because I get overwhelmed with all I’d like to take but knowing when & how to take them makes my money spent count for something. I’d like to see more articles on managing multiple supplements. The doctors I’ve spoken to about different supplements, etc. don’t seem to really be that interested in the when & how of things other than if something conflicts with prescribed medications I already take. I haven’t run into many doctors who focus on nutrition beyond caloric count & basic thoughts and it’d be great if more emphasis was given to healing thru foods. A good article and I hope to see more like this.

  2. How do we know what a reliable source with good manufacturing techniques is? What do we look for on the bottle or description?

  3. Cynthia @ Activefamilychiroaz February 21, 2023 at 10:48 am · Reply

    One of the best ways to optimize your daily supplement routine is to start by focusing on the basics. This includes ensuring that you are getting enough essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc, which can be lacking in many people’s diets. Taking a high-quality multivitamin can be a great way to ensure that you are getting all of the necessary nutrients in one convenient package.

  4. Commentary should include discussing with your doctor if you take other medications – i.e. thyroid medication – I never take that with vitamins.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.