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Taking supplements the right way: Be sure to avoid these mistakes

October 14, 2021 5 min read

Taking supplements the right way: Be sure to avoid these mistakes

Do you take any supplements on a regular basis?

Our modern diets provide less and less of the vitamins and minerals we all need for our health and well-being. Modern farming methods strip nutrients from the soil, while pasteurization, pesticides and other chemicals ensure that what we eat and drink is stripped of essential vitamins and minerals. 

To ensure that we are providing our bodies with all the necessary minerals and vitamins daily, supplements are a fantastic solution. Although taking supplements seems simple, there are many ways to make mistakes. Taking vitamins correctly can have an impact on how much your health benefits. 

How certain are you about your supplement routine?

In this article, we inform you about some common mistakes people make when taking supplements. Learn from the pitfalls and avoid them in your own healthy routine!

1. You take supplements as an excuse

"If I take my vitamins in capsule form every day, I won't need to eat fruits and vegetables anymore." If that's your opinion, you're sorely mistaken! Supplements are there to complete your diet. However, taking them doesn't mean you can give up a healthy and balanced diet. Try to get as many different colors on your plate. Eat fruits and vegetables daily and take your supplements to support your healthy lifestyle. You can't expect results from supplements if you're eating an unbalanced diet. 

2. You do not follow the recommended dose

Do you know the recommended dose of all your supplements? No?! Then you should go and check the label on your supplement and ask a doctor. More is not automatically better! If you take too much, you can not only suffer side effects, but also long-term negative consequences. So never take more than recommended. 

If you take for example too much vitamin C it will be excreted directly in the urine. Our body can only absorb about 1,000 milligrams per day. So taking too much can even be a waste of money for you. 

On the other side, if you take too little and do not reach the recommended daily dose, you shouldn't expect any results. 

3. You do not check the expiration dates

Yes, supplements expire. You should definitely pay attention to the expiration date of your supplements because over time certain supplements lose their effectiveness. Especially if they are exposed to particularly warm or cold temperatures. So better check if the magnesium that has been in your medicine cabinet for three years is still effective. Because after a certain point, expired supplements won't be of any use at all.

4. You do not take fat-soluble vitamins with a fat source

This is a common mistake. All fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A,D, E, and K should be taken with a fat source. Fat soluble nutrients are those that (as the name implies) dissolve in fat. So if you take the vitamins without a fat source, the absorption will be greatly impaired. Because we at AAVALABS know about this problem and want to make taking supplements as easy as possible, we add healthy olive oil to our supplements with fat-soluble nutrients. However, if you want to take fat-soluble vitamins without added oil, we recommend taking them together with nuts or avocado. 

5. You are taking supplements at the wrong time of day

Did you know that different supplements should be taken at different times of the day? For example, some vitamins or minerals can give you energy when taken before bedtime, making it impossible for you to get a good night's sleep. But at what time of the day should I take my supplements to get the most benefit? 

Here are some recommendations:

  • Vitamins A, D, E, K:As stated in Tip 4, you should take fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) best with meals. To get their benefits in the morning, you can take them with breakfast, which ideally includes enough healthy fats. Otherwise, you can also take them at lunch or dinner. 
  • B vitamins: The B vitamins, on the other hand, are water-soluble. Therefore, they can be taken at any time of the day. We recommend taking B vitamins in the morning to benefit from their effects as soon as possible. Moreover, it has been proven that vitamin B12 contributes to a full energy metabolism and to the reduction of fatigue. So it is excellent for a good start to the day!
  • Chlorella, Spirulina: Superfoods like spirulina and chlorella are also preferable to take in the morning due to their energy boosting properties. 
  • Probiotics:Probiotics contain live microorganisms that may not reach the intestines alive when taken directly in the morning due to the acid in the stomach. However, directly after eating, the microorganisms may be blocked in the stomach by food for too long. Therefore, it is best to take probiotics with a light meal (for example, a healthy snack) or 30 minutes before a heartier meal. 
  • Omega-3 (fish oil or vegan): We recommend taking omega-3 preparations directly in the morning or at the beginning of a meal. This way, the fatty acids stay in the stomach for a shorter period of time and glide through the intestines, from where they can benefit the entire body as quickly as possible.

6. You combine medications & supplements without medical consultation

If you take any kind of medications, you should always ask your doctor first if taking a supplement is a good idea. There are some interactions that you should know about. However, it is often sufficient to separate the times of intake from each other. Here are some examples: 

  • Iron can reduce the absorption and effectiveness of some medications. When taking thyroid hormones, antibiotics, or bisphosphonates (osteoporosis medications), take them 2 hours apart.
  • Zinc may reduce the absorption and effectiveness of some medications. When taking antibiotics, intake should be delayed by 2 hours.
  • Folate, the natural form of folic acid, may decrease the effectiveness of methotrexate. This is a drug that is used to treat leukemia or rheumatism, for example.
  • Calcium can decrease the activity of verapamil (a calcium blocker). If you are taking thyroid hormones, you should take calcium 2 hours later to avoid interactions.

7. You take vitamins irregularly

If you take your vitamin capsules irregularly, your body may constantly fluctuate between optimal supply and insufficient supply. In the long run, this will not have a positive effect on your health. 

If you decide to take supplements regularly, you should make it a point to take them regularly and according to the daily dose. 

8. You combine your supplements wrongly

There are some vitamins that you should combine and some you shouldn´t. Here are some examples: 

  • Vitamin D with vitamin K:The sun vitamin is dependent on vitamin K. Vitamin K2 supports the sun vitamin by activating and harnessing proteins. This includes, for example, the protein oseocalcin. 
  • Iron with vitamin C: Instead of water, it is recommended to take iron with orange juice or another liquid containing vitamin C. This boosts the absorption of the trace mineral. 

Vitamins and minerals you'd better not combine:

  • Iron should not be combined with calcium, magnesium, and zinc, as they will drive each other out of the oxidation state. It is better to administer iron with vitamin C. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption.
  • Folic acid should not be combined with zinc as this prevents absorption.

Did you make some mistakes when taking supplements?

Don't worry. Now that you know about the most common mistakes, you can overthink the way you take your supplements. Pay attention to the right dose and the recommended times of the day. If you have any questions or doubts, we recommend you talk to your doctor. 

Good luck in redesigning your healthy routine!