Tips for taking supplements

I have been taking supplements since I was a kid.  My mom was very careful about being selective and making sure I got the right supplements, and although there was a time in my life that I didn’t take the time or effort to keep up with it (some of my college years), I now take supplements on a daily basis.  I do try to get as much nutrition from whole foods as possible – in other words, it is important for me to eat a healthy, nutritious, well-balanced diet – but I do find it helpful to supplement especially when I am busy and stressed (which is more often than I would like!).

Here are some tips from things I have learned along the way!

Get a pill organizer.

It might sound unecessary, but a pill organizer keeps me on track with taking various vitamins and supplements.  This way, I actually remember to take my supplements.  And another thing this helps with are those times I can’t remember at all what I have and haven’t taken!  This was really great when I had just had a baby and I needed to stay on top of taking a multivitamin and some supplements that my doctor had me take (like iron), but I was so sleep deprived that I could never seem to remember if I had taken my supplements or not!

I recommend getting one that is divided into two segments per day.  This way you can spread out what you take.  I take energizing supplements like multivitamins in the morning, and things like probiotics around dinnertime.

Do your research about your supplements.

I’m sure you have heard in the news that there are supplements that aren’t good quality.  That is not the case for all – just do your research and make an educated purchase.

Also consider that some supplements are synergistic – for example, magnesium should be taken with calcium, and turmeric is best absorbed alongside black pepper.

On the flip side, make sure that you aren’t taking anything that contradicts one another, taking into consideration health issues and medications you may be taking.  For example, turmeric is a natural blood thinner.

Rotate supplements.

I like to switch up my supplements periodically.  Even though I select them carefully, I feel like it is good to rotate them so that I can try different ones and hopefully get a good range of benefits.  This can be changing the brand of multivitamin every so often, or alternating between different immune-boosting herbs.  During cold and flu season, I take more immune-boosting supplements, especially if I feel like I have been exposed to germs or I wake up with a sore throat.  Maybe you are starting a new workout routine and want to add in some joint supplements and turmeric for anti-inflammatory benefits.

Follow the instructions.

Sounds easy enough, but carefully read and research the supplements.  Make sure to take the proper amount and at the proper time, whether it is on an empty stomach or with a meal.  This way you can make sure your supplements have maximum benefit.. and you won’t have unpleasant side effects (like throwing up because you took a multivitamin on an empty stomach).

Stay in routine.

I find that it is important for me to be consistent with taking my vitamins – especially when I travel.  Traveling means lack of sleep, not eating my usual foods, etc., so supplements can be really useful.  You can, of course, pare down your routine, but something like probiotics are fantastic for travel!

Talk to your doctor!

I am by no means a doctor, and so I really stress the importance of being safe with supplements.  Additionally, check in with your doctor.  It also helps if you have bloodwork to see if you are in need of supplements, such as iron or vitamin D.

Hope this helps!  So what supplements do I take?  It depends, but here is what I most often take.

In the mornings, I usually take a multivitamin, probiotic, and an omega supplement.

In the evenings, I usually take a vitamin C, probiotic, and usually something like immune-boosting herbs or an anti-inflammatory like turmeric.

Which supplements do you take?