Are you taking your multivitamin correctly?

Are you taking your vitamins correctly

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It’s easy to assume popping a multivitamin or supplement once a day helps round out your nutritional intake, but it’s not necessarily that simple. You have to put a little more thought into when you take the pill and what other foods or drinks you have at the same time.

For example, most people take their multivitamins and supplements in the morning so they don’t forget, but that’s not the best idea if you also start your day with a cup of caffeine-filled coffee, tea or soda. Caffeine is a stimulant and, according to Fitness Magazine, it speeds up the gastrointestinal tract and makes things you ingest more quickly through your body. As a result, you don’t have the time to fully absorb the vitamins. That’s why it’s best to take your vitamins with water and wait at least 15 minutes to start drinking coffee.

But while caffeinated beverages are a no-no, orange juice is totally fine. It’s a common misconception that vitamins should not be taken with O.J. because of the acidity. However, while this rule is true for taking medications (fruit juices can decrease or increase absorption into the bloodstream), orange juice is perfectly safe to drink with multivitamins and supplements. In fact, it’s actually beneficial to combine O.J. with calcium supplements because it increases absorption of the calcium.

The last few rules have to do with calcium supplements. If you take one, don’t do it at the same time as you take a multivitamin with iron in it because the calcium decreases absorption of the iron. And if your calcium supplement is a calcium carbonate (check the label), you’ll need to take it with some food to help it get absorbed. The other kind, calcium citrate, doesn’t.

 

Photo credit: DBduo Photography

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