Many Americans have nutrient gaps in their diets that vitamin and mineral supplements can help fill.
Having a supplement routine can help you take your vitamins consistently for the best results.
Your supplement routine should consider your health goals, doctor’s recommendations, and recommended serving and timing for each supplement.
Some basic organization, reminders, and/or pairing your vitamins with another daily habit, like eating breakfast, can all help keep you on track.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can be a great way to support your health and fill in nutritional gaps in your diet. It can be exciting and empowering to discover a new vitamin or mineral supplement that matches your health goals, but actually taking it can be another story. Whether you have a hard time remembering to take your vitamins, take them at random times, or feel like your supplement system is in disarray, creating a supplement routine can help.
Why Vitamins and Supplements Matter
Your diet is your primary source of nutrition, but even with the best intentions, many of us have nutritional gaps in our diets. According to the latest edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most adults don’t get enough Calcium, Potassium, or Vitamin D .
Some life events, medical conditions, and/or medications may also alter your nutrient needs. For example, pregnancy and aging increase the need for certain vitamins and minerals.
Vitamin and mineral supplements can help you fill in gaps in your diet and make it easier to get the higher amounts of nutrients needed during certain life stages to support optimal health .†
Here’s how to get the most out of your supplements.
When choosing supplements, consider your primary health goals and the areas you need support. Your needs may change with age, life circumstances, or the seasons. Perhaps you’re interested in immune support and stress relief during a busy season.†
Some medications and supplements can interfere with each other’s effectiveness so always check with your doctor before starting a new supplement . Your doctor or a Registered Dietitian can also help you assess your diet, medical history, and lifestyle and make individualized supplement recommendations.
Nature Made supplements are uniquely formulated to provide you with a safe and optimal level of vitamins, minerals, and other active ingredients. Unless otherwise recommended by a physician, taking more or less than the recommended amount of a vitamin or supplement can change its effectiveness and safety.
You can find the serving size, or dosage, on the Supplement Facts label. You can also find directions under “Suggested Use” on the product label, which may include recommendations for the time of day and whether to take with food or on an empty stomach.
If you take multiple supplements, consider making a master list that includes serving size and timing so you don’t have to keep referring to the bottles. Keeping this information in one place also makes it convenient to share with your healthcare providers.
3. Consider timing
Some supplements work best when taken on an empty stomach or first thing in the morning, while others should be taken with food or close to bedtime. How do you keep them straight?
Keep these rules of thumb in mind as you create your vitamin routine:
Most water soluble vitamins, which include B Vitamin Complex, and Vitamin C, should be taken at mealtimes with a full glass of water for optimal absorption .
Fat soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E, and K) need fat to be absorbed . These vitamins should be taken with a meal or snack that contains a bit of healthy fat, such as avocado or nuts.
Iron supplements are best to be taken with orange juice or another source of Vitamin C since Vitamin C enhances the absorption of iron .
If taking any vitamins without food upsets your stomach, try taking them with a meal or snack.
B Vitamin Complex, which can help us get the energy we need to carry out our day by converting food into cellular energy, is best taken early in the day to harness its benefits.†
Magnesium supplements, which can help supports relaxation, may be best taken in the evening when they can most help you unwind before bed.†
Supplements can’t work optimally if you forget to take them or take them inconsistently. The best way to take vitamins and supplements regularly is to incorporate them into your daily routines.
Try taking your vitamins at the same time you complete an already established habit, such as eating breakfast (or say brushing your teeth at night) or setting the coffee maker. Pairing vitamins with another daily task can also help you stay consistent with the time of day you take them.
Where you store your vitamins can also help you remember to take them. Try storing your vitamins in a prominent and visible location, such as a bathroom vanity, nightstand, work desk, or kitchen counter.
It takes an average of 60 days for new habits to become second nature, so accept that a new vitamin routine will take some time to stick . In the meantime, setting a reminder on your phone or writing yourself a note in a daily planner or to-do list can help keep you on track.
5. Get organized
Once you decide where to store your supplements, consider using some organization tools to make the bottles accessible. Baskets, tiered shelving organizers, or a lazy Susan storage container can make it easier and quicker to reach for what you need.
If you take several supplements, consider daily vitamin packs. There's no need for a counter full of bottles. You can simply take the contents of one packet daily. Nurish by Nature Made® offers a 30-day supply of the vitamins and supplements you want in one daily packet, with the freedom to change the supplements in your subscription as your health needs change.
It’s a good idea to stock up on vitamins and supplements that you take regularly. Keeping an extra bottle or two on hand can help prevent gaps in taking your vitamins when you finish a bottle. Remember supplements do expire, so don’t buy more than you can use before the expiration date on the bottle.
6. Be patient
Results don’t happen overnight with most vitamins and supplements. It may take several weeks or months for your body to adapt to taking a new supplement to notice a difference.
Pairing your supplements with healthy lifestyle habits, including a nutritious diet, physical activity, and adequate sleep, may not speed up your results but can maximize health benefits and general well-being.
7. Choose quality supplements
All the organization and routines in the world won’t help if you aren’t starting with high-quality supplements.
Many Nature MadeⓇ products are USP Verified to take the guesswork out of shopping for trustworthy supplements. Vitamin brands that undergo third-party testing are a testamentto safe and effective supplements. U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP) are independent testing organizations that ensure supplements contain the ingredients listed on the bottle and meet purity standards. Nature Made is the brand with the most products verified by USP.
While there’s no substitute for healthy eating, no one’s diet is perfect and vitamin and mineral supplements can fill in gaps in nutrient intake. However, supplements can only support good health when they’re taken regularly and as directed. Creating a daily habit with your supplements takes time, but is well worth it in the long run.
Be sure to reach out to your healthcare provider with any questions you have regarding the vitamins and supplements you’re currently taking or considering starting.
Sharon Lehman, RD is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and a health writer. She specializes in intuitive eating, recipe development, food photography, and hormone health. She shares healthy living tips and recipes on her blog www.heartandstove.com
Melissa is a registered dietitian (RD) and works in our Medical and Scientific Communications department as a Science and Health Educator. She has worked for Pharmavite for over 20 years educating consumers, healthcare practitioners, retailers and employees about nutrition, dietary supplements and overall wellness. Prior to joining the Medical and Scientific Communications team, Melissa launched and managed Pharmavite’s Consumer Relations department. Melissa received her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutritional Science, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, and completed her dietetic internship at Veterans Affairs Medical Center in East Orange New Jersey.
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