Optimize Your Vitamins with Food and Drink

Hand holding vitamins

If you are like me, you do your best to eat right, exercise and to take your vitamins.  You understand how important it is to take excellent care of your mind, body, and soul.  You buy healthy food, you stay as active as possible and you buy high-quality vitamins.  You probably know that pairing oil with vegetables helps your body absorb all the good nutrients you eat and that combining cardio with moderate weight lifting is an excellent way to stay fit, but you might not know what to eat and drink to get the most out of your vitamins.

Why Take Vitamins with Orange Juice

Good vitamins are expensive and when I buy them, I do everything I can to make sure my body absorbs them.  Starting with this: I never take my vitamins when I am having coffee.  Coffee acts as an inhibitor.  Any beverage or food containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and soda hinder the benefits of vitamins and minerals.  The chemical properties in caffeine impede their uptake and increase the rate at which they are excreted from the body.  So, please do not swallow your pharmaceutical grade multi-vitamin with your morning joe.  Take them with your OJ.  Citrus, like orange juice, actually increase the effectiveness and uptake of your vitamins and minerals.  Minerals, in general, are absorbed in the highest rates when paired with citrus or acidic foods.

How to Absorb Vitamin Supplements Better

Most vitamins and minerals are absorbed most effectively paired with a balanced meal.  If you are taking a fat soluble vitamin such as Vitamin D, make sure you are eating some fat.  For example, if you prefer to take your vitamins at breakfast and you have invested in a high-quality Vitamin D, make sure you add peanut butter or almond butter to your toast or nuts to your granola.  This effectively increases your body’s utilization of the supplement.  This holds true for Vitamins A, E, K and Coenzyme Q10 too.

In most cases, having food in your belly is a good thing for the maximum utilization of your vitamins, but, there are a few cases when an empty stomach is best.  When taking amino acids, herbal supplements or enzymes, an empty stomach is a good thing.  Most medical professionals agree that the optimal times for taking amino acids, enzymes and herbs would be 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after.  This is ample time for your body to do what it needs to do and for the supplement to do what it is meant to do!

If you are taking any fiber supplements, please do not take your vitamins at the same time.  If you do so, the fiber will increase the motility of your intestines and more likely than not, you will simply pass your vitamins without any uptake at all.  In large doses, calcium and magnesium compete for bioavailability and require separate dosage times.  Both calcium and magnesium are better absorbed with Vitamin D.  Adding dairy to your diet will help increase your body’s utility of calcium and magnesium.

It is actually quite simple to ensure optimum utilization of your vitamins.

1. Remember that Vitamin C will increase the bioavailability of most other vitamins.

2. Caffeine decreases the effectiveness of most vitamins and minerals.

3. Taking your vitamins with a balanced meal is key in most instances.

High-quality vitamins and minerals can do wonders for our bodies.  But they can only do so if we do our part in making that happen.  With these tips you can eat and drink to increase the effectiveness of your vitamins and minerals.  Now that is a tasty way to get healthy!

Unsure which vitamins or supplements you should be taking? When you take the Persona Assessment, a team of nutritionists and doctors will provide a personalized vitamin regimen for your unique health goals and needs.

This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.

Interested in learning what supplements are right for you? Take our free assessment.

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