After having a conversation with someone about their supplement intake I got thinking – are people getting the most out of their supplements?
Many people will take all their supplement in one go (with their breakfast for example) for the sake of ease – but is this the best way? If we look at vitamin C for arguments sake (but applies to almost all water soluble nutrients):
Vitamin C supplements, and some multivitamins contain 100’s of milligrams of vitamin C which the body cannot store. Only a certain amount of vitamin C can circulate in the blood before it gets filtered out by the kidneys and passes out in the urine. The amount of vitamin C the body can hold in circulation will vary from person to person depending on size and demand in the body, but it will almost never be in excess of 1000mg, and is usually no more than 500mg. So, if someone is taking 1000+ mg of vitamin C in the morning, a significant amount of that will quickly pass out in the urine and will not be utilized by the body. The amount of vitamin C ‘wasted’ will be increased if your breakfast contains a source of vitamin C such as orange juice.
However, in the afternoon/ evening/ after exercise, the amount of vitamin C in circulation will have decreased and the body may be in demand for vitamin C, yet there will not be another influx of vitamin C until the next morning – not ideal, but not detrimental.
In an ideal world, the dosage of vitamin C (and all nutrients) will be spread gradually throughout the day in order for the body to make the most of them. Of course, this isn’t easy to do for everyone to do, especially with a busy schedule, but it is something to think about.
Image courtesy of Bill Brooks