Vitamins are designed to keep us feeling healthy and good, and have the ability to provide us with a daily-recommended dose of –insert vitamin need here—in just one simple step.  And since most of us don’t get enough calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium and vitamin A, C and E… um, basically all of them, it’s not surprising that about half of all Americans take dietary supplements.  It’s important however, like all things healthy, to take your vitamins right.

  1. For all you fair-weather vitamin poppers, vitamins are most effective when taken every day.
  2. Whether morning, noon, or night, you should take your supplement at the same time every day.  This will ensure that rule #1 is followed.
  3. Never take your vitamins on an empty stomach.  This is a big one, and can actually have negative effects.  Here’s why:

Food aids and ensures the proper absorption of each nutrient

Water-soluble vitamins, like B and C, will quickly pass out of your urine (and absorb none of the nutrients) if you take them on an empty stomach.

Since most of us take a multi-vitamin, which contains both water and fat-soluble elements, it’s important to drink a full glass of water and eat food (a piece of toast or bowl of oatmeal is sufficient).

Vitamins on an empty stomach can actually cause upset stomach caused by irritation in the stomach lining due to poor absorption.

Vitamins sit in your stomach to be absorbed and diluted by the acids in your stomach, before they move into your small intestine.  On an empty stomach, and without additional foods to buffer the acidic stomach juices, it may be a little too much for your stomach to handle.

So before you pop those pills, pop a piece of toast in.  Your tummy will thank you.


-Arianna Schioldager


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