Hi, Dr. Susan Brown at Alkaline for Life and the Center for Better Bones.
In our programs for health enhancement, we focus a lot on nutrients, both in the food and in supplements. And I get many questions about the supplements.
So, I’m going to read some of the common questions and try to answer these, and see if we can shed some light on the use of nutrient supplements. The first question is, should you take your vitamins with or without food?
so number one:
Supplements are called food supplements because they supplement the diet. So, it’s good to take them with food. They’re digested right along with food. Generally, as a rule, you take vitamins with food. And when do you take the vitamins?
That’s another question. Well, you certainly take them with the meals and I suggest you spread them out. Maybe some breakfast, some lunch, maybe some dinner. In my particular case, I tend to take most of them at breakfast and lunch, and then I take a few at bedtime, like magnesium and melatonin, a few things that are nice to relax the nervous system. The third question we often get is specific times of day to take certain nutrients.
Well, magnesium, for example, is great to take some of that at night because it really helps the muscles relax. It’s a calming effect on the body as a whole, whereas things like the B vitamins, which are in our multi and many multis, I would take those early in the day because that kind of energizes people.
If you happen to take a green tea extract, for example, you want to take it early in the day because some people feel a little caffeine effect from that. So generally, I think early in the day, you know, breakfast and lunch are a great idea and certain things have a calming effect to take them in the evening.
Then there’s a question, are there any nutrients that shouldn’t be taken together for fear of competition?
And really, I think people have in mind that like calcium and magnesium health, they kind of have the same calcium, magnesium ATPase channel that they’re taken up into the cells and they may compete. But the competition is very little.
And so we have found over our years of research and the researchers I work with say that very little is lost when you take things like calcium and magnesium together, especially when you compare with the difficulty of separating all this, because remember, for bone alone, there’s like 20 key nutrients and it will be very hard to separate all of those.
So, we find it’s perfectly fine to take the multivitamin, which has 40 nutrients, our Energized Multi, and the Alkalizing Minerals, which has 20 nutrients to take those all together, those formulas together. And if you say, well that’s, I can do the Alkalizing Minerals one time of day and the Energized Multi another, that’s fine if you have weak digestion.
But we don’t worry that that one pill has 40 nutrients and another pill has 20 nutrients. Are some nutrients better taken as a powder or liquid? Actually, for some nutrients, you have the flexibility to do a liquid, like Omega-3 fats. We have a capsule or a liquid.
I personally like the liquid because it’s more concentrated or the vitamin C. Our vitamin C, ascorbate, buffered ascorbate, is a very special product packed under nitrogen, very carefully preserved to be fully active. That’s a powder. And it’s made so you can take very high doses of ascorbate.
Certainly, we like that in powder. It’s much more potent than a tablet or a liquid because the tablet and liquid get exposed to being oxidized easier and they aren’t processed in that same careful way. The powder is certainly like, you know, there is a magnesium powder.
If you say, look, I just can’t take so many pills, certainly, magnesium powder is an option. And of course, collagen, which we do like, is a powder. So, you can find some powders where they haven’t had to put too many fillers and binders and things like that. But generally, when you get into liquid, you get concerned.
It has a lot of additives because of the taste. And the same thing with the powders. But definitely, if you have weak digestion, you can look and see if some of the powders work. And of course, the other option is to grind up the tablets that you have. So, another common question is, what do I do if the pill is too big for me if the vitamin pill is too big?
Well, certainly you can break it up with a pill crusher. I’ve had clients do very creative things, like take a cloth and put the pill in there, smash it up with a hammer, put it in a plastic bag, and smash it with a hammer.
A lot of creative things, but you can also use:
you can use the pill crusher, but you can also, many of the nutrients you can put in a little bit of water and then mix them in your smoothie and they blend up very nicely.
Some of the vitamins don’t taste so great. So, I always experiment around and see which ones can I put in my smoothie, like the mineral, the Alkalizing Minerals, that doesn’t taste bad for health, but the multiple, the Energized Multi, pretty strong tasting because of the B vitamins. So, you might do your own little taste test and see which ones could you put in a powdered form or buy in a powdered form.
And especially for a person that might have weak digestion, as your digestion gets stronger, you probably will find it’s not difficult to take the tablets. And so generally, I think those are most of the things people ask us about.
Never hurts to begin the nutrients slowly for health, work up and pay attention to how you seem to be responding, and always pay attention to your digestion. Sit down, take them in a peaceful place, maybe drink them with a little warm water which stimulates digestion.
And a final thing is to remember that. Every single day our body needs every nutrient, and so if we want to play with a full deck, if we want to help all our cells function optimally, we want to take these nutrients every day. In fact, the body likes regularity the body plans on regularity. So be regular with your nutrients. You’ll get a much better effect.
I hope you find this useful. If you have any questions, just let us know.