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Dear Margo: ‘How & When Should I Take My Supplements?’

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Hello Stonehenge Health Fans!

Today, I’m happy to introduce you to our newest Stonehenge Health blog series called Dear Margo. In this series of blogs, I will answer the most commonly asked questions we hear from you, our community members.

If you’re wondering,” Who’s Margo?” – here’s a bit about me…

First and foremost, I am the proud mom of twins – both division one college athletes. Raising them helped inform my wellness journey in a myriad of ways.

I grew up “unwell.” From my earliest memories through my own college years, it seemed that almost every meal made me sick, doubled over in pain, in the bathroom, with food coming out one end or the other. (Maybe that’s too much information.) It wasn’t until I was a young working woman that I discovered I was profoundly lactose intolerant.  

Once I started eating for wellness – and adding nutritional supplements like Dynamic Biotics – not only did my stomach issues go away, I noticed that my brain felt less clouded. My focus improved along with my memory.

I was particularly fascinated with my dramatically improving brain function. The difference in my recall and focus was nothing short of miraculous, but could it be improved even more? I began researching nutrition and its role in brain function and my mental well-being.  

Being pregnant with twins almost two decades ago further inspired my need to learn and do more. I was eating for three, so what would give my kids the competitive edge and greatest developmental benefits both in the womb and as they entered the world. 

As a writer, I naturally gravitated toward nutrition and have focused the better part of my career on health-related fields. Knowing that my nutrition deeply influences how I feel every day has propelled me to make wellness – especially for my kids – one of my passions. 

And that passion took a giant leap forward when I joined the Stonehenge Health team a few years ago. Here we believe that being informed is essential for preventing and fighting illness. The more you understand how your body works and what you can do to improve your health naturally, the better off you will be now and for years to come. 

And how lucky am I that I get to answer your wellness questions! I draw from the giant well of knowledge that lives within the Stonehenge Health research team. When you ask, I find the answers and report back. And when I do, our collective community knowledge grows. 

Question: When should I take my supplements?

We often get asked what the optimal time is to take a supplement. You may have heard that you should take them with food on an empty stomach, or… take them before breakfast, or… take them before you go to sleep, so which is it?

The answers depend on the ingredients, what you want to accomplish, and, most importantly, what you want to avoid – like insomnia or digestive discomfort.

So, let’s break it down by product type to discover when and why timing matters in achieving the full benefits you’re looking for in your daily supplement routines.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

The human body does not naturally store water-soluble vitamins; therefore, you need to replenish them daily through your diet or supplements. The two most well-known water-soluble vitamins are B complex and C vitamins.

In general, it’s safe to take any B vitamins or a B-complex vitamin at any time of the day. But B vitamins are known to boost your energy; therefore, the best time of day to take them is first thing in the morning. Recent research also shows that B Vitamins may interfere with sleep and even cause vivid dreams – more reasons to take them earlier in the day. (1)

Vitamin C naturally occurs in citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit, and lemons. No matter how you get your vitamin C – fruit or supplements – the benefits are enormous.

However, a study on 16,000 Americas showed that one in three of us are still vitamin C deficient. (2) Because even a moderate vitamin C deficiency can lead to dry skin and a reduction in collagen synthesis, along with an impaired immune system, consider taking a high-quality daily supplement like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C.

This formula contains a potent daily dose of 1,500 mg of fat-soluble and highly bioavailable vitamin C. Dynamic Liposomal Vitamin C efficiently replenishes your daily need.

Vitamin C elevates your body’s ability to absorb calcium, so take them together if you can. At the same time, vitamin C interferes with vitamin B12 absorption, so take them separately.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Some examples of fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. Fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in oil, so they should be taken alongside food. Studies show that taking fat-soluble vitamins immediately following a meal may boost the amount your body absorbs. (3) So, it doesn’t matter what time you take them, as long as you take them with food.

Probiotics

Your gut microbiome is a vast collection of beneficial and harmful bacteria that directly affects your digestive health, brain function, and immunity.  Probiotics restore your gut with helpful bacteria which balance your gut microbiome. Getting and keeping your gut in balance is key to feeling your best.

Your digestive system becomes less active while you sleep, therefore, the best time to take probiotic supplements like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics is at bedtime. This way, the probiotics have the chance to hang out longer in your intestines and colonize. 

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics contains 51 billion colony forming units (CFUs) of lactobacillus and bifidobacterium probiotic strains. It also includes prebiotics to help nourish the good bacteria and give them the food they need to have the best chance to colonize and thrive in your gut.

Minerals

Take minerals such as zinc and magnesium before bedtime. Some minerals produce a calming effect that may help you fall asleep more quickly and sleep more deeply. (4) If you’ve been prescribed a mineral supplement twice a day, morning and evening is the best time to take them.

Omega-3’s

Omega-3 supplements offer a wide range of health benefits, from a better mood to better mobility. They have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps your brain deal with stress and can help calm anxiety symptoms. Many experts recommend taking essential fatty acids with a meal, ideally dinner. Omega-3 is more likely to be tolerated by your body when taken with food, and the enzymes released during digestion help facilitate absorption. (5) An emulsified form of krill oil is best, which can help with absorption even further.

Fish oil is a popular omega-3 supplement that has a reputation for causing indigestion and nausea. Because fish oil is hard to digest, take fish oil in divided doses if you can and never before exercise or bedtime; physical activity or moving your body into a prone position may cause unpleasant fish reflux.

If you’re like many Americans, and the taste of fish does not appeal to you, or eating a large amount of seafood required to get the optimal benefits isn’t possible, try getting your omega-3s in supplement form.

Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Krill Oil contains 320mg of combined omega-3 DHA and EPA, ensuring your body gets more than enough to thrive.

Antioxidants 

Antioxidants protect your cells from free radical damage caused by exposure to pollution, chemicals, and as a byproduct of an unhealthy lifestyle. It’s best to take antioxidant supplements like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Turmeric with a meal to help maximize absorption and minimize stomach upset. If you’re taking a twice-a-day dosage, take one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

Adaptogens

Adaptogens help you adapt to all forms of stress, such as physical exertion, noise, fatigue, and emotional strain. They simultaneously help you feel less anxious and more energized while improving your sense of well-being. (6) With the breadth of wellness benefits they provide, it is not surprising that they have pretty quickly gone from obscure to in vogue in the last few years.

Given that some adaptogens stimulate while others are more relaxing, timing an adaptogen depends on what you want to accomplish. Take sleep-friendly ones like Ashwagandha and Reishi before bedtime and energizing ones like Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps in the morning or during the day.

Say you want to stay chill during a stressful workday, then take a multi-adaptogen formula like Stonehenge Health Dynamic Mushrooms. You’ll get the focus and energy benefits from Lion’s Mane and Maitake, while the Reishi helps you stay calm and balanced.

Multi-Ingredient Supplements

Nutritional supplements that address specific health goals like boosting immunity to help stave off infection or improve cognitive function often have various ingredients that don’t fit entirely into one category. 

Take Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Brain It’s a combination of 40 ingredients, including vitamins, minerals, and neuro-nutrients, that support your brain’s health while also helping to improve your memory and focus. For multi-ingredient supplements like this, follow the instructions on the bottle.

If it is a multi-pill dosage, split the number of pills between morning and evening. For Dynamic Brain specifically, do not take it at night. It contains a high level of b-complex vitamins known to boost your energy. Therefore, the best time of day to take Dynamic Brain is first thing in the morning.

And one last thing, supplements are not monitored by the FDA for quality, purity, or safety like prescription drugs. You should always select supplements made by a reputable source that is third-party tested and made in the USA in an FDA registered, GMP-certified lab, like all the high-quality products made by Stonehenge Health.

If you have any questions or ideas for our “Dear Margo” series, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. I won’t be able to respond directly to you via email, but I will look to include your questions for future blogs in this series.

To your continued good health!

Sources:
1. When Is the Best Time to Take Vitamins? | healthline.com/nutrition/best-time-to-take-vitamins#water-soluble-vitamins
2. Wallace TC, McBurney M, Fulgoni VL 3rd. Multivitamin/mineral supplement contribution to micronutrient intakes in the United States, 2007-2010. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(2):94-102. Doi: 10.1080/07315724.2013.846806. PMID: 24724766. | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24724766/
3. Albahrani, Ali A, and Ronda F Greaves. “Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Clinical Indications and Current Challenges for Chromatographic Measurement.” The Clinical biochemist. Reviews vol. 37,1 (2016): 27-47. | ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810759/
4. Abbasi, Behnood et al. “The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial.” Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences vol. 17,12 (2012): 1161-9. | ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4810759/
5. Maki KC, Dicklin MR. Strategies to improve bioavailability of omega-3 fatty acids from ethyl ester concentrates. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2019 Mar;22(2):116-123. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000537. PMID: 30550388. | pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30550388/
6. What are Adaptogens & Types | my.clevelandclinic.org/health/drugs/22361-adaptogens
7. Is It Better to Take Vitamins in the Morning or Night? | medicinenet.com/vitamins_in_the_morning_or_in_the_night/article.htm

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