Kick Your Supplements Into Overdrive

By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness

March 17, 2014

  • The best time of day to take your supplements
  • Energize your cells and kick up your brainpower
  • Getting the most out of your fat-soluble nutrients

Recently I shared with you my five must-have nutrients. Since then, I’ve received a lot of questions…

… “How much CoQ10 should I take daily?”
… “Should I take my probiotic with my meals or in between?”
… “B vitamins weren’t on your list. When is the best time of day to take B vitamins?”

These are just a few of the questions that flooded my inbox. But I received the message loud and clear. There’s a lot of confusion over the best time of day to take your supplements.

One thing is for sure. No matter what time of day you take your supplements, it’s a sure thing you’re getting plenty of health benefits.

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However, you can really kick those benefits into overdrive if you follow a few simple tips.

Let me show you how easy it is…

Morning is when you really need to energize your cells, kick up your brainpower and get your energy stores in place for the day.

That makes morning the best time to take any supplements that provide the body with energy.

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Take protein, for example. Getting the morning started with a protein shake or smoothie will give you an energy boost that will keep you going all day long. It also works better than a bagel or bowl of cereal to keep you from feeling hungry throughout the day.

I like mixing my protein powder with almond milk. Then I throw in a handful of berries, a half of a banana, and usually a dark-green leafy vegetable like kale or spinach, as well as a heaping teaspoonful of ground flaxseed and some organic almond or cashew butter. It’s an easy way to get my morning protein fix right along with healthy fat, phytonutrients and fiber.

CoQ10 in the form of ubiquinol is another great morning supplement. It’s like a shot of espresso that powers up every cell in your body. CoQ10 provides the cellular energy the mitochondria in the heart, muscles, brain, liver, kidneys and other organs need to function properly.

But here’s an important point. CoQ10 is fat-soluble. This means it won’t be absorbed well unless it’s taken with a meal that includes healthy fat. So, if you tend to eat a high-carb breakfast like toast, bagels or waffles – which is a “no-no” in the first place! – save your CoQ10 until lunchtime. (Don’t take it any later than that, or it could keep you tossing and turning at night.)

B-complex vitamins are terrific energy boosters. These vitamins break food down into fuel that your body can put to use immediately. They’re also necessary (B5 and B6) to keep your adrenal glands healthy to withstand daily stress.

However, there’s one problem with the B vitamins. They require an acidic environment to be absorbed. So, whenever you take an antacid that reduces stomach acid, you may not be able to absorb them.

Taking B vitamins in the morning with a glass of orange juice or a moderately acidic fruit (like berries, peaches, pineapple, cantaloupe or a banana) seems to work best for most of my patients.

Multi-vitamin formulas contain many of the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs for all-day energy. For best results, I recommend dividing up each daily dosage so you’re taking your multi-vitamin three times a day with meals.

Now, let’s take a look at some things you should keep in mind when taking other supplements…

I mentioned earlier that CoQ10 is fat-soluble. There are other nutrients that also fall into this category and always need to be taken with meals that contain healthy fat. These include vitamins A, D, E and K along with omega-3 fatty acids.

We don’t see a lot of deficiency in fat-soluble vitamins in this country – with one exception: vitamin D. Most of us simply don’t get enough sun, and it’s having dire consequences on our health.

And unless you’re a fish-lover, you probably aren’t getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.

That’s why I highly recommend supplementing with each of these nutrients. You can take them with breakfast, providing you’re eating healthy fats at your morning meal. But if you tend to eat your healthy fats – like avocadoes, fish, olive oil, nuts, grass-fed meats and so forth – later in the day, it’s best to save them for those meals.

What about probiotics? Some experts suggest taking your probiotic with your meals. Others recommend taking it an hour or so beforehand. And still others recommend taking it at bedtime or in the morning.

I tend to lean toward the latter. If you take a probiotic before bed or the very first thing in the morning, it has time to do its job while your digestive system isn’t hard at work digesting food. But I think taking a probiotic at any time is better than not taking one at all.