Whether you’re dealing with chronic deficiencies, bone pain, or skin, nail, or hair problems, supplements have become a go-to solution in recent years. They pack all sorts of beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or enzymes to provide nutritional value and complement our diets. If you’ve recently added these to your routine, you’re probably wondering whether dietary supplements actually work, or if they simply deliver a placebo. This question is not easily answered and depends on each individual. That said, here’s a guide with useful pointers to help you tell if your supplements are delivering on their promises.
Read Labels Meticulously
Before assessing the efficiency of your newly found supplement, it’s essential that you always read the labels on the bottle. These substances often come in various forms, including pills, capsules, gummies, even powders or drinks, and vary in quality. Granted, you won’t always be able to decipher some of the mysterious ingredients listed on the label, which is where research on supplementation comes in handy. There are virtually hundreds of online resources that will help you get familiar with a particular supplement’s composition, potential benefits, side effects, and correct dosage. Use them to your advantage! For high-quality supplements backed by scientific research, you can consider reputable brands like Nutridyn that offer a wide range of supplements catering to various health needs.
How long does it take for vitamins and supplements to absorb?
There are many different variables when it comes to absorption rates of vitamins and supplements. For instance, the delivery system (the form in which the vitamin takes, such as liquid, gummy, pill, or powder) can affect the time of absorption.
Pills and gummies often take longer to absorb in the body than liquids because they take time to process through the digestive system. Alternatively, liquid supplements are not subjected to the digestive process, which is what helps vitamin absorption because liquid vitamins are directly absorbed through the bloodstream. So, if you’re wondering what form of vitamins are best absorbed, the liquid version might be your best option in terms of expediency.
Additionally, there are two types of vitamins that have different rates of absorption: Water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins absorb more quickly in the body, whereas fat-soluble vitamins are slower to dissolve.
So, how long does it take for vitamins to absorb? Keeping these variables in mind, vitamins and supplements can take anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes to 3 – 6 hours to absorb. Also, bear in mind that some vitamin components are not always fully absorbed. To explain, whatever is not absorbed from water-soluble vitamins is excreted through the body via sweat or urine output. Remnants not absorbed from fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver, muscles and fatty tissue
How long does it take to know if vitamins are working?
After taking vitamins for an extended period of time with minimal results, how do you know if vitamins are working? What most people don’t realize is that it takes time for vitamins to kick into action. The time it takes for vitamins to work depends upon your condition, the type of vitamins you’re taking, and other factors.
In some instances, you may be able to identify the efficacy of vitamins after a few days or weeks. If you’ve been taking vitamins or supplements for a while and aren’t experiencing any improvements or differences, you might be asking yourself, “Are vitamins really effective?” It’s important to realize that many vitamins and supplements require time to build up in the body, and some types of vitamins are quicker to take effect than others.
In general, it takes roughly 3 – 6 weeks to experience noticeable effects from taking vitamins. However, this is just an estimate, and all cases are different. For example, if you’ve had an extreme vitamin deficiency over a period of time, it may take quite a long time to begin noticing the effects of taking vitamin supplements.
How can you absorb vitamins better?
If you’re wondering how to absorb vitamins better, you might be shocked to learn that the answer isn’t as simple as you might think. The factors involved with getting optimal absorption are multitudinous and varied. For instance, some vitamins are absorbed better if taken right before a meal, whereas other vitamins dissolve more quickly when combined with other types of foods or vitamins. Considering this, here are a few loose tips on how to absorb vitamins better:
- Generally speaking, most vitamins are more effectively absorbed when they are taken with food. The body’s process of digesting actually helps break down vitamins in pill form. Additionally, the acid in the stomach contributes to better absorption.
- Pairing vitamins can also help with optimal absorption. For instance, take magnesium or calcium with your vitamin D3 gummies because D vitamins are essential for breaking down these minerals. Alternatively, certain vitamins, beverages, or food can work against vitamin absorption. For example, taking calcium with iron can thwart the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- Consider adding a probiotic to your supplement routine. The healthy microbes in probiotics not only help your body digest properly, they can also play an integral role in vitamin and nutrient absorption.
- Take fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E or vitamin A) with a bite of food with unsaturated fats such as nuts, avocado, or whole milk. This will help with the absorption process for this type of vitamin.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine when taking vitamins or supplements. These are diuretics, and essentially the nutrients in your vitamins will be removed through your urine. In other words, your vitamins won’t have a fair chance at full absorption because the diuretic effect of alcohol and caffeine will interfere with vitamin potency.
Do vitamins and supplements lose efficiency over prolonged use?
Do vitamins stop working after a while? The good news is, vitamins continue to impact the body even after prolonged use. So, if you are taking vitamins and supplements over a long period of time, they will not lose their potency. However, if you change your diet, or start using different medications that might interfere with your vitamins – they may lose efficacy. It’s also important to note that taking vitamins and supplements for extended periods of time shouldn’t replace the necessity of having a well-balanced diet combined with a healthy lifestyle.
Keep a Supplement Journal
A viable way you can determine if your supplements are working is to start a journal. Now, when you first start taking them on a daily basis, make a list of the substances you’re ingesting, at what dosage, your symptoms, how you feel, your activity levels, and other relevant details. After a few weeks, review your journal entries to see if there is any amelioration. This should help you establish whether the vitamin or supplement has any efficacy at all.
Take a Look in the Mirror
Do you notice anything different? Whether their purpose is to fulfill a nutrient deficiency or boost your metabolism, witnessing positive and encouraging changes in your appearance and/or overall mood is a great sign that the supplement is actually doing its job. For instance, taking vitamin D and vitamin C works to promote healthy and glowing skin. High-quality fish oil capsules with adequate AHA and BHA concentrations can help enhance brain and cognitive functions. Either way, a noticeable amelioration in these areas of your body typically indicates that you’re on the right track.
Visit Your Doctor
Another method for checking whether your new supplemental regimen is actually worth it is to schedule an appointment with your physician or GP. Doctors don’t usually prescribe supplements directly seeing as they’re not technically classified as drugs, but a health professional can help establish whether they’ve been effective for you. It would certainly be advisable to also visit a nutritionist. They can help you to better understand how your body works, what you’re lacking, and what you can do in terms of supplements and changes in your diet to get you on the right track. They will also be able to advise you on what kind of fitness routine you need to pair with your diet, as this affects how your body functions and the rate of metabolism as well. After a few weeks of starting the regimen, go in for a blood test to assess any vitamin/mineral deficiency and a regular check-up. Next, schedule a follow-up visit after a few months; if the results are encouraging, it means taking your supplements wasn’t entirely useless!
Don’t Fall for “Miracle” Products
Supplements have become extremely popular because more and more people want to lead healthier lifestyles. As a result, you’ll find that there are going to be many products that promise to do this that they simply never will – all in the name of business. Just because it sounds and looks appealing, doesn’t mean it will work. By all means, you should steer clear of any product that “guarantees” results after a minimal amount of time. Supplements can take several weeks, if not months for their full effects to kick in and actually make a change in your organism. Now, since these products aren’t subject to the same testing and safety standards as regular prescription drugs, manufacturers go full out with promises of better health “before you know it”. This is a pure myth and classifies as anti-science. If you want to better yourself using supplements, choose high-quality ones, and exhibit patience. Make sure that you look extensively into reviews and certifications, because you don’t want to end up with a fake product, which could ultimately make you very sick.
Complement Your Supplements!
Many people live with the misconception that supplements are enough to make up for what your body is deficient in. This is simply not true. You cannot simply take multivitamins every day and expect them to work their magic while eating junk food, getting no exercise, and drinking and smoking in excess. As the name suggests, dietary supplements supplement; they are in no way a full-on replacement for your daily nutrient intake and physical exercise requirements. Invariably, these substances work best when paired with a healthy and balanced lifestyle. In case your supplement regimen has yielded no result after weeks or months, it may be that your body wasn’t equipped to properly assimilate the active substances because of poor absorption and lifestyle choices. Some adjustments may be in order! You need to make sure that you also don’t take over what is required, because this can happen if you are not aware of your intake and not doing regular checkups to assess your levels.
Dietary supplements, vitamins, and other over-the-counter products are often believed to be quick fixes to temporary health problems. If this is your idea of taking supplements, chances are they won’t be as effective as you’d want. Instead, conduct extensive research to find the supplement that will help alleviate your symptoms, regardless of what it is you’re struggling with. At the end of the day, remember that all of these products have no scientifically proven efficacy, so you should use them with caution and not rely on them 100%, especially when dealing with chronic issues.
Are there vitamins that work well together?
Yes, there are vitamins that work together better than others. We already mentioned the synergy between calcium and D vitamins. Vitamin D should also be taken with omega-3 supplements. You should also take iron with vitamin C for optimal results. If you are taking B12, pair it with folate for best results. You will also benefit from taking calcium alongside iron. There are other vitamins that work better together when paired properly. Consult with your doctor or a nutritionist who can supply you with more comprehensive information and the full list of vitamins that pair best with others.
How Effective are Vitamins Really?
Sometimes it can be a challenge to balance your vitamins and supplements along with dietary considerations in a way that makes a truly remarkable impact. With so many factors and details to consider, how do you know if vitamins are working?
The good news is that high-quality vitamins taken under optimal conditions can work wonders on your mind, body, and mood. The bad news is that you need to commit to allowing vitamins and supplements to work their benefits. That means keeping track of the best times and ways to take your vitamins, so they have every chance to make you feel your best. Most importantly, consult with your doctor or a licensed nutritionist. These professionals should give you proper guidance as to what to take and how to take them that will render the best results for your needs.