We all know that life can be hectic, especially this time of year. With the endless “to-do” list, holiday celebrations & family gatherings, it can challenging to fulfill even the most mundane daily responsibilities. We may forget to take out the trash, empty the dishwasher, or consume our vitamin and/or mineral supplements.
Although missing an occasional supplement may not present any immediate harm, continued missed doses can lead to nutrient depletion and possibly deficiencies. To help you get back on track with your daily supplement routine, we’ve put together a few simple tips.
First, take supplements with snacks or meals. This will help prevent stomach upset often associated with taking supplements on an empty stomach. In addition, fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) are better absorbed when consumed with food containing a source of dietary fat (think peanut butter, low-fat dairy, etc.) If you’re taking a medication, be sure to check with your doctor to determine the right time of day to take vitamin supplements. And always talk to your doctor before taking any new supplements.
Second, set a daily alarm or calendar reminder to serve as a quick reminder. For a low-tech option, keep a post-it on your desk or refrigerator. Also, keep supplements in plain site to serve as a visual reminder. Instead of a medicine cabinet, try to kitchen counter or your office desk.
Third, train your brain. Try to keep a consistent schedule when you take your supplement. Overtime, you will get used to this as part of your routine. For a back up, store extra supplements in your lunch, purse, car or bag. This way if you do forget, you will have a visual reminder later on throughout the day.
Lastly, be aware that your nutrient needs may change over time. Always discuss your supplements with your healthcare professional and follow your healthcare professional’s advice when it comes to determining the right vitamins and amounts for your needs.