Why consistency is important when taking supplements
The body needs vitamins, minerals and micronutrients for optimal wellbeing. Ideally, our diet would fulfill our needs, but obtaining a consistent supply can be a challenge when convenient choices and demanding lifestyles become increasingly more prevalent. In fact, a recent health survey revealed that only 28% of adults in the UK were eating the recommended five portions of vegetables and fruit a day (1). Many of us choose to plug any nutritional gaps by taking supplements. Whether that’s a single nutrient, a multivitamin or a comprehensive regime, they can be vital in supporting good health. Here, we explore the case for why taking supplements consistently is going to support a healthier you.
For those with specific low nutrient levels, taking a supplement consistently over a period of time allows the body to replenish concentrations – commitment and consistency are key to replenishing lost reserves.
People in high-risk groups can benefit from a consistent routine. Mature adults, for example, who might not get sufficient sun light, would be advised to take a daily dose of vitamin D since their exposure is limited. Vegetarians and vegans might not have an adequate intake of vitamin B12, which is found predominantly in animal-based foods, and therefore would be wise to take a supplement since B vitamins are water-soluble and are not stored in the body.
If remembering to take your vitamins scuppers your consistency efforts, then here are some helpful tips:
Keep your supplements by the kettle or where you sit down to eat – having your supplements next to items you use regularly in your mealtime routine will act as a good reminder
Packed lunch – when preparing your lunch for the following day, put your supplements in a re-sealable bag and pack them with your lunch items
If you’re always on the go and mealtimes are a handbag sandwich on the train, try using a pill box to store your supplements so you can conveniently carry them with you in your bag
Taking your supplements at the same time each day is good practice, however, this isn’t a deal-breaker. Taking them daily is what is important. Some nutrients do perform best when taken in certain circumstances, take a look at these below.
Vitamins A, D, E and K are all fat-soluble nutrients so are best absorbed when taking with a meal containing some source of fat, or alongside a fish oil/omega 3 supplement
B vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble nutrients and should be taken with a drink, preferably a glass of water
What if you struggle to swallow tablets/capsules?
If your supplement is in tablet or capsule form and struggling to swallow them puts you off regular intake, here’s a tip you could try; chew a mouthful of food, but don’t swallow. Push the tablet or capsule into your mouth through pursed lips, then swallow along with the chewed food. Since the throat naturally expands to swallow food the tablet or capsule should be easier to take. Alternatively, take the tablet or capsule with plenty of water, or try taking it with a denser drink like a smoothie.
Finding a routine that works for you and committing to it will work towards achieving your wellness goals. If you need additional support, contact our expert Nutrition Advisors, for free confidential advice.
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Olivia Salter has always been an avid health nut. After graduating from the University of Bristol, she began working for a nutritional consultancy where she discovered her passion for all things wellness-related. There, she executed much of the company’s content marketing strategy and found her niche in health writing, publishing articles in Women’s Health, Mind Body Green, Thrive and Psychologies.