If you’re confused about how exactly to take your supplements, you’re not alone! We hear from customers all the time with questions about how and when to take their supplements, so we’ve put together this handy guide to put your mind at ease.
As always, the following is not intended as medical advice. If you still have questions, please speak to your doctor, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
The good news is, it’s up to you, though it’s worth keeping in mind that food can delay absorption, meaning the capsule will break down more quickly when you haven’t eaten for a while and more slowly when you’ve just eaten.
So if your goal is to get the desired effect quickly--for example, because you’re about to workout and you’d like the benefit of the caffeine in your energy supplement--it’s best to take the supplement on an empty stomach.
On the other hand, if you’d rather your supplement was time-released and you received the benefits throughout the day, you may prefer to take your supplement with food so it takes longer to absorb.
Note: If you’re one of the many who suffer from a sensitive stomach or feel discomfort after taking supplements, go ahead and take them with a meal.
The key is to be consistent and try and take them at the same time daily.
If swishing with water before swallowing your supplements isn’t quite doing it for you, fear not! Here are a couple of hacks that should make the job a whole lot easier.
Try tilting your head down.
While you may be tempted to tilt your head back when you swallow water, this actually causes the esophagus to close up and the trachea to open. Instead, tilt your head forward, which forces the windpipe to close and in turn opens up your gullet.
For the Pop Bottle method, fill a plastic bottle with water and place your capsule on your tongue. Next, close your lips around the bottle opening and gulp the water, letting the pressure of the narrow opening force the water down your throat as your swallow.
This method was developed by researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and it meant 60% of participants were able to swallow their supplements more easily. Nice!
To swallow large capsules, try a thicker drink, such as a fruit smoothie. This is especially helpful for people with a sensitive gag reflex and should help get your supplement down your throat with ease (plus you’re getting in some of your daily fruit quota!)
To make it easy for you, the suggested dosage is printed on each bottle. Please be sure to follow the dosage recommendations closely.
A fantastic way to find your ideal dose of each herbal supplement is to use the titration method. With this method, you start with the smallest dose, which is one capsule. Once you feel you can tolerate that dose, you increase to the full suggested dose.
If you’re still not feeling the desired effects, switch to the therapeutic dose by adding an additional capsule, with a maximum of 2x the suggested dose.
If in doubt or if you have any health concerns, be sure to talk with your doctor before starting and/or increasing your dose.
The best way to know if your herbal supplements are working is to do regular check-ins with your body.
Start gradually with each supplement and build up slowly, taking a moment to check in daily on how you're feeling before and after taking the supplements.
For extra Brownie Points, keep a journal of your progress, noting the time of day you take your supplements, any effects on your mood, what else you did/ate during that time.
Try not to change other elements of your life too much during your experiment, such as changing your diet drastically. You need to give your body plenty of time and space to adjust to this new change!
For this one, it really depends on the supplement you’re taking. Some are more obvious; if your supplement delivers energy, take it first thing in the morning and if it’s intended to help you sleep, take it at night directly before bed.
As stated above, if you’re on a higher therapeutic dosage and are taking more than two capsules per day, try to break it up so you take half in the morning and half at night.
Other than that, it’s up to you! Just remember, consistency is key so try and take them at the same time each day.
I’m taking my supplements as suggested but still feel a little nauseous. Help!
Nausea when taking supplements can be caused by a couple of factors, but here are three of the most common:
If after all this you’re still feeling unwell, stop taking the supplements altogether. It could be that those particular herbal extracts don’t agree with your body for whatever reason.
We hope this has helped answer all your questions, though do reach out if we’ve missed something! And remember, if you ever have a bad reaction to any supplement, stop right away and talk to your doctor before taking it again.