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5 Secrets of Getting the Most from Your Vitamins and Supplements

5 Secrets of Getting the Most from Your Vitamins and Supplements

Many of us take vitamins and supplements in order to support our health and well-being. One of the challenges we face is choosing from the many options. It might be an even greater challenge yet to properly prioritize our vitamin intake.  We must address such questions as, “Is there a specific time of day to take a given supplement that is most ideal?”, or “Can they all be taken together at the same time?”

Indeed, we should be mindful about which supplements to take, when.  According to the latest research from the medical community [1], some vitamins and minerals, like calcium and iron, can inhibit absorption of each other up to five fold [2]. On the other end of the spectrum there are vitamins such as iron and vitamin C that work in synergy with one another, and taking them together improves absorption [3]. In fact, there has been a great deal of quality research conducted for years which we can draw upon, that can lend itself to practical, daily, real-life application.

Knowledge is power.

Below is the summary of the strongest and most common interactions of vitamins and minerals with each other and with food. Following suggestions outlined below will help you get the most from your supplements. Until now, most people have lacked the proper information about vitamin interactions.  With the vitamin secrets I share below, you will be able to take them in a way that they have the most positive effective on your body.  If you are prepared to receive these well-kept, hidden secrets of vitamin know-how, it will prove beyond powerful in the most beneficial, healthy ways.

Secret 1

Take vitamins B1, B12, iron and CoQ-10 during the first half of day.

These micronutrients especially in the larger quantities have energizing effect on the body and as such are best taken during the first half of the day [4,5].

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Secret 2

Take all fat-soluble vitamins and minerals with a meal containing fat.

Fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D and K) as well as fat-soluble micronutrients such as CoQ-10, lycopene, lutein, astaxanthin and other carotenoids need presence of fat to be absorbed well [6].

Secret 3

Take calcium and magnesium supplements in the evening.

Calcium and magnesium are important minerals that can help our bodies relax. The body uses calcium at night as it is a natural muscle relaxant. Research has shown that disturbed sleep patterns, such as a lack of deep REM sleep, have been associated with low levels of calcium [7,8].

Secret 4

Take calcium and iron supplements at least 4 hours away from each other. Opt for liquid iron supplements and take them with vitamin C. Drink with water or orange juice.

Calcium and iron can inhibit absorption of each other up to five-fold and are best taken at different times of day [2].  Vitamin C greatly improves iron absorption. Iron absorption can be inhibited by polyphenols in beverages, thus iron supplements should be taken with water or juice.

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Secret 5

Do not drink soda, tea or coffee within 2 hours of taking your supplements other than antioxidants.

Polyphenols in many beverages greatly inhibit absorption of vitamins and minerals [9,10]. Take your supplements with water or juice.

 

While it might be the most convenient to take all the supplements at once, in order to get all health benefits it’s worth following the Vitamin Secrets and setting appropriate times for taking each of them.

 

List of References:

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1. http://www.vital-formulas.com/scientific_evidence/nutrient-interactions/

2. Calcium supplementation: effect on iron absorption. Cook J.D., et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 1991; 53: 106–11.

3. Effect of ascorbic acid intake on nonheme-iron absorption from a complete diet. Am J Clin Nutr January 2001 vol. 73 no. 1 93-98.

4. Vitamin B12 (cobalamin). University of Maryland Medical Center. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-b12-cobalamin

5. Clinical aspects of coenzyme Q: Improvement of cellular bioenergetics or antioxidant protection? Littarru, Gian Paolo, et al. Handbook of Antioxidants, Eds. Enrique Cadenas, Lester Parker, New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc. 1996, pp. 203-239.

6. Influence of dietary fat on beta-carotene absorption and bioconversion into vitamin A. Nutr Rev.</span> 2002 Apr;60(4):104-10.

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7. The multifaceted and widespread pathology of magnesium deficiency. S. Johnson. 2001. Med Hypotheses. 2001; 56(2).

8. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/163169.php

9. Inhibition of food iron absorption by coffee. Am J Clin Nutr. 1983 Mar;37(3):416-20.

10. Inhibition of non-haem iron absorption in man by polyphenolic-containing beverages. Br J Nutr.</span> 1999 Apr;81(4):289-95.

Featured photo credit: Vitamins Clock via vital-formulas.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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