When something is working, we tend to stick with it. It’s like the old saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if a few minor changes could actually make you feel better and improve your overall health?
Depending on what you’re currently taking and when you’re taking it, you may be able to benefit from a few simple shifts.
Nutrition research is ever-evolving, and we know so much more today than we did even five years ago. So the only way to really know whether your vitamin routine is up to snuff is to adapt with the times.
As new research emerges, you may want to stop taking certain supplements and replace them with others. You may find that a certain time of day is better than another for a specific supplement. Or you may want to alter the dosage of vitamins you’re taking to meet your current needs.
We’re going to explore all the reasons you may want to change your vitamin routine to improve your health. And before you dive into any major changes, be sure to talk to your doctor.
Vitamins and the COVID-19 pandemic
We know that there will always be changes and adaptations to popular health and nutrition advice. But when it comes to the COVID pandemic, we’re seeing things change at lightning-fast speeds. This is because the virus is so new that researchers are still learning how to best defend ourselves against it.
And one thing we know for certain is that people who have strong immune systems are always going to fare better with coronavirus than those with weakened immune systems. So, it’s a great time to make sure your vitamin routine is strong.
Early research indicates that zinc, vitamin C and NAC may help strengthen the immune system to better defend against coronavirus. None of these things are cures, and they won’t prevent you from getting coronavirus, but the research shows that they may help lessen the intensity of the virus if you get it.
Modifying time of day
Did you know that altering the time you take your vitamins and minerals can help them work better? Depending on what you’re taking, you may benefit from taking your vitamins on an empty stomach, with food or space out from one another.
Calcium and magnesium are two examples of supplements that work best when you space them out. When you take both in doses higher than 250 milligrams, they will compete for absorption in your body. This means that your body will absorb more of one than the other, which kind of defeats the purpose of taking both. But naturally, if you have a choice to take them together or not take them at all, taking calcium and magnesium together is better.
Calcium is also best absorbed when taken with food in split doses. So you may want to take one dose with breakfast and another with dinner.
Vitamin D is also better absorbed when taken with food, specifically fat. But don’t take it with dinner or later because the sunshine vitamin can interfere with your natural circadian rhythm.
Supplements vs. prescription medications
Vitamins and minerals support a healthy body and immune system, which can help you avoid a number of health issues. But if you’re dealing with a pressing issue like chronic pain, you may want something more targeted.
For example, if you take opioids for pain regularly, you’re going to experience drug cravings. But if you opt for a more natural supplement like CBD, you won’t experience that side effect. It’s all about testing different things to see what works for you.
There are natural swaps for almost any condition, so try researching your problem to see if there are any alternatives to prescription medications.
Vitamins for lifestyle changes
If you change the way you’re living or eating, you may also want to change your vitamin regimen. Most lifestyle changes also alter your nutritional needs, so it’s definitely something to consider.
For example, if you start working out more, you’ll probably want to take protein and electrolytes to help support your body during workouts. You may also want to add something like an L-glutamine supplement to support muscle repair and regrowth.
If you adopt a vegan diet, you’ll also want to add a B complex vitamin to your regimen. And if you go keto, you might consider bone broth or collagen.
When you take vitamins regularly, you can support your immune system and improve your overall health. But vitamins should never become a replacement for a healthy balanced diet. In fact, vitamins and minerals act more like insurance, so you can rest assured that your body is getting all the good stuff it needs to build healthy muscle, cartilage and bones.
And changing your vitamin routine can improve your health. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before you make any major changes.