Are you looking to find out more about how the time of day can affect the results you see from your supplements? Lets talk about why I started taking my supplements towards the middle and end of my day, instead of first thing in the morning.
Tim’s Current Wakeup Routine
Pour caffeine into my face.
Wait 20 minutes.
Does this sound like the start of your day? Cause it is basically how every day starts for me. When I was younger there were more steps in the beginning of my day, whether it was eating breakfast (now that doesn’t happen until about 4-8 hours after I wake up), working out (that is now every other day), or, taking my supplements (now I take my supplements at noon and about 5pm).
Making The Switch
Part of the reason I switched was because taking so many pills all at once on an empty stomach really upset me, and made it hard to focus for about an hour after taking them. But the more significant reason is that I learned the time of day matters when taking anything that your body digests, whether supplement, medication or even food. Once you stop and think about it, which I never did, it makes a lot of sense. The body takes a few hours to process whatever you consume, and then that takes a further amount of time (varies by compound), to build up to its full effectiveness.
For instance, a Kansas State study on acid reflux medicine found nearly twice as many people saw a dramatic reduction in their symptoms when they took their daily medication around dinnertime. This is because acid tends to build up as you eat, and peak shortly before bed, so taking medicine in the morning has significantly less impact than taking it when acid is near its high point.
Condition Specific Timing
Freedom is an anti-inflammation supplement, and research has shown that individuals benefit most from anti-inflammation drugs and supplements when taken at specific times. Those times vary depending on the source of inflammation.
Individuals suffering from osteoarthritis (like me), or other forms of inflammation that are the result of ‘use’ (exercise/other activities) have their symptoms peak in the evening. A Texas Tech University study found that the optimum time for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory interventions (supplements, ibuprofen…etc) is between about noon and 4pm. This allows the compound time to digest and reach its highest blood levels around the time you would be experiencing peak inflammation.
Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammation from autoimmune diseases see their worst inflammation in the morning. And according to the same Texas Tech study, benefit most from taking their anti-inflammation drugs/supplements as close to bedtime as practical. This is done in order to prevent overnight inflammation growth.
Other Timing Related Questions
What foods can inhibit supplement absorption?
It’s best to avoid taking supplements 30 minutes before or after coffee. Most herbal supplements are also best taken on an empty stomach to maximize their absorption into the bloodstream. If you take them after food there is a greater chance your body will be focused on absorbing the nutrients and/or sugar from your food will…ahem…secrete…the supplement you just took.
What foods can help supplement absorption?
It’s definitely important to take care of your gut as having healthy microbiome helps you absorb your minerals with ease. It’s beneficial to take a daily probiotic, practice stress reduction and increase your intake of fiber, nuts, seeds, and greens, too. I also recommend reducing your intake of gluten, refined carbohydrates and refined sugar.