Tips for Using Vitamins and Supplements – Supplements are helpful for preventing illness

When you take prescribed medication, it comes with a warning label and usually an entire pamphlet
explaining how to use the medication. It also comes with the advice of a doctor and a pharmacist; two
medical professionals who are at your disposal if you need them. This is, however, not the case for vitamins
and healthy supplements. With vitamins, all you get in the way of directions is usually the dosage
suggestion on the bottle. This can be somewhat disconcerting, especially when you consider that you are
taking vitamins and supplements for health reasons. So, here are a few tips on using vitamins and
supplements that you won’t find on the warning label of your vitamin bottle.

1. Always take vitamins with some kind of food. Vitamins are not a meal substitute, they are a meal
supplement. If you take vitamins or supplements on an empty stomach, they will simply wash right out of
your system. Also, don’t take vitamins with fresh fruit for breakfast. The citrus acids in the fruit can change
the chemical makeup of the vitamin and strip away its nutritive values.

2. Always take vitamins and healthy supplements with water. While it seems healthier to take them with fruit
juice, all you are doing is subjecting your vitamins to a bath of citric acid, thereby stripping them of their
nutrients. Also, do not take vitamins and healthy supplements with caffeine. The caffeine will leach the
nutrients out of the vitamins and they will simply flush out of your system.

3. If you miss taking your vitamins during the day, let it go. Do not try to take the vitamins you forgot during
the day before bedtime. Doing this may keep you awake all night. Also, don’t try to “make up” for the
vitamins you missed the day before. Taking too many vitamins or higher dosages will not be beneficial. In
fact, it may make you sick.

4. If you are taking a sports enhancement supplement, make sure that you take it as directed. Some sports
healthy supplements need to be taken before or after a workout in order to be effective.

5. Make sure that you are not taking vitamins that conflict with each other. When taking several different
vitamins at the same time, they can actually cancel each other out; making both of them null and void. For
example, taking too much extra zinc can zap the positive effects of any copper you might be taking.

6. Make sure you store your vitamins properly. Keep them out of direct sunlight and fluorescent lighting.
Too much exposure to sunlight depletes the vitamins of their nutrients, making them ineffective. Also, store
healthy supplements at the right temperature. Vitamins that have been exposed to too much heat and cold
also lose their potency. Check the label. If the temperature of your refrigerator is right to store the
supplements you have, then this is the best place to store them.

7. Never mix vitamins together in the same bottle. They can merge into each other, possibly forming
unknown substances.

8. Always check the expiration date. Vitamins and healthy supplements have a long shelf life, but once that
is over, throw them out.

9. Don’t take large doses of any vitamin thinking that it will have more of an effect. In some cases, people
will take large doses of vitamin C, B-complex, and E for serious illnesses, but this should be done under the
care of a doctor. Don’t try to experiment on your own to cure a serious illness with vitamins and healthy
supplements. Also, vitamins in large doses can be poisonous and even fatal.

10. Don’t use vitamins as a substitute for taking medication or going to the doctor. Vitamin and
supplements are incredible healers and prevent many illnesses; but if you have a serious medical condition,
you should always try to get to a doctor first. The medical miracles that you hear about concerning vitamins
and supplements are true in some cases, but like the labels say, “results may vary.” Don’t assume that your
medical condition is like anyone else’s or that it can be solved by taking vitamins and healthy supplements
alone.

Remember vitamins are most helpful for preventing illness and maintaining overall health, but they are not a
cure-all. A sensible diet, moderate exercise and routine checkups are still strongly recommended to achieve
maximum results.

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