When maximizing your health and wellness, supplements can make a great addition to your daily routine. Whether you’re looking to boost energy or simply stay on top of your nutrient intake with a good multivitamin, dietary supplements can help you reach your goals.
While herbs are certainly easy to work into your daily routine, you may be wondering about the best time to take these supplements to get the most out of their amazing health benefits.
In this article, we’ll share some helpful tips on how and when to take supplements. This includes how to choose between liquid extracts, capsules, powders, and gummies; when during the day to take your supplements and how long to keep taking them; and what to look for to ensure you’re getting a high-quality product.
Why Use Supplements?
Dietary supplements, whether vitamin or herbal supplements, can be beneficial for various reasons. As the name implies, they help supplement an individual's daily nutrient intake. This is especially important for those with dietary restrictions who are unable to eat certain foods.
For example, those on vegetarian or vegan diets often supplement with nutrients like omega-3s and B-complex vitamins. REF#1814 This is especially true for vitamin B12 (cobalamin) since this water-soluble vitamin is often missing in those diets.
There can also be medical reasons for nutrient supplementation. For instance, those with iron deficiencies might use iron supplements. Additionally, pregnant women are often advised to take prenatal vitamin supplements with folic acid or folate (vitamin B9). REF#1815
In most cases, it’s easy to consume adequate amounts of essential vitamins and minerals in a balanced diet. REF#1813 Common nutrients found in fruits and vegetables include water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K.
Other types of vitamins and essential nutrients commonly found in foods include:
- B complex vitamins: B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and B7 (biotin)
- Minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, and more.
Many of these are also common in multivitamins and mineral supplements. Aside from essential nutrients, dietary supplements can include things like melatonin, probiotics, and of course, herbal supplements. Herbal supplements offer a natural and holistic approach to supporting overall health and wellness.
How Do You Use Herbal Supplements?
Herbs come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and intended purposes. So, it can get a bit intimidating when you’re trying to figure out the how, when, and what of herbal supplements.
Thankfully, it is not nearly as complicated as it seems. Let’s take a closer look.
How To Take Herbal Supplements
As stated, herbs can support your body in various ways, whether they’re plants or mushrooms. However, before you seize the benefits, you’ll need to decide how you want to take your herbal supplements.
Herbal supplements come in various forms, including liquid extracts, capsules, powders, or gummies. In many cases, it comes down to convenience.
Also, some individuals may have difficulty swallowing pills or capsules, making liquids or powders a much better option. For those looking for optimal absorption, you must also consider the bioavailability of a supplement. REF#1816 Let’s take a look at the various forms.
In short, liquid extracts deliver herbal extracts in a liquid form. The advantages of liquid supplements include faster absorption, customizable dosing, and versatility.
Liquid supplements tend to absorb faster than other forms because the body doesn't need to spend as much time breaking it down as a capsule or tablet. Also, liquids can be easily adjusted to meet an individual's specific dosing needs. Lastly, liquid supplements can be added to a variety of drinks, such as water or juice, or even mixed into smoothies easily.
At Gaia Herbs, we use only water and ethanol to extract our herbs, with no harsh chemical solvents such as acetone. When you choose a Gaia Herbs liquid extract, you can rest assured that you are getting a high-quality product.
To take liquid extracts, all you have to do is drop the correct dosage into a small glass of water. For example, Gaia Herbs GI Feel Good for digestive support supplement comes in this liquid format.* Adults can take 60 drops in a small amount of water three to four times daily.
Powders are another effective way to reap all the benefits that herbs can provide.* In many cases, powder supplements typically come in a tub, and you simply scoop out the appropriate amount of powder each time you take it.
Much like liquids, powder supplements are great for versatility. They can be easily mixed into various foods and beverages, like smoothies, yogurt, or oatmeal. This makes it easy to incorporate them into your daily routine. Like liquid, they’re broken down faster since there is no capsule or tablet to digest.
One example of a powder supplement is Gaia Herbs Immune Shine™, a delicious powder blend combining all the benefits of immune-supporting herbs and mushrooms.* Take one teaspoon daily mixed into the beverage of your choice.
Capsules remain one of the most popular forms when taking supplements because they’re fast and convenient. They can be taken with a simple swallow of water, and they’re easy to transport and store, which is optimal for those frequently on the go.
The Gaia Herbs supplements available in capsule form are either powder capsules (powder in a vegan capsule) or Liquid Phyto-Caps®. Our vegan Liquid Phyto-Caps provide you with all the goodness of a liquid in the convenience of a capsule.
When to Take Herbal Supplements
The best time to take supplements depends on the type of nutrient or herb you are taking. For example, water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C are best taken in the morning on an empty stomach, while fat-soluble vitamins are best taken after a meal. REF#1817
Additionally, some medications require that they be taken alone or not with specific supplements. Be sure to ask your doctor or medical professional.
What Time of the Day Is Best To Take Herbal Supplements?
Like all supplements, the best time of day to take herbal supplements depends on the specific supplement and the herb's intended use. Some herbal supplements are best taken in the morning to provide an energy boost, while others may be more effective when taken at night to promote relaxation and restful sleep.
For example, Gaia Herbs Adrenal Health® Daily Support should be taken in the morning, while a supplement like Valerian Root, which is used to promote a sense of relaxation, is best taken an hour before bedtime.*
Each herbal supplement is designed to support your body in a different way.* For this reason, the best time to take supplements depends on what you are taking. When in doubt, read the labels.
Should I Take Herbal Supplements With or Without Food?
Some supplements are best taken with food to aid in absorption, while others are best taken on an empty stomach to avoid interference from other nutrients. It's important to read the supplement label or consult with a healthcare provider or qualified herbalist to determine the optimal time and method of taking a specific supplement.
Tips for Choosing an Herbal Supplement
Always look for supplements without any unnecessary ingredients or fillers. Also, avoid GMOs, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives, and look out for common allergens such as gluten, grains, soy, and dairy.
At Gaia Herbs, we firmly believe the quality of an herbal supplement can only be as good as the quality of the herbs that go into it. That’s why many of the herbs in our products are grown on our farm, where we can cultivate them exactly how we want.
The Bottom Line
Taking herbal supplements is the first step toward harnessing the power of plants for your health and well-being.* But don’t stop there! Make your herbal supplements work best by carefully choosing between liquid extracts, powders, and capsules.
Opt for the highest quality products with Gaia Herbs supplements. Of course, like anything, supplements should be taken with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
- 1. Cena, Hellas, and Philip C. Calder, "Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for the Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease", Nutrients. MDPI, January 27, 2020. 1 1. Cena, Hellas, and Philip C. Calder, "Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for the Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease", Nutrients. MDPI, January 27, 2020.
- 2. Woo, Kam S., Timothy Kwok, and David S. Celermajer., "Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health", Nutrients. MDPI, August 19, 2014. 2 2. Woo, Kam S., Timothy Kwok, and David S. Celermajer., "Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health", Nutrients. MDPI, August 19, 2014.
- 3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Folic Acid", June 15, 2022. 3 3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Folic Acid", June 15, 2022.
- 4. Price, Gary, "Drug Bioavailability", StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf, June 23, 2022.. 4 4. Price, Gary, "Drug Bioavailability", StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf, June 23, 2022..
- 5. Fenneld, "The Best Time to Take Vitamins", Cleveland Clinic, December 9, 2022. 5 5. Fenneld, "The Best Time to Take Vitamins", Cleveland Clinic, December 9, 2022.