Supplement Scheduling – When & How To Take All Your Different Supplements

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Supplement Scheduling – When & How To Take All Your Different Supplements

How do you know when to take all of your different supplements – especially when some of them need to be taken on an empty stomach? And what do you do if some of your supplements aren’t compatible with each other? Read on for some guidelines, tips, and real-life examples.

Here are some tips to help you find your supplement schedule:

  • Take the fastest absorbing supplement.
  • If a food doesn’t specify that it needs to be eaten on an empty stomach, it’s probably okay to take it with other foods.
  • If an herb is recommended to be taken on an empty stomach, is an empty stomach pre-requisite for adequate absorption because – does food interfere with absorption? Or, is it a substance because it must have a clear surface to apply its healing properties? Supplements such as slippery elm, aloe vera juice and marshmallow root fit into the latter category and therefore can easily be taken together – as they are all trying to achieve the same thing.
  • When a supplement says “take on an empty stomach,” that means 20 minutes before a meal or 2 hours after a meal.

Now that you know the basic guidelines, sometimes you need to experiment a bit to find the best schedule to get the most potency and effectiveness from your supplements. Let’s look at an example so you can see how this works in real life.

Supplements for colitis

Krista suffers from colitis, so she needs to take the following products to replenish the good bacteria in her gut, relieve gas, bloating, and diarrhea, relieve heartburn, and heal the lining of her gut:

  • Probiotics (beneficial bacteria for the GI tract – on an empty stomach for powder – 3x/day)
  • Psyllium husk powder (2x/day for diarrhea control)
  • Diglycyrrhizinated Licorice (DGL) – before or after meals to relieve heartburn
  • L-glutamine (empty stomach for diarrhea control – 3x/day)
  • N-Acetyl Glucosamine (NAG) – empty stomach for intestinal repair – 3x/day
  • Slippery Elm (empty stomach to heal intestinal mucosa 3x/day)
  • Aloe vera juice (empty stomach to heal intestinal mucosa)
  • Multimineral and multivitamin (3x/day for whole body health and replace nutrients lost due to malabsorption and faecal loss)

Krista’s problem is that she doesn’t know which ones she can take together, how far apart they should be, or how to fit them all together at mealtime. Since she takes so many supplements – and many of them three times a day – you can easily see why she’s so confused.

It’s especially confusing since probiotics say on the bottle that any herb should be taken at least 2 hours apart from probiotics – because many herbs have antibacterial activity and kill the good bacteria in the probiotics.

Experimenting with your supplement schedule

First off, Krista needs to remember that our food can also contain natural antibiotics (like garlic, onions, etc.) and Nutren needs to set a time limit that applies to different foods at all strengths/strengths. For example, if you’re taking wild oregano oil or olive leaf extract, you definitely can’t take probiotics sooner than 2 hours, because you’re wasting your money. However, other supplements (and foods) are much less potent against bacteria. Therefore, it is okay for her to implement one of the following supplementary schedules.

The main difference between the two schedules below is whether she wants to take the probiotics before every meal or just one large dose before bed. This is where the experiment begins. Her body will definitely like it and do better one way or another. She will have to test each of them for a week and see which schedule benefits her body the most.

Schedule #1

Before eating:

  • Take probiotics in powder form
  • Wait 20 minutes, then take NAG, L-Glutamine, Slippery elm and Psyllium (these supplements can be taken together because, although they are all required on an empty stomach, they are compatible with each other), then eat and take a multivitamin. Multiminerals with your food
  • Take DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) after meals.

Before sleeping:

  • Take probiotics in powder form
  • Wait for 20 minutes, then drink aloe vera juice


Schedule #2

Before every meal:

  • Take NAG, L-Glutamine, Aloe Vera juice, Slippery elm and Psyllium (these supplements can be taken together as, although they all require an empty stomach, they are compatible with each other)
  • Wait 15 minutes, then eat and take a multivitamin/multimineral with your food
  • Take DGL after a meal (or in this case, you can also take it before a meal, if you prefer, since you’re not taking probiotics at this time)

Before sleeping:

  • Take 1-2 teaspoons of each probiotic powder

Christa will have to experiment with both schedules and see which gives better results. Probiotics may work better for her in multiple doses and may not be affected as much by other foods, or they may work better on their own in larger doses. Again, the only way to find out is to test and experiment.

Because everyone’s body and condition (or pathology) is different, people need to experiment with their supplements. Some people are very sensitive and responsive to certain herbal medicines and not to others. And while some people require aggressive supplementation no matter what herb it is, others are extremely sensitive to all supplements.

When you’re dealing with supplements like high-potency probiotics, for example, some people’s bodies respond most favorably when taken in powder form on an empty stomach. And other bodies prefer controlled-release capsule probiotics taken with food. Again, the only way to find out is to experiment.

You will also get a ‘gut feeling’ about which supplements you should take and when. Your own body wisdom trumps any manufacturer’s instruction sheet, so definitely follow your intuition first. If you are good at listening to your gut or following your intuition, you can directly ask your body when and how it needs this supplement. Either place your hand on the gut, hold the herb in the other hand and ask. Or, place your palm over the herb and wait for guidance. This is how some medicine women/men gain knowledge of the plant. They simply hold their hand above the plant and knowledge flows through them about how to prepare the plant, what parts to use and how to take it.

If you’re not at that level of flow with your body’s wisdom, in the meantime, follow the supplemental scheduling tips above, combine them with your own intuition, and experiment.

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