Decoding Supplement Dosage Instructions

There are so many different ways to take supplements and there are so many supplement options out there. When it comes to supplements, do your research and consult with a nutritionist or a doctor to help map out the best supplement routine for you. Paired with a healthy diet and lifestyle, supplements are an excellent compliment to your maintaining your health.

Due to the endless variety out there, you’ll soon learn that not all supplements are made the same and therefore taking the same nutrient from a different brand will commonly call for different dosage instructions.

To help you navigate these dosage instructions and get the most of your chosen supplement, here are some common supplement instructions and what exactly they mean:


*For brevity, we’ll use tablets as the example when it comes to supplement dosage instructions.

• Take one tablet daily with food

These instructions are straightforward. You simply take 1 tablet daily with food. Taking the supplement without food can have the potential to cause stomach upset or may not be properly absorbed due to high levels of stomach acid which can damage the nutrients before it has the chance to be properly absorbed into your body. 

If you plan on taking more than the recommended dose, you’ll need to consult your doctor first. Supplement manufacturers work hard to determine safe and accurate dosage instructions as well as a dosage that the body can readily absorbed. Any nutrients taken in excess usually go to waste as the body does not absorb it.

Taking more than the recommended dosage should be avoided especially if you’re taking a supplement without a doctor’s prescription, it’s best to follow the dosage instructions on the label. 

Take one tablet up to two times daily with food

These instructions are also straight forward. It means you can take 1 or 2 tablets a day immediately after a meal. Again, you don’t want to take it on an empty stomach, and for safety reasons, taking more than 2 tablets will require a doctor’s approval. 

You’ll commonly find these types of supplement instructions with water soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C and minerals like magnesium, which are easily excreted from the body. Taking more than 1 tablet daily for water soluble vitamins and minerals ensures you get your daily required dosage. 

Take one tablet, twice daily with food

These instructions mean that you’ll need to take this supplement spread between two intervals after eating a meal. This usually refers spacing your supplement intake for 1 during the morning and the second being in the afternoon or evening. 

Opting to only take 1 tablet in the morning and skipping the recommended second dose could mean you are under-dosing and may not experience the health benefits the supplement is meant for. Again, supplement manufacturers work hard to determine an accurate dosage to ensure that the supplement will deliver the desired health benefits. 

Take two tablets, once daily with food

These instructions mean that you need to take 2 tablets at the same time immediately after eating a meal. Instead of taking your supplements at intervals, these instructions have you taking them in one go. Again, opting to only take 1 tablet may not deliver the health results you’re after. 

Take 2 tablets once daily before a meal

As previously mentioned, these instructions simply mean you take 2 tablets at the same time. ‘Before a meal’ usually refers to 20-30 minutes so when you come across these instructions, time your supplement intake at least 20 minutes before you plan on eating. 

The reasoning behind this is to allow the given supplement time to be properly broken down in your body and for you to properly absorb its health benefits. You’ll commonly see these types of instructions with probiotics, digestive aids and various herbal supplements, which need some time to sit in your stomach in order to work. 

• Take two capsules in the morning with food

When you come across supplement instructions to take in the morning, this is mainly for helping to keep you energized throughout the day and for your body to properly digest it. 

You’ll commonly find these instructions with weight loss aids, that work with your metabolism all day, multivitamins which an active and awake body will benefit more from throughout the day as opposed to the end of the day, and timed-release vitamins, which need an active and awake digestive system to fully absorb it.

Whatever your supplement routine, be sure to choose quality supplements that deliver the health benefits you’re trying to achieve.

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