Many Americans, up to 76 percent according to some reports, include supplements as part of their daily health regimen. However, research also shows that over 80 percent of those who take supplements or medications occasionally mistime or forget to take them! This is troublesome because, to get the most benefit from a supplement, they must be taken consistently and at the appropriate time. Fortunately, forgetfulness may be resolved by implementing various strategies. Read on to learn about the importance of supplements and 7 tips that can help you stick to a consistent supplement schedule.
Supplementation is an increasingly important component of individual wellness. This is in part because it has become difficult to achieve optimal nutrition through diet alone. Experts suggest that there may be several reasons for the steady decline in nutrition including the reduced nutritional value of foods, increased occurrence of absorption issues, and use of nutrient-blocking medications. Fortunately, many of these issues may be resolved through supplementation.
Supplements provide many benefits. However, to attain them, we have to remember to take them! On the surface, this may seem like a simple task. But, with the busyness of everyday life, unexpected distractions, or just plain forgetfulness, it’s easy to miss a dose. Ensuring that these and other dose-disruptors do not affect our health requires action. Below are seven simple ways to combat forgetfulness and ensure that you consistently take your supplements.
Everyone has rituals they follow daily. For example, some consistently listen to a podcast to start the day or drink a cup of sleepy-time tea before bed. Established practices such as these are difficult to forget. Therefore, incorporating part or all of your supplement regimen into your daily routines can significantly improve the consistency in which you take your supplements.
Alternatively, you may make supplementation an entirely new daily routine. This can work just as well, providing it is done consistently enough to become a habit.
Sometimes supplements come in unwieldy packaging that is difficult to manage. Divvying up its contents into one or smaller bottles, baggies, or other air-tight containers lets you store your supplements more conveniently. This gives you the freedom to keep your supplements in multiple locations such as your home, workplace, or in an on-the-go satchel or purse. The increased accessibility may help jog your memory and gives you the ability to take your supplements at the right time no matter where you are.
Sometimes a simple approach is best. Writing yourself a note to take your supplements and placing it in a prominent location in your home can be an effective reminder. Some examples of suitable note locations are on the bathroom mirror, fridge, TV remote, or any other area or object that is frequently seen or used. Keep in mind, it may also be beneficial to change up the location of the note from time to time, so it doesn’t become too familiar and lose its visual impact.
Virtually every cell phone, tablet, computer, or other smart device has access to an alarm or scheduling application. Using tools such as these allows you to create customized alerts or reminders to take your supplements. This approach is ideal for those who have multiple supplements that are best taken at specific times or at regular intervals throughout the day.
The adage “out of sight, out of mind” rings true for many aspects of life, including your supplements. Storing supplements in hard-to-reach or easily overlooked locations can make it easy to forget about them. Ideally, supplements are kept in an area where they are viewed regularly. Some excellent options include a bedside table, your bathroom counter, or a prominent spot in a kitchen cabinet.
Associating your supplements with mealtimes can be an excellent reminder to take them. As an added benefit, many if not most supplements are better absorbed by the body when they are taken with food. However, the efficacy of certain supplements may be hindered when taken with food or require that they be taken on an empty stomach. It is important to always read the labels of your supplements before incorporating them into your mealtimes.
Pillboxes are a classic method for both supplement organization and dosage consistency. Pillboxes are designed so that users can easily allocate all their pills, be they supplements or medications, for each day. Most models are designed for an entire week with seven compartments, one for each day. However, designs can vary significantly. Depending on your needs, go with a pillbox that has more compartments, designations for a time of day, color-coding options, or other organizational features. Perhaps the greatest benefit of a pillbox is that individuals can always confirm if they have taken their supplements for the day by checking the container.
Supplements are an important part of wellness and provide several impressive health benefits. However, with the busyness of everyday life, it’s difficult to always remember to take them. This is unfortunate as consistent regular use is an important element of getting the most out of your supplements. If you find that you have trouble keeping track of or remembering to take your supplements, try using one or more of the supplement tips discussed above.
Jason DobruckJason is a freelance writer with experience covering health, food, nutrition, and supplementation for NAHIS, HoltraCeuticals and other wellness outlets. He has been writing medical and health related content for over three years. Jason enjoys covering everything from general health tips to comprehensive condition overviews and treatment options.