It's the new year, and while we don't love New Year's resolutions in the traditional sense, we know this tends to be the time that people are committing to making changes to better their health and well-being, and that is something we can get behind. For those of you who had "start taking supplements" on your list this year, we're sure you're wondering when the heck you're going to start to feel the benefits of your newfound routine (spoiler alert: it's not instant—we know, it sucks). So, let's get into the details and break down what you can expect from your supplements.
How do supplements work inside your body?
We're going to assume you're relatively new to the supplement game, so let's break down the basics. Supplements are essential, as they work by complementing your diet with essential nutrients that your body may lack. Whether it's vitamins, minerals, or other bioactive compounds, it's their job to fill the gaps in your nutrition. However, your body's ability to actually absorb all the great things that supplements provide depends on a whole bunch of factors like your diet, age, and, specifically, the form of the supplement (fat-soluble vs. water-soluble).
Factors influencing supplement absorption: Fat-Soluble vs. Water-Soluble
Water-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, are like the social butterflies of the supplement world. They dissolve easily in water, so your body doesn't have to work hard to absorb them. You would likely see the quickest results from these types of supplements.
Fat-soluble supplements, on the other hand, make your body work for it. These vitamins need a little extra TLC for absorption. They tag along with dietary fat, utilizing the body's fat absorption mechanisms. As a result, their absorption is a slower, more gradual process. If you're looking for a possible way to speed up the process, it's always a good idea to pair your supplements with a meal or snack that contains healthy fats. If you need another excuse to have avocado toast for breakfast every day, there you have it.
When can you expect results?
Ah, the age-old question. The truth is (and we know this is not the answer you wanted—sorry) that there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The time it takes for supplements to show their magic depends on so many factors; what is true for you may be the complete opposite for someone else. Generally, though, we say you should give it at least a few weeks before expecting to see and feel changes. We gotta have some patience, right?
Why haven't I noticed any changes yet?
Okay, so you've been taking your supplements for a few weeks now, and you swear you've been consistent, but you're still not noticing any changes. What gives? This is a common concern, but it doesn't necessarily mean something is wrong. Remember, the pace of change varies for everyone. Some questions you might want to consider: Are you taking the right supplements for your unique needs? Everyone's body responds differently, and what worked for your friend might not be right for you. Make sure you have done your own research before starting a new supplement regimen. How are your lifestyle habits? Excessive caffeine or alcohol intake decreases your hydration and can, therefore, impact the absorption of your supplements.
How do I know if a supplement is working for me?
Keep an eye out for the small things – for example, maybe you noticed that you don't snooze your alarm 5 times before getting up anymore, or your skin has improved so much that you're finding yourself rocking the no-makeup look more often. Remember, supplements are meant to do just that: supplement your health. They are not a cure for big health issues, but they can support your overall well-being and improve your day-to-day lifestyle through these types of small victories. Although we wouldn't say that getting out of bed at your first alarm is a small victory (it's huge).
If you're starting your supplement journey, don't be discouraged if you don't see results right away. Just keep nourishing that body, stay consistent, and let the supplements do their magic.