Zinc is an essential mineral that is vital in many bodily functions, including immune health and wound healing. It’s important to ensure you are getting enough zinc through your diet, but if you need a little extra boost, taking zinc supplements can be beneficial.
But when is the best time to take them?
In this article, you will learn more about the best time of day to take zinc supplements for optimal absorption and effectiveness. You’ll also learn more about how much zinc is recommended per day and which foods contain high levels of zinc. By the end of this article, you will have all the information necessary to make a decision on whether or not taking supplemental zinc could benefit your health.
For optimal effectiveness, it is recommended to take Zinc supplements at least one hour prior to or two hours after meals. Nevertheless, if consuming zinc supplements leads to stomach discomfort, they can be taken with a meal. It is important to inform your healthcare provider if you are taking Zinc supplements with meals.
It is recommended to take Zinc supplements just once a day. Taking too much zinc can lead to side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting. For healthy adults over 19 years old, the recommended daily allowance of zinc is 8 milligrams for women and 11 milligrams for men. Pregnant women should get at least 11 milligrams per day and those breastfeeding should get 12 milligrams a day.
Should you take zinc daily?
In general, it is not necessary for healthy adults to take a daily supplement of zinc. Eating a balanced diet that includes foods high in zinc can help ensure you are getting enough of the mineral. Zinc-rich foods include oysters, beef, crab, and fortified breakfast cereals. However, if you have a medical condition or vitamin deficiency that makes it difficult for your body to absorb nutrients from food, a zinc supplement may be beneficial.
Additionally, if you are at risk of having inadequate zinc intake due to lifestyle factors such as veganism or being pregnant and/or breastfeeding, taking a supplement might help prevent deficiencies and other related health problems.
It’s also important to note that too much zinc can lead to side effects such as nausea and vomiting. Therefore, if you do decide to take a supplement, it’s important to follow the instructions on the label and only take the recommended amount of zinc per day. If you are unsure how much is appropriate for your needs, speak with your healthcare provider before starting any supplementation regimen.
What should you not take with zinc?
It’s recommended that you avoid taking zinc supplements simultaneously with copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements. To derive the maximum benefits from each dietary supplement, it is recommended to space out the doses of these products by at least two hours.
Zinc and copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements may compete for absorption in the body when taken simultaneously, leading to reduced effectiveness. Separating the intake of these supplements by a few hours allows the body to better absorb each nutrient and reap their individual benefits.
Therefore, to optimize the absorption of these essential minerals, it is important to stagger the intake of zinc supplements and copper, iron, or phosphorus supplements. This can help ensure that your body receives the full benefit of each supplement and promotes overall better health.
What are the symptoms of zinc deficiency?
Zinc deficiency can lead to a variety of symptoms, including poor appetite, impaired growth and development, slow wound healing, diarrhea, and skin lesions. Additionally, those with zinc deficiencies may experience hair loss, poor night vision, and a weakened immune system.
If you think you may be at risk of inadequate zinc intake or are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with deficiency, speak to your healthcare provider about safe ways to increase your intake through diet and/or supplementation.
What diseases cause low zinc?
Low zinc levels can be caused by a variety of conditions, including Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, and alcoholism. Additionally, those with malabsorption syndromes are at higher risk of being deficient in zinc.
Foods That Are High in Zinc
Incorporating foods that are high in zinc into your daily diet is an easy way to ensure that you are getting the recommended amount of zinc each day. Oysters are by far the best source of zinc, providing up to 74 milligrams per 3-ounce serving. Lean red meats such as beef or lamb provide 12 milligrams of zinc in a 3-ounce serving and poultry provides 7 milligrams per 3-ounce serving. Beans, nuts, and seeds like chickpeas, almonds, and pumpkin seeds each provide between 1–3 milligrams of zinc per quarter cup serving.
Whole grains such as quinoa or oats can provide up to 1 milligram per half cup cooked. Dairy products like milk and yogurt can also contribute to your daily zinc intake with up to 1 milligram of zinc in one 8-ounce glass of milk or 6 ounces of yogurt. Fortified breakfast cereals may also be a good option for increasing your daily intake of zinc and can provide between 5 – 25% of your daily allowance with just one bowl.
Adding these foods to your everyday meals is an easy way to increase your overall daily intake of zinc without any extra effort. Zinc oysters can be eaten raw on their own, added to salads or soups, or served with a light sauce. Lean red meats can be grilled, roasted, or sautéed as part of a main dish or stir fry while poultry can be roasted or grilled and served with sides such as rice and vegetables.
Nuts and seeds can be added to salads and serve as snacks throughout the day while beans are great additions to soups or chili. Whole grains make great side dishes to accompany any meal while dairy products like milk and yogurt can easily fit into any breakfast routine. Fortified cereal is a quick grab-and-go option that can fit into busy schedules making it easier than ever to get enough zinc in your diet each day.
The bottom line is that the best time to take zinc supplements is either one hour prior to or two hours after meals for optimal effectiveness. However, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider first if you are considering taking a daily supplement as too much zinc can lead to side effects.
Additionally, eating foods high in zinc like oysters and fortified breakfast cereals will help ensure adequate intake of this essential mineral. Lastly, keep an eye out for any symptoms of zinc deficiency and speak with your healthcare provider if you experience any.