• Transformed by Spence

Coffee and Multivitamins.


Does coffee kill the benefits of your daily in-take of vitamins?

Any beverage or food containing caffeine such as coffee, tea, chocolate and some sodas can inhibit the absorption of vitamins and minerals and increase their excretion from the body.

We wake up, we long for that first slurp of a warm brew. Immediately after, or not long before, we take our daily vitamins i.e. Omega 3, Iron supplement, Vitamin D3, L-Glutamine. But do we realise how much of that dosage we’re actually absorbing and benefiting from?

Although you can take your multivitamin with any beverage you like, it isn’t always advisable. Some beverages, including coffee, contain substances that could interfere with the absorption of some of the nutrients in your vitamin. It’s better to drink your coffee about 15 minutes before or a few hours after you take your vitamin(s).

Effect on overall absorption:

Caffeine in coffee speeds up the digestive process of the body. It does this by increasing the contractions that force food through the digestive tract. When your multivitamin is moved more quickly through the digestive process, there will be less time for you to absorb the vitamins and minerals it contains, and some may pass through your body without being absorbed. Damn!

Effect on Iron absorption:

Daily dose

Like tea, green leafy vegetables and beans, coffee contains tannins. If your multivitamin contains iron, tannins can decrease its absorption. Tannins interfere with the absorption of non-heme iron, which is the type found in plant-based foods and supplements, including multivitamins that contain iron. Drinking your coffee separately from when you take your multivitamin will help minimise this effect. Take your vitamin with orange juice or another vitamin C-rich juice to increase iron absorption.

In this health conscious and time restricted era we wash down our tablets each morning with some form of brew and do not even know about it. We are however wasting valuable time and money by doing this. I for one was for quite a long period of time.

Not just caffeine…

Researchers have also found that it is not just the increased gut mobility that reduces the absorption efficacy of vitamins but also the heat of the fluid we are taking in alongside. The heat in the drinks can dramatically reduce the effects of tablets, and even kill the ‘friendly’ bacteria in probiotic foods such as yoghurts, experts said. Guess that deems your Actimel(R) useless!

My SLFitness tip: leave one hour after you’ve had your morning brew to take your daily dose of vitamins.

Breakfast is still the best time to take pills however, always wash them down with a glass of water. Why? – The gut is still more receptive after a nights rest. If you’ve just had your morning hot drink with your morning tablets… try and make it the last time and save yourself time and money!

Spencer Lissamore


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