Have you ever heard the term “multi-dosing” as it relates to nutritional supplements? If not, you’re certainly not alone.
Not surprisingly, more than 99% of people do NOT multi-dose. So, before I explain the rationale, allow me to offer some background.
A Little History…
Before World War II the extent of food processing amounted to canning and jarring.
But, then, the U.S. Military realized a need to preserve foods for the troops. Especially those stationed overseas and in the field.
You may have heard of K-Rations or C-Rations. These were innovative techniques used to preserve foods. But, more than that, it was the beginning of an entire industry we now call: Food Technology.
The Addition of Chemicals to the Food Supply
Today, nutrition experts estimate over 165,000 different chemicals have entered our food supply — including those incorporated into animal feed as well as “crop enhancements.”
Even the most “clean” menu plan typically includes “refined” and “processed” foods that contain some sort of additive, preservative, sweetener, antioxidant, emulsifier, synthetic fat — you get the idea.
Clearly, we are NOT eating the same foods consumed by our ancestors of just one or two generations back. The constant refining, processing and preserving techniques continue to strip our foods of many essential nutrients.
Enhanced Nutritional Intake
Thus, the experts recognized a need to enhance our nutritional intake with vitamin and mineral supplements.
It made sense.
In theory, this would replace the nutrients being depleted from our raw foods.
But, leave it up to the “marketing geniuses” to confuse the public with a descriptive brand name.
In 1940, Miles Laboratories came up with a Multi-Vitamin and Mineral pill and named it: “One-A-Day.” (Today the brand is owned by Bayer).
This misnomer of a brand name projected the illusion that popping just one pill a day might give us everything we need to ensure all our nutritional requirements would be met.
Now THAT would certainly make our lives easier — and at the time it was such a “modern” concept that sales skyrocketed.
But, in reality the “One-a-Day” concept makes NO sense whatsoever.
Our bodies digest and absorb vitamins and minerals using different processes, at varying speeds and at different points in our digestive tract.
How the Body Absorbs Vitamins and Minerals
Our bodies are designed to digest (breakdown) foods. Then, following the mechanical and chemical breakdown of ingested foods the nutrients are absorbed. (Module #2 – Onboard 101)
One could argue that if our menu plans were filled with a constant supply of nutrient-dense foods our nutrient levels would be sufficient throughout the day.
Unfortunately, even the most “clean” menu plans consist of refined and processed foods stripped of many raw nutrients.
What we eat, today, is typically deficient in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
This is a huge “negative” for athletes and fitness enthusiasts whose nutritional requirements are much higher than that of de-conditioned, sedentary people.
That’s exactly why physically active people turn to supplements in the first place. They absolutely must supplement in order to support their optimal caloric intake.
With Food for All the Right Reasons
Taking supplements with food is generally considered a “best practice” especially with multi-vitamin / mineral formulations like ours since they incorporate digestive enzymes (Pancreatine 5x) to assist in the breakdown process of the ingested food – as well as the uptake and absorption of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
In addition, research has shown optimal physiological function when nutrients are released and replenished throughout the day — rather than a “one-hit rush” of pills and powders.
A Rational Multi-Dose Protocol
For example, consider water-soluble vitamins like a B-Complex tablet taken right after breakfast. They are “washed out” of your system within 3-4 hours. Even faster if you drink a lot of water. Faster, still, if you drink coffee or tea (diurectics).
However, the B Vitamins can be easily replenished if the dosage is taken again right after lunch. And, again after dinner.
Multi-dosing ensures all nutritional gaps are being filled throughout the entire day. And, the digestion process, itself is being maximized for the breakdown process, uptake and absorption of the foods ingested.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often take five single Multi-Vitamin / Mineral tablets per day using this protocol:
- Breakfast – 1 Tablet
- Mid-morning snack – 1 Tablet
- Lunch – 1 Tablet
- Mid-afternoon snack – 1 Tablet
- Dinner – 1 Tablet
The Conveyor Belt
Put simply, the human body works like a conveyor belt.
As nutrients pass through the digestive tract, it will absorb exactly what it needs — in the right amount — at that particular time. It will excrete the surplus.
The body’s requirements ebb and flow throughout the day based on activities, stress, environment and hundreds of variables.
Our body even signals us to feed it through hunger and cravings. As civilized humans, we’ve accommodated these signals with a common regimen of “three-meals-a-day.”
However, true athletes and fitness enthusiasts often eat five to six times per day as their bodies require replenishment more often due to physical stress, increased metabolism and the need for tissue repair and/or recovery.
The Advantage of Multi-Dosing
So, if you follow the logic, most people are already “multi-dosing” with foods and meals. As mentioned, it’s a totally natural function for the body.
So multi-dosing with nutritional supplementation is simply an extension of something you already do!
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