The use of turmeric in the daily nutritional regimen of the average person is picking up momentum the longer time goes on. The numerous health benefits that turmeric can bestow on our systems have made it extremely popular. However, there remains the question of how turmeric should be consumed to maximize its effects.
Many supplements and medications used in the world have instructions detailing what time of day or what meal they should be taken with to ensure they function as advertised. However, this information on turmeric is minimal at best. While the timing of any supplement is worth noting, other aspects can affect what makes your intake of turmeric effective.
With this article, we hope to enlighten you on the best time to enjoy your turmeric so you can maximize the effects and reap the full benefits of this potent spice.
The Simple Answer
"When should I take turmeric?" is one of the first questions asked when people resolve to introduce turmeric into their diet. The simplest answer is that it ultimately is not that important in what meal you consume turmeric. To date, there has been no substantial evidence to show that the time-of-day turmeric is consumed has any genuine impact on how effective it is beyond the standard principles of digestion. The issue is not when the turmeric is consumed but maintaining the consistency of the consumption.
The best advice that can be given when timing your turmeric intake is to aim for an afternoon or evening intake. The only reason for this is that turmeric is fat-soluble. Fat-soluble substances are more easily absorbed by the body when you are fully fed, which is much more common toward the end of the day after eating dinner rather than when you first wake up.
However, this is no different than regulating other parts of your diet to ensure healthy digestion. The only genuinely official advice is to take your curcumin within three hours before or after your meal. Some studies have also implied that taking curcumin in the evening makes it slightly more difficult for some individuals to sleep. However, this effect is not universal and will vary from person to person. While the time of day actually has minimal impact on the successful absorption of turmeric, other factors play into how well your body processes the substance.
Boosting the Bioavailability of Turmeric
The biggest issue with turmeric is the common mistake people make when it comes to what makes it a beneficial part of their diet. The turmeric itself is more of a carrier for a more valuable compound that serves as the catalyst for health benefits for which the spice is lauded. In reality, the curcumin found within turmeric is the golden substance that you are likely looking to maximize. Unfortunately, the bioavailability of curcumin is extremely low, and no amount of scheduling can alter that.
The bioavailability of a substance essentially lets us know how well our bodies can absorb it. With a low bioavailability and absorption rate, getting curcumin into our system is a genuine challenge. Especially since the concentration of curcumin in turmeric is only around 3.14% per unit weight. That said, some methods can be employed to bolster the bioavailability of curcumin in more reliable ways.
One of the primary methods for enhancing curcumin's bioavailability is combining it with a substance found in black pepper called piperine. Essentially, this means eating a little more pepper with dinner can help compensate for one of the most significant handicaps that curcumin has. You might think it a novel concept, but piperine's effect on curcumin has actually been studied at length, and the results have proven that it causes the absorption rate of curcumin to spike by 2,000%. This boost to the curcumin's absorption rate will give you a better opportunity to maximize the benefits you are after.
In other cases, you can enjoy meals that make liberal use of healthy fats so that the curcumin binds to the fats and has a higher absorption rate. This option would mean that you should time your curcumin intake around the time of this meal rather than any other since attempting to take curcumin on an empty stomach can lead to disappointing results. Boosting the effects of curcumin in your system is an excellent way to overcome the limitations posed by the concentration of the substance within turmeric. It does not require a set time to consume it to enjoy these effects. However, bolstering the bioavailability of curcumin is not the sole concern for those seeking to maximize its benefits.
How to Take Turmeric
Enhancing the productivity of turmeric can be a simple matter, after which point it becomes all about how to introduce it into your system. It might seem like the simplest method is to cook with it or even consume the root itself. However, you might recall that we mentioned the low curcumin content within turmeric, which is the source of all those health benefits. So, while eating and cooking with turmeric is certainly an option, other options can lead to far more overall results.
To start, you can purchase turmeric powder. This powder is more beneficial in the sense of its convenience rather than its curcumin concentration. If you are looking to ensure you are ingesting calories with your turmeric to ensure proper absorption, then you can take the powder and mix it in with a smoothie or even a cup of coffee so you can enjoy it on the go.
However, even powdered turmeric is not the most effective method for introducing curcumin into your system. The best method for getting the curcumin you need is to take supplements specifically designed to maximize the concentration of the curcumin you are consuming. In addition, capsule supplements are on the rise and provide an even greater level of convenience along with a few other bonuses you would not otherwise enjoy. The biggest is that the best curcumin supplement capsules also include piperine to enhance the bioavailability of an already loaded supplement.
To that end, we recommend using curcumin supplements for your daily needs since they also allow you to take them at whichever time is ideal for you. However, even with a good thing like turmeric, there are some factors you need to consider so that what should be a healthy addition to your diet does not have any consequences.
While enhancing the effects of curcumin to overcome its shortcomings is an essential practice, there is another concern that you should be aware of at all times. Turmeric can come into conflict with certain medications, so you should time your intake of turmeric accordingly. In addition, if you are taking certain types of medication for conditions you cannot ignore, the turmeric could interfere with it or even render it useless, which we would prefer to help you avoid.
To start, turmeric has a negative relationship with blood-thinners. This negativity is because turmeric itself is a blood thinner, which means it can be beneficial in reducing blood clots. However, taking it in combination with prescribed blood thinners can cause the effect to be compounded and detrimental to your health.
If you want to take advantage of turmeric's benefits, you should either wait until your blood thinners have worn off or see if turmeric can serve as a substitute for your blood thinner medication. However, if you are on prescription medication, you should consult with your primary care physician beforecommitting to turmeric or curcumin supplements.
Even certain painkillers can negatively interact with turmeric, so you should be cautious when taking Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Another medical conflict of turmeric is with medications that lower your blood sugar for similar reasons as the blood thinners. Turmeric has a natural effect that leads to the same result, meaning taking turmeric in combination with diabetes medication can result in your blood sugar plummeting and health issues arising, even leading to hypoglycemia. Aside from these, turmeric should be monitored or regulated if you are pregnant, suffer from an iron deficiency, or have kidney stones.
Ultimately, the negative consequences of indulging in a curcumin supplement or consuming turmeric are minimal if you consult with your doctor. Aside from this, turmeric has no natural side effects beyond compounding with medications, so it remains a healthy resource safe for consumption.
Now, you might think that the amount of turmeric must be closely regulated to ensure that the supplement works as intended. However, you would only be partially correct. The fact is, there is no official recommended dosage of curcumin from the FDA. Since it is a safe substance with no inherent side effects, there has been little need to regulate it beyond common sense not to overconsume any one substance. So, you could theoretically have turmeric with every meal if there are no medical conflicts; however, we do not recommend doing so.
While there is no official dosage recommendation, studies have found an ideal suggested dosage to get the best results without overconsuming. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the suggested amount is a capsule supplement containing anywhere between 400 to 600mg of curcumin three times a day. Another ideal serving is a 2-capsule regimen containing 1,200mg once a day.
Ultimately, the dosage amount cannot be strictly guided and following the instructions of the supplements you use is the only accurate recommended dosage that should realistically be heeded. Just do not consume too much at any one time.
How to Tell if It Is Working
No one likes waiting, be it in a line or for the effects of your nutritional supplement to start working. However, figuring out if the curcumin in the turmeric is taking hold and giving you the benefits you are after can be an annoying part of taking it, especially since the timeline is not always the same for everyone. The key is patience since it will take time for curcumin to build up in your system, given its low bioavailability. Even when enhanced with piperine or the like, the wait for the buildup can be quite a while.
Unfortunately, the only way to tell if your turmeric consumption or use of curcumin supplements is yielding results is patience. Taking special care to use tactics to enhance the efficacy of your supplements can help speed up the timeline and get results sooner rather than later. However, the results will vary from person to person, and you should not be disheartened if your results take a little longer than you were hoping. Nevertheless, odds are better than not that the curcumin is working and is still building up in your system as your body begins absorbing the nutrients.
There is no "magic hour" when making use of turmeric and curcumin supplements. Simply put, you need to time it within a reasonable hour of your meals with a potential focus on the evening for the sake of breaking down fat to enhance absorption. However, it is all in how the substances are introduced rather than the when. If you maintain a consistent schedule, you will find that the turmeric will be taking effect just as consistently.
Do not lose patience with the regimen and give it time to take effect to ensure that you do not prematurely cut off any progress you might be making. At the end of the day, the best recommendation we can give about which meal to center your turmeric intake around is dinner.
Regardless of the situation, we urge you to consult your primary care physician before committing to a long-term supplement regimen. As always, we are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy guide to find the Nu you.
If you have any questions regarding turmeric, curcumin, our supplement capsules, or anything similar, please feel free to reach out and contact us at any time! We'd be more than happy to assist with whatever questions or concerns you may have.