Nutrition would be much less complicated if you could simply take all the supplements you need at once, in any manner you choose, and go about your day. However, our bodies did not evolve to easily digest super-concentrated versions of nutrients in capsule form. Fortunately, Andrew Demetre, a Chaleston physical trainer, explains that more effective digestion of supplements is definitely possible.
Digesting Food vs. Digesting Supplements
You can probably already guess that the greatest distinction between how we digest our food and how we digest supplements is that the food gets chewed before it makes its way down into our digestive systems.
However, the reason why that’s a much more effective method than swallowing something whole, as we do with supplements, may surprise you.
When chewed food reaches your stomach, it’s then broken down by your stomach acid in a fairly slow process until it's more suitable to begin its journey through your intestinal tract.
While the greater surface area offered by chewing your food speeds up the digestion process, it also helps to ensure that the broken-down food reaches your pylorus valve quickly and doesn’t just remain in your stomach.
The pylorus valve, which is the stomach’s exit point for digested matter, is not directly at the bottom of your stomach, but rather on the right side of it.
This means that if you were to take your supplements in the morning, and they happened to land on the left side of your stomach, they can spend significantly more time doing nothing for you before eventually making their way out through the pylorus.
How Long Do Supplements Take to Dissolve?
Many people believe there’s no way to control how quickly supplements are digested, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, if you were to take your supplements lying on your left side to ensure that they did not land near the pylorus valve, it could take ten times longer than if you were lying on your right side.
By this principle, Andrew Demetre explains that lying on your left side while taking a supplement can mean that it would take around an hour and 40 minutes to digest, while taking one on your right side will take just 10 minutes. For this reason, you might consider taking supplements while lying on your right side.
While it might seem strange to lie on your side while taking supplements at all, the increased rate of digestion can make a big difference for you and your day. This is even more true for medications such as pain pills and sleep aids, which have effects that are often needed as soon as possible for those taking them.
By adjusting how you take your supplements, you can more closely mimic the digestive process of food, making your supplements both more effective and more beneficial.
About Andrew Demetre, Charleston Strength Coach
Andrew Demetre, Charleston health coach, physical trainer, and bodybuilder, first found his calling during the pandemic when he realized that many of his clients preferred working out from home. These days, Demetre uses his expertise to train clients from home, whether in the greater Charleston area or worldwide. Andrew firmly believes every client can achieve their ideal body through hard work and dedication — no gym membership needed.