When Is the Best Time of Day to Take Turmeric Supplements?

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For best results, timing is everything.

Turmeric has been a mainstay of traditional medicines—and some pretty incredible cuisine—for thousands of years. But don’t be so quick to dismiss this powerful adaptogen as just another health food fad. Turmeric is a source of curcumin, which has been widely studied for its believed positive effect on a number of conditions:

Consuming turmeric in your favorite recipes isn’t enough to get its many possible health benefits, though, because the curcumin in turmeric has what’s called poor bioavailability. Essentially, your liver and intestine metabolize curcumin and remove it from your system quickly, before all the good bits can take hold. To gain the maximum advantage from curcumin, you need to be aware of the best time of day to take turmeric supplements and know how much you need to take in order to reap the rewards.   

What Is the Recommended Turmeric Dosage?

The appropriate daily dose of turmeric depends on what issue you’re targeting. For example, according to the Arthritis Foundation, people with osteoarthritis should take a 400 milligram arthritis (mg) to 600 mg capsule three times per day, whereas for those with rheumatoid arthritis, 500 mg twice daily is ideal. (If you are hoping to incorporate ground turmeric directly into your meals, 400 to 600 mg is about ½ to 1 gram of powder, which is about ½  teaspoon.)

But keep in mind, turmeric and curcumin are not one in the same, so the amount of curcumin in the turmeric needs to be considered in its own right.

To improve curcumin’s bioavailability, it is best taken along with piperine, an alkaloid found in black pepper that improves the body’s efficiency in transporting nutrients and slows the metabolism of curcumin by the liver. The curcumin may stay in your system longer. Look for a supplement with piperine and standardized curcumin. RECHARGE HEALTH™ power healing turmeric is one to try; its all-natural formulation contains 5 milligrams of piperine, 600 mg of Turmeric Powder and 50 mg of Turmeric (95% curcuminoids).

When Is the Best Time of Day to Take Turmeric Supplements?

The best time to take curcumin is three or more hours before or after eating a meal; in other words, after fasting. This is when curcumin absorption will be higher. And according to NutritionFacts.org, it has also been found that consuming turmeric in recipes containing fat can increase absorption of curcumin.

How to Know if Curcumin Is Effective

It is best to think of supplements like curcumin as having a long arc when it comes to witnessing the benefits to your overall health and well-being. To determine if turmeric is having a beneficial effect for you, keep a journal and note your dosage and how you’re feeling or any results you can point to. Adapting your dosage can be very important if you need to minimize any adverse effects, so having a record in a journal can help you figure out what amount is suitable for you.

Using Curcumin With Supplements, Herbs, and Medicine

Before taking any supplement, you should always speak with your healthcare practitioner. It is especially important to have a discussion if you are taking other medications. That’s because, although curcumin is a natural nutritional supplement, it’s still a chemical that can react with other substances, including herbs and drugs.

Turmeric has blood-thinning properties, so taking it along with other herbs that have the same effect is a bad idea, since it could lead to bleeding and bruising. A few herbs and plants that have an impact on blood clotting include cloves, angelica, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginseng, red clover, Panax ginseng, and willow.

Be equally as cautious if you take antiplatelet and anticoagulant medicines or NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications)—they all inhibit platelet aggregation. Taking curcumin at the same time as blood-thinning drugs may increase the chance of swelling and bleeding.

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When taking curcumin at the same time as medications, monitor the effects on your body. Some other drugs with blood-thinning effects include these formulations:

  • Aspirin
  • Dalteparin (Fragmin)
  • Ticlopidine (Ticlid)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • Heparin
  • Clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others)
  • Enoxaparin (Lovenox)
  • Certain chemotherapy drugs
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn, and others)
  • Diclofenac (Cambia, Zipsor, and others)
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People who have allergies to ginger and some other foods are at a higher risk of suffering from a turmeric allergy. There have been instances of contact dermatitis or rashes following skin contact with curcumin. Consuming large amounts of turmeric tea can also lead to adverse effects:

  • Indigestion
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Allergic reactions
  • Skin rash (after long-term usage)
  • Stomach ulcers (after long-term usage)
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Who Should Avoid Curcumin?

Some groups of people should take special care when considering adding turmeric to their diet. So it bears repeating: before taking any supplement, always speak with doctor.

  • Pregnant women: Avoid curcumin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. There have been no studies to test the safety of curcumin supplements during pregnancy or lactation.
  • People with an upcoming surgery: Stop taking turmeric supplements a minimum of two months before surgery. Curcumin has been shown to slow blood clotting, which puts you at risk for excessive bleeding during and after the operation.
  • People susceptible to kidney stones: Turmeric is high in oxalates, a chemical that is related to kidney stone development. Earlier research has noted that people prone to kidney stones tend to absorb more oxalate, which could increase their levels beyond the permissible limits.
  • People with certain GI issues: If you have a bile duct blockage or infection, gut disorders, or a hyperacidity ailment, steer clear of curcumin supplements. Turmeric root may exacerbate the symptoms related to these conditions.
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Armed with information about side effects and recommended dosages, you can be smarter with how you use turmeric.

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Figure out the best time of day to take turmeric supplements and you can maximize the powerful anti-inflammatory benefits of curcumin.