When should you take calcium and iron supplements?
Calcium and iron supplements should be taken at least 2 hours apart. You should also avoid eating calcium-rich foods 1-2 hours before and after taking an iron vitamin.
Taking your supplements throughout your day and separately will increase the bioavailability of the nutrients in your system, increasing absorption. Pairing specific vitamins like iron with vitamin C and calcium citrate with vitamin D will also increase absorption.
Choosing the Best Calcium and Iron Supplements after Bariatric surgery
Based on the guidelines set by the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, weight loss surgery patients should intake 1,200 to 1,500 mg of calcium citrate and 45 mg of iron daily. For maximum absorption, supplements should be soft chew, chewable, or drinkable post-operatively.
What to do if you are Calcium Deficient
If you notice a deficiency in calcium, consult your primary care physician before making drastic changes in your supplement routine. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by engaging in strength training and weight-bearing exercise can help improve calcium absorption and improve bone health. You can also increase your intake of calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, and yogurt.
What to do if you are Iron Deficient
Getting blood work done regularly can diagnose anemia and iron deficiencies, preventing serious complications. If you are deficient in iron, taking supplements and eating iron-rich foods like spinach, legumes, and red meat will help increase iron levels. Additionally, to prevent iron deficiency you should avoid drinking coffee and tea at the same time as taking iron supplements. Coffee and tea contain a compound called tannins which inhibit the absorption of iron found in plants and supplements.