When to Take Supplements

I get the question a lot. And the answer lies in my One Basic Concept for Longevity blog, which, if you haven’t read yet, proceed no further until you have.

Vitamins D3 and K2

Well, when did our ancestors get their vitamins D3 and K2? Everyone knows that the best way to get vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight.

It follows that since our ancestors obtained their vitamin D by being outside in the daytime, I recommend that vitamin D supplementation occur in the mornings and/or at lunch time.

I usually do not recommend that vitamin D be taken with dinner, as it may fool the body into thinking that it’s mid-day, and therefore prevent adequate sleep later.

As for vitamin K2, it is typically found in animal foods and fermented foods. Therefore, our ancestors got K2 at virtually any meal. So K2 supplementation can likewise occur with any meal.

However, we usually take K2 with vitamin D3 since the two work very well in combination with each other. We prefer to take supplements that combine the 2 vitamins, so we usually end up taking K2 with D3 either in the mornings or around lunch time.


Our ancestors had excellent survival strategies, one of which was to always be near water. (Our ancestors who did not have immediate access to water tended to not leave as many offspring…) As such, fish was a commensurate staple in many paleolithic diets across the globe.

One of the main components of natural water (regardless of where it originated) is magnesium, since it is found in high concentrations in the earth’s crust.

It follows that fish therefore contain a lot of magnesium (in their skin and meat) since they essentially live in the stuff. Are you catching my drift here?… Our ancestors consumed a LOT of magnesium by eating fish back in the day.

If you are also consuming a lot of fish, you may not NEED to supplement with magnesium. However, since magnesium plays a vital role in over 300 metabolic processes in the human body, and not everyone eats fish every day, it’s probable that supplementation is recommended.

But when? Well, since our ancestors had fish for sustenance at any point during the day, magnesium supplementation can occur during any meal. Also, since it’s not uncommon for magnesium to help people chill out a bit, we lean towards taking the supplement with dinner. It could help with sleep!

Fish oil

Hopefully you read the above section on magnesium before reading this. As mentioned, our ancestors likely consumed a lot of fish regularly. Fish has plenty of omega 3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, as opposed to the pro-inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids commonly found in other food sources.

The bottom line is that supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids like fish oil is beneficial for the purposes of fighting inflammation – the root of all evil, health-wise.

When did our ancestors get it? Basically all the time. So I usually supplement with fish oil with each meal, except if I’m having fish!

Vitamin C

Naturally found in fruits and vegetables, one would think that our hunting/gathering ancestors had access to lots of vitamin C at virtually any time of day.

It would then follow that vitamin C supplementation could occur with any meal, which I think may be ok.

However, I’ve noticed that vitamin C is a component in a lot of natural energy products, leading me to wonder if it boosts energy levels. If this is the case, I would not recommend taking vitamin C with dinner as it could potentially affect sleep quality.

Obviously this is a post on supplementation – something that I recommend as part of a solid foundation of health. So this next section may seem antithetical to the intent, but it’s really not:

Supplementation is a key part of good health if you are NOT getting the vast majority of essential nutrients from your daily food intake. In other words, try to NOT need supplements!

Eat lots of plants, fish, and animals, nose to tail – these natural sources are the most bioavailable sources! The healthiest diet is the one that does not NEED supplementation.

By emulating our ancestors you MIGHT be able to attain optimal health, but a precise ancestral diet is not only hard to define, it’s hard to imitate. That’s why I usually recommend supplementation.

Coach Bret

Primal Health Coach #239

“I’ve already done the homework. What you get is the most essential knowledge and recommendations specific to your individual needs, in a very short amount of time.” Book your appointment now by emailing me at: Bret@McClellanNaturalHealth.com

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