Effects of Caffeine and Shakeology on Vitamin Absorption

Effects of Caffeine and Shakeology on Vitamin Absorption

Let's face it, most of us LOVE coffee. I would even go a step further to say we might even be addicted to it.  Some of us have an addiction to Shakeology. I have a love for both!

Many people take a multivitamins and other nutritional supplement as a part of their daily morning routine. Not many people are aware that taking vitamins at the same time as a cup of coffee , tea or Shakeology can interfere with the body's absorption of many necessary nutrients.

Let's talk Calcium.

Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, building strong bones, transmitting messages through the nerves, and the release of hormones.

Caffeine can causes calcium to be excreted in the urine and feces. Caffeine also inhibits the amount of calcium that is absorbed through the intestinal tract and depletes the amount retained by the bones. If people aren't getting enough calcium in their diet, the body takes calcium from the bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones.

Let's talk Vitamin D.

Vitamin D is very important for strong bones. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for developing the structure and strength of your bones, and you need vitamin D to absorb these minerals. Even if you eat foods that contain a lot of calcium and phosphorus, without enough vitamin D, you don't absorb them into your body well. More importantly, vitamin D is a hormone that helps regulate our immune system, central nervous system and cardiovascular function.

Caffeine inhibits vitamin D receptors, which limit the amount that will be absorbed. Because vitamin D is important in the absorption and use of calcium in building bone, this could also decrease bone mineral density, resulting in an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Doctors are finding that the majority people are deficient in vitamin D.  Could absorption interference this be part of the reason? Fortunately, we get almost all of our vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. However, for those who are already vitamin D deficient, limiting intestinal absorption of vitamin D could cause further health problems.

Let's talk Iron.

One of the main roles of iron is to help build red blood cells, which help transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Iron also plays an important role in specific processes within the cell that produce the energy for our body. It is for this reason that one of the first symptoms of low body iron stores is malaise and fatigue. Iron is also a major co-factor in thyroid metabolism, so iron deficiency can result in an underactive thyroid.

Personally, my experience of iron absorption interference resulted in a loss of hair. As a 42 year old, healthy female, you can image how scary this was. I got lucky that I had my Shakeology in hand during my visit with my Nauturopath.  Darin Ingels, ND knew immediately, based on my symptoms that I was Iron deficient. He also drew the correlation between what I was taking my Iron supplements with. My answer: either my morning coffee or my Shakeology and most often both. Per his advice, I immediately stopped taking ALL my supplements with my morning Cup-o-Joe and Shakeology. I allowed at least 1 hour in between my morning breakfast and taking my supplements.  Sure enough, within a few weeks my hair stopped falling out.

Caffeine, tea, soy and calcium interfere with the body's absorption of iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production. Drinking caffeine or Shakeology (high in calcium), at the same time as an iron source can reduce absorption by up to 80%, according to The Nutrition Desk Reference. Any beverage containing caffeine or calcium should be separated from iron-containing foods or supplements by at least one hour.

Bottom line.

Caffeine is not likely to have a negative affect on your overall health when consumed in moderate amounts. Shakeology, vitamins and supplements are HEALTHY for you as well. However, they should remain separate in your daily routine.  After all, you don't want to literally piss your money away. Supplements are best taken with water and taken at least 1 hour away from food.

As with most dietary factors, moderation and balance are key in optimal nutrition intake.

Special thanks to our guest blogger Darin Ingels, ND.

Dr. Ingels is a licensed naturopathic physician in Fairfield, CT, who helps people live healthier lives through managing their diet and providing indivdualized nutritional regimens. For more information, please visit his website at ingelsfamilyhealth.com.

Comment below with questions or comments about your experience with vitamin absorption interference. If you found this to be helpful please let me know that too.

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