Vitamins QA

Should I take USANA supplements with a meal?

There are several reasons it can be beneficial to take dietary supplements with food or a complete meal. One reason is to buffer the stomach (especially important for those with sensitive stomachs). Another reason is to increase consistency and compliance with the recommended dosage. Many people find it easier to form a habit of taking supplements alongside a meal, as opposed to taking them separately.

Perhaps the best reason to take supplements with a meal is that some nutrients (e.g. fat-soluble nutrients and calcium) typically have improved absorption when taken with a meal or snack.

What is the best time to take USANA supplements?

In general, mineral flux in and out of bone is more active while at rest and some very sensitive individuals may notice a slight relaxation effect from taking mineral supplements (like USANA’s Chelated Mineral product). On the other hand, some individuals feel that the vitamins in USANA’s Mega AO product provide heightened energy, and claim they have trouble sleeping if they take them too late in the evening. Both claims are, unfortunately, difficult to explain with clinical evidence and should not be noticeable by the general population. Vitamins do not contain any stimulants and do not provide direct energy. Similarly, minerals do not contain sedatives or characteristic effects significant enough to cause drowsiness.

Having said this, perception is often quite powerful and even if there is no plausible scientific explanation, there may be individuals who need to adjust their supplement use accordingly. If you experience changes in sleep or energy patterns while using USANA products, USANA scientists recommend trying one of two things – start with a half-dose and gradually work up to a full dose, or take the tablets at a particular time of day (morning for vitamins, evening for minerals) to minimize any effects on energy and/or sleep.

What is the caloric content of the USANA nutritionals?

USANA Nutritional products are not a significant source of calories. For example, an entire daily dose of the Essentials (8 tablets) provides less than one calorie. Most of the supplements provide less than one calorie per daily dose.

Exceptions to this rule include:

USANA BiOmega: 10 calories per tablet, 20 calories per daily dose
USANA Body Rox Active Calcium Chewable: 4 calories per tablet, 16 calories per daily dose
USANA HealthPak: between 1 and 2 calories per daily dose
USANA Usanimals: 4 calories per tablet
USANA OptOmega: 80 calories per serving (as listed on the label)

Tip from the Scientists

It takes approximately 3,500 calories to store one pound of fat.

Why doesn’t USANA publish ORAC scores for its supplements?

Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) provides a useful way to measure and compare the overall antioxidant activities of complex foods like fruits, vegetables, and juices containing diverse and often poorly characterized mixtures of antioxidants. ORAC is not a particularly useful method for comparing the antioxidant activities of nutritional supplements in tablet and capsule form (products that are formulated with known amounts of known ingredients). In making these comparisons, it is more straightforward and accurate to compare the daily doses/label amounts of individual antioxidant ingredients.

Moreover, keep in mind that ORAC scores only pertain to antioxidant activity. They do not measure the value of vitamins and minerals. As such, using an ORAC score to evaluate a product like the USANA Essentials would require overlooking the importance of its vitamin D, B vitamins, and mineral content, among others.

In our opinion, nutritional formulas such as the Essentials are best evaluated on the basis of their nutritional content, ingredient by ingredient and dose by dose, not by a single test intended to measure only antioxidant activity.

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