Protein, creatine, vitamins and minerals are used by people in all walks of life – bodybuilders, health fanatics and vegans, among others. Taking up residence in large unwieldy tubs, they can be tough to store, and usually have a stable shelf life, but it’s still worth taking precautions to correctly store supplements so you maximize their efficiency.
How to correctly store supplements
It’s prudent to make sure you’re not selling yourself short with the wrong storage because this can short-change your gains. So if you store your beloved supplements in the kitchen or bathroom, you could be limiting your potential for improvements.
This is particularly true in conditions with high humidity, which can dissolve water-soluble solids, a process called deliquescence, which vitamins B and C are particularly sensitive to.
Fortunately, TRAIN has you covered because here we give you all the information about where and where not to put your supplements.
Most health supplements require a cool dry place for storage, or so the label usually says. The first thing that pops in your head is the refrigerator, but while it’s cool and dark it’s never dry. This is a problem because moisture can make capsules or soft gels stick together and ruin your batch and reduce the effectiveness of the vitamins. If your sports supplement is in a dry, powder form, like a BCAA, creatine or whey, they are designed to be stable unless you’re in the desert and the temperature regularly exceeds 100°F.
Front and center
Your kitchen might seem the logical place to store your vitamins but it can be affected by outside factors, like the heat coming off your oven. Also, the humidity in your kitchen can make multivitamins less effective, suggest scientists from Purdue University, Indiana. When they subjected vitamin C – responsible for easing post-workout stiffness – to 86% humidity, like when a pot of water is boiling, the vitamin lost nearly all its nutritional values in less than a week. The boffins suggest other vitamins could be affected to the same extent. Take-home message: store all your supplements at least 2-3 meters away from heat sources to ensure they’re in optimum condition.
One benefit of storing your supplements in the kitchen is that they’ll always be in view, which will remind you to take them. But if you need that prompt, put them in the dining room or in the breakfast nook.
Wash away effectiveness
The bathroom medicine cupboard is a popular storage place for storing health and fitness supplements. However, hot water from your shower can create an extremely humid environment – not ideal for any type of hormone-altering supplement, or vitamins B or C. Rather, choose somewhere that will remain consistently cool and dry without extreme variances in temperature.
Where you store your supplements can make a huge difference to your weight cutting, muscle-building, endurance-boosting or recovery goals.
Recant the decant
Don’t be tempted to take your supplements out of their original packaging or tubs. The containers offer optimal conditions for storage and have a use-by-date that you’re likely to forget in the future.
Most storage bottles are made of dark glass to eliminate sunlight, which can reduce the effectiveness of pills or powder. The original container also has the essential information on the individual packaging, including dosage, ingredients and allergy information.
Although natural supplements are thoroughly scientifically-tested to make sure they’re not toxic, they can be harmful to children if they’re taken outside the recommended dose.
Keep your supplements locked in a cupboard or high and out of the way of kids. Just make sure the cupboard is not near a window and potential environment-altering factors.
If you’re stocking up after a receiving a good deal, it’s wise to correctly store your supplements in an airtight container.
Find nutritional information and more in every issue of TRAIN magazine.