You’ve committed to being your best self and have made taking your supplements part of your daily routine.
Like most of us, you probably keep them in your kitchen or bathroom, where they’re easily accessible and hard to forget as you rush about getting ready for your day.
But, did you know that where and how you store your supplements can significantly impact both their longevity and potency?
We chatted with Nikita Austen, Innovation Specialist and National Educator for Zhou’s parent company, Nutraceutical Corporation, about how to store and travel with your supplements to ensure they are working well for as long as possible.
The following Q&A incorporates her advice as well as the best practices for keeping your supplements fresh under all kinds of conditions.
Where should you store supplements?
Out of sight, out of mind tends to also mean out of body.
It’s important to keep your supplements in a place where they’re easily accessible and likely to be remembered on a daily basis.
What’s the best temperature for storing supplements?
Temperature concerns should drive your storage decisions.
“We always advise consumers to read the labels on your supplements and follow the storage directions found there,” shares Austen.
“But, in general, most supplements should be stored in a dry, room-temperature environment. They should be kept out of direct sunlight,” she continues.
Why does temperature and moisture matter so much when you store supplements?
Probiotics, gummies, fish oils and liquid supplements require the most attention. These should be stored in a cool, consistent environment to ensure optimal freshness. Some probiotics require refrigeration also.
If you live in a state where it tends to be particularly hot or humid, it’s important that you keep your supplements in a place that will avoid them being exposed to dramatic temperature changes.
Super hot temps can melt your supplements making them useless for you.
So, leaving them in your car, for example, would be bad!
If you can’t avoid exposing your supplements to humidity, store them in air-tight bottles. . Humidity causes moisture which could create bacteria growth.
Bacteria on your supplements is a definite no.
What are places to avoid storing supplements?
Store supplements in the following places to avoid heat, humidity and rapid temp changes that can occur in your home:
- Top of refrigerator
- Close to microwave
- Near the stovetop
- In the garage
- Near a window
How long do supplements usually last?
Although shelf life can vary, supplements are typically designed to last two years.
That doesn’t mean they’re going to spontaneously combust at the two-year mark. The shelf life is suggested for optimal efficacy until the best by date.
Austen explains, “Some supplements have more specific consume-by dates so we always recommend you check the packaging to be sure you’re getting maximum efficacy.”
For example, liquid supplements like Zhou MCT Oil require consumption within 6 months after opening and should be stored in the fridge for optimal freshness.
How should we travel with our supplements? Is it ok to put them in different containers?
Health and wellness never takes a vacation so of course, taking your supplements when you travel is recommended.
However, we all know the struggle of those checked bag fees and finding ways to reduce space and save money are important too.
The good news is that it’s okay to take your supplements out of their original containers and place them in pillboxes and other travel containers.
Supplements can also be stored together. Some people hesitate to do this because of concerns about cross-contamination. Barring any extreme situations where high temps cause your supplements to melt, you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination.
“Do your best to avoid sunlight, heat and store in the original container or travel container in a dark cooler place, like the middle of your suitcase,” advises Austen.
Do any vitamins and supplements require special care?
According to Austen, the vitamins that require the most attention when traveling are probiotics and fish oils.
“Probiotics survive at cooler temperatures and are often stored within a fridge to maintain potency while fish oils and other oils could turn rancid if the temperatures are too warm,” she notes.
It may be best to use a small ice pack to keep your supplements cold as needed, so consider adding an ice pack when you travel in warm weather.
Just make sure you’re meeting TSA’s rules for traveling with an ice pack, and your supplements should be good to go.
How do we know if a supplement has gone bad (aside from the expiration date)?
Expiration date is always the best rule to follow.
The date guarantees full efficacy and potency, through the shelf life.
Austen advises consumers to use their best judgment if they have concerns about whether or not a supplement is safe to consume.
“Notice any smells, colors, or abnormalities and reach out to our customer service team if you need more assistance,” said Austen.
At Zhou we always want our customers to trust that our supplements meet their expectations for performance. Ensuring proper storage and usage supports this mission so you can rest assured your product formulation can achieve desired results.