The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement

If you feel tired and lethargic, it may be because of an iron deficiency. Iron is an important mineral for our health and is found in foods like red meat, fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, fruits, vegetables and grains. Although there are a wide variety of foods containing the mineral, iron deficiency is still the most common nutrient deficiency. There are a variety of iron supplements or vitamins available, and if your doctor has advised you to take a supplement, you need to know the right way to take it. In this article, OneHowTo would like to tell you the best way to take an iron supplement so you can finally be more active and have more energy.

You'll need:
  • Iron Supplement
  • Vitamin C supplement
You may also be interested in: How Much Iron Should A Vegetarian Take
Steps to follow:

Visit your doctor and check your iron levels before taking an iron supplement. Unnecessary iron supplements have a variety of adverse health effects, such as the lack of growth in children and fetuses during pregnancy. An overdose of iron can result in constipation, oxidative stress and damage to the liver and heart.

To get good levels of iron in your day by day, it's recommendable to organize your diet with foods that are rich in this nutrient. In this article we tell you the best recipes that are high in iron.

The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement - Step 1

If your doctor has prescribed this supplement, you should select the type of iron supplement you prefer. There are many ways to take iron supplement, in the form of capsules, tablets, powder or gel. It is also included in other multivitamin supplements to varying degrees. Only ferrous sulphate and ferric iron forms are stable in the human body, and ferrous sulphate is the most studied and best absorbed. If you suffer from digestive problems or constipation, easily digestible varieties of iron are also available.

The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement - Step 2

Take the recommended dose of iron for your sex and age. Different people have different needs when taking iron, the recommended adult male dose is 8mg of iron daily, while the recommendation for adult women is 18 mg of iron daily. Teens need more iron than many adults because their growth and high nutritional needs. Also, vegetarians need more iron as the iron through plant-based foods is not absorbed as much as the iron from meat-based sources.

In this OneHowTo article we discover what the normal levels of iron in blood are.


Combine your iron supplement with vitamin C, the presence of vitamin C increases iron absorption by up to 39 percent. Many iron supplements now include vitamin C, sometimes referred to as ascorbic acid, but if not you can drink a glass of orange juice with supplements to help the absorption of minerals.

The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement - Step 4

Take your iron supplement separately from other supplements as, for example, iron absorption is reduced when taken with calcium and zinc. This is problematic for multivitamin supplements because women have high doses of calcium for osteoporosis, while supplements for men usually have high doses of zinc for prostate health. If you are deficient in iron, these minerals compete for absorption and you will need to take an iron supplement separately.


Combine your supplement with food. As well as reducing digestive discomfort such as nausea, diarrhoea, constipation and heartburn, it also helps the absorption of iron. The addition of meat increases the absorption of non-heme iron from plants and vegetables up to 85 percent. However, drinking black tea, green tea, oolong tea, energy drinks or coffee along with its supplements has the opposite effect. The tannins and catechins present in these drinks decrease the absorption of iron from food and supplements significantly.

The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement - Step 6

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to The Best Way To Take An Iron Supplement, we recommend you visit our Drugs & supplements category.

  • Take your iron supplements for at least two weeks to reduce fatigue and improve energy levels. Build up of long-term iron reserves in the body can take six months or more.
  • An iron overdose can be fatal in children under 6 years of age.
  • Iron can cause drug interactions with a number of prescription drugs. Consult your healthcare provider before taking iron supplements if you are taking any other medication.

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1 comment
Louisa Tyler
Should all iron supplements turn your still dark?
Vanessa Jane Wikel
Yes. My doctor said this is an unfortunate side effect as most of the elemental iron will be excreted and only a small portion absorbed. IF you have a history of GI bleeding or are on blood thinners that could cause GI bleeding you want to address this with your doctor to ensure they do the necessary tests periodically. OR do an iron IV if the side effects of oral iron are too unbearable. While very time consuming iron IV fixed a lot of side effects for me concerning the poor absorbability of oral iron.
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