I've been taking a calcium supplement for years. It was hard to get into the habit, but the tasty chewable ones make it easier. Turns out that I was taking calcium every day but not in a way that was most effective. When you take calcium, what you take with it and how much you take at one time can make a difference in absorption.
Calcium carbonate (the most common type in supplements) should be taken with food. But our bodies only have the ability to absorb 500 mg at a time. That means if you take the recommended daily allowance (1000-1300 depending on age), don't take it all at once. You will absorb more if you take 500 mg twice a day.
It also means that calcium supplements or multivitamins that contain calcium should be taken with foods that contain no or very little calcium. Taking a 500 mg supplement with a meal that contains 200 mg of calcium does not give you 700 mg since your body can only absorb 500 mg at a time.
And here's another thing to keep in mind: Iron and caffeine interfere with calcium absorption.
I'm revamping my vitamin schedule. I've missed a few doses, and I'm still trying to work out a schedule that I can stick with but at least my effort and money will result in stronger bones.
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.