How To Take Turmeric Capsules Correctly (In 5 Steps)

Let's learn how to take turmeric capsules correctly (in 5 simple steps).

It's true that you can use this herb in many different ways.

But let's focuson how to get the most out of its supplements.

Let's face it, pills are the #1 way to make the most of turmeric's benefits.

With that, here are some essential guides that will help you take turmeric pills correctly.

Note: This article includes references and studies on turmeric and ways to use it.

How To Take Turmeric Correctly (In A Nutshell)

Turmeric is an herb that has a lot of beneficial properties.

It's helpful for arthritis, pain, digestion and a lot more.

So depending on how you use it, it can help you more or less (but probably more).

Well – there are several turmeric products you can choose from – especially capsules.

Since it's a dietary supplement, it's generally safe.

However – it's also important to know how to take it correctly:

  1. Choose the right doses.
  2. Look closely at the extract's dosage.
  3. Make sure there is an absorption enhancer ingredient (like BioPerine).
  4. Take the pills after a meal (to reduce the risk of stomach pain).
  5. Monitor your digestion.

Again – you can find many turmeric capsules out there.

However, only a few of them contain the best extract (curcuminoids) in the best dose.

With that, look for a product that has optimal doses overall.

Of course, an absorption booster is also a must:

  • turmeric has a very low absorption in general
  • it's metabolized before reaching the intestines.

A supplement with an enhancer allows you to get the entire dose of turmeric.

Additionally – you should know that taking turmeric capsules after a meal won't make it less effective.

You can still reap its benefits, efficacy and its health properties.

But at the same time, you can avoid its side effects.

All in all – turmeric supplements offer a lot of benefits, especially if you're fighting inflammatory issues.

Just make sure to take your product correctly, as this would make a huge difference.



#1 – Choose The Optimal Dose

First of all, choosing the right dose of active ingredients is essential.

In the case of turmeric supplements, here are some guidelines:

  • the optimal turmeric dose is around 500-2000 mg/day
  • for maintenance, opt for a dose on the lower end [1]
  • you need a higher dose for conditions like arthritis or joint pain
  • if it's your first time using turmeric, you can start with a dose from the lower end

Additionally, it's important to follow the recommended dosage, so that you can avoid an overdose.

Turmeric may be safe in general, but taking it as a supplement is different.

An overdose can cause some of its usual side reactions.

However – as long as you stay on the safe side (dose), there's nothing to worry about.



#2 – Pay Attention To The Extract

Another important factor to consider is the type of extract in the turmeric supplement.

So what exactly should you seek?

Well – look for curcuminoids (turmeric extract):

  • the most bioactive component of turmeric herb [2]
  • more concentrated than turmeric powder (which means a stronger effect)
  • regulates inflammatory signaling pathways and inhibits the release of inflammatory mediators [3]
  • has antioxidants, anticarcinogenic properties and antitumor activities [4]

In addition, look for a standardized extract with a curcuminoid percentage of around 95%.

This will maximize its benefits, since it's a potent dose (that is still on the safe side).

Anything lower is still good – but it won't be strong enough to reduce inflammation properly.

On the other hand, anything above increases the risk of digestive issues.

Lastly – turmeric has several compounds (moisture, volatile oils and extra matter) [5].

But these substances don't have an active effect on pain/inflammation.

That's why their concentration doesn't really matter.

If you're looking for a high-quality supplement, focus on its amount of curcumin.



#3 – Stress Over An Absorption Booster

Now – this is the most crucial factor you need to look out for.

A high-quality turmeric supplement must have an absorption booster.

Here are the reasons why this is essential:

  • turmeric has a poor oral bioavailability [6]
  • that's because of its rapid metabolism and chemical instability
  • it's also hard for the small intestine to absorb it alone [7]

In order to get the actual benefits of turmeric, you must combin it with a booster.

Now, a lot of studies recommend BioPerine (the extract of black pepper).

That's mostly because of its piperine concentration.

In other words, piperine enhances the absorption of turmeric [8]:

  • inhibits the enzyme that metabolizes curcumin in the bloodstream
  • enhances curcumin's serum concentration (to extend its bioavailability)

Thus, cur cumin remains in the tissues for longer (especially in the intestine).

Also, the best form of piperine is BioPerine® (a patented extract).

Now, a few supplements use a modified version of turmeric that doesn't require enhancers anymore.

However – they are very hard to find and usually quite expensive.

Honestly, there are more affordable and practical options.

You just have to be mindful of what ingredients to look for.

That's why my advice is to go for a product with regular BioPerine (which is usually very affordable).

Unfortunately – a lot of supplements don't contain any absorption enhancers.

If you used this kind of product, you will most likely not notice any improvement.



#4 – Take It After Eating

Again, the curcuminoids inside turmeric is the “miracle maker”.

However – there are times when a high dose can cause digestive issues.

That's because turmeric can stimulate the production of stomach acid [9].

Consequently, people with more sensitive stomachs can experience discomfort (or even acid reflux).

So what are the advantages of taking turmeric after eating?

  • eating a meal before can lower the impact of turmeric
  • also maintains the concentration of curcumin when passing through the digestive tract
  • healthy fats ( avocado or coconut oil) can increase turmeric's absorption and bioavailability

Now – most turmeric products are recommended to take before a meal.

Well, it's believed that their absorption increases during that time.

But taking them after eating won't make any difference.

It won't reduce their potency or their effectiveness.

Moreover, adding healthy fats can actually enhance their absorption.

So basically – the anti-inflammatory effect is exactly the same.

There's just an extra a bonus of having a lower risk of adverse effects.



#5 – Keep An Eye On Your Digestion

Just like in case of any supplement, you also need to watch out for your digestion.

To be specific, here are the symptoms you need to keep an eye out for:

  • stomach upset
  • ulcers (extreme case) [10]
  • diarrhea
  • acid reflux or heartburn
  • nausea or dizziness
  • allergic reactions
  • internal bleeding [11]

Also – people with blocked bile passages should be careful, since turmeric can increase bile flow.

Also – if you have special health conditions that require anticoagulants, you need to avoid turmeric.

Their interactions are quite dangerous.

Now, turmeric is considered safe when it comes to treating inflammation.

However – just make sure to follow the right dose and don't exceed the recommended one.

Certain brands may have stronger formulations.

So if you experience any discomfort, you should always switch to an alternative.

However, this won't happen if you take a supplement from the middle-range dosage.



Final Conclusion

As we all know, turmeric capsules are extremely helpful for a bunch of issues.

However – you shouldn't just take it the way you want, whenever you want.

You should consider the following factors (to maximize its benefits):

  1. Choose The Optimal Dose
  2. Pay Attention To The Extract
  3. Stress Over An Absorption Booster
  4. Take It After Eating
  5. Keep An Eye On Your Digestion

As you can see, choosing the right dose will make a huge difference.

But an absorption enhancer is the major ingredient you should look for.

Again – turmeric has very low bioavailability (it's easily eliminated). 

So if you don't get a supplement with a booster, all your effort is in vain.

Additionally – you should remember that taking turmeric after eating is acceptable.

It won't decrease its effect, but it can prevent some stomac cramps.

Overall – turmeric is an excellent addition to your daily routine.

Just make sure you know what ingredients to look for and how to take them correctly.

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Written by 

Paula has a background in Chemistry and continues to pursue further studies in it. She loves searching for the best products in the market that will give excellent benefits to the human body and share them with you.

Last updated: May 29, 2023

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