Why Is F&F Taken Three Times Per Day?
First & Foremost was created by dietitians who wanted to develop a first-of-its-kind supplement that does what it promises, when it promises, premised on bioavailability.
We provide 26 essential nutrients in our supplements, and there is a careful chess game we have to play for each nutrient to be consumed at the right time for optimal absorption. But don’t worry, we did the hard work for you..
Factors that affect nutrient absorption
To date, the supplement space has covered essential nutrients in a patchwork way — a single vitamin or mineral, or a blend that offers too much or too little of each nutrient. There has not been a comprehensive program that adapts to the realities of everyday eating. Naturally, your diet changes daily, which means your nutrient intake changes, too.
But it’s not as simple as putting all 26 nutrients into a single pill, or even two pills — combining certain vitamins and minerals can diminish bioavailability. There’s often so much of a nutrient in supplements that your body can’t process it, or it’s even harmful. Because of that, the single-pill multivitamin does not give you all the nutritional benefits you may think you are getting.
Bioavailability is all about timing and your digestive tract – what’s in or not in your stomach affects how much you benefit from your food and supplements. Our approach to supplementation considers not only what nutrients are in our supplements but also — and more importantly — how your body will process the nutrients. When determining dosage and timing for each nutrient, we considered the following:
- Codependency: Some nutrients work together to function in the body and need each other to perform specific tasks.
- Upper limits: More is not always better, yet too many supplements include nutrient amounts that are too high, putting people at risk of toxicity and even death. Thousands of Americans are hospitalized each year because of supplement toxicity, and yet most consumers are worried they’re not getting enough. To us, less is more, and we use the RDA as our benchmark.
- Your Eating Habits: Many people supplement in the morning, often with foods and coffee that can inhibit nutrient absorption. We designed our program with your typical habits in mind, to optimize bioavailability.
- Form & Chemistry: Nutrients behave differently in different forms — calcium citrate is different from calcium carbonate, methylated forms are different from non-methylated ones. We chose each nutrient’s highest quality form and assembled them into 3 occasions to optimize for efficacy.
- Solubility: Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) are absorbed by fat globules into your bloodstream, and the excess is stored in your liver or fatty tissue. Water soluble vitamins (B and C) dissolve in water and immediately absorb into your tissue, and excess is excreted in the urination process — they should be consumed on an empty stomach.
How we formulated First & Foremost
Our dietitians designed our day-parted program around an average health-conscious adult’s lifestyle, considering what and when you eat — some should be taken with food, while others should be taken on an empty stomach. Each occasion (morning, afternoon, evening) has strategically separated antagonistic nutrients and paired codependent ones for maximum absorption so you get the full benefit of each of the 26 essential nutrients.
If you think about it, your average one-pill multivitamin pairs every single included nutrient together, without taking into account how antagonistic interactions among nutrients and with food could decrease absorption. As a way to counteract this attrition, supplement companies tend to increase the included nutrient values well above their RDA, which is not not ideal.
Keeping this in mind when designing our formulation, we researched and studied each essential nutrient and began to separate and group them in the best possible combinations that maximize bioavailability and maintain appropriate daily dosages. As we whittled down our pairings, we split the nutrients into 3 groupings, each for a different daypart – morning, afternoon, evening.
That strategy of separation enabled us to include calcium, iron, water and fat soluble vitamins. Calcium is imperative for bone health and other important functions, but it’s heavy, and in high dosages can inhibit absorption of phosphorus, magnesium and zinc, which is why many supplements omit calcium altogether.
The result? Three day-parted First & Foremost occasions, a patent-pending approach.
A slow-release tablet survives your morning coffee, then releases magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, manganese, and calcium into your body. This should be taken with breakfast — because it’s time-released, your coffee won’t affect absorption
A tablet of copper, iron, phosphorus, molybdenum, calcium and vitamin K, taken after you’ve digested your lunch and before dinner, typically 3-4pm
A before-bedtime chewable that includes calcium, potassium, selenium, chromium, iodine, vitamin A, vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7 and B12, vitamin C, vitamin D, choline and methylated folate. This comprises the bulk of your daily nutrient intake, so your body can absorb them overnight. Learn more about bioavailability here.