No-Supp Zones

By Sarah Toland

You may want to stop storing your supplements on the shelf next to the bathtub. A new study from Purdue University found that keeping water-soluble pills and powders, such as vitamin C and B complex, in places where air is moist and warm can leave them vulnerable to deliquescence, a process in which crystalline substances dissolve due to excess humidity. Even humidity as low as 30 percent can cause supplements to lose nutrient potency and efficacy—and the chemical changes are irreversible, researchers say. Storing supps in sealed plastic containers won’t protect them either, says Lisa Mauer, PhD, associate professor of food science at Purdue University, because “you need to open the containers to use the products, and once humidity enters, problems can start.” Instead, Mauer recommends storing supplements in dark, cool, dry places like the pantry or freezer—your fridge is too humid—and buying smaller quantities at a time to ensure quality.