To get the most out of your cod liver oil, you must take them with food. This is because to properly absorb them, you need your digestive enzymes and intestinal movement in full gear. These help to move the nutrients through the stomach/ intestines, break down the fats into smaller units (fatty acids/ glycerol) and helps them get absorbed. A capsule/ pill in isolation isn’t enough to stimulate the digestive system alone – you need some food (ideally a whole meal). Without food, the capsule will sit in you stomach for too long, and not pass into the intestine where it can be absorbed. This may even result in the omega-3 fats being damaged in some way by the acid (this is speculation, but quite probable).
If you struggle to swallow capsules, then a glass of water will really help. Just pop the capsule in your mouth followed by a gulp of water, and swallow. If you struggle with this and find the capsule floats to the top of your mouth do not tilt your head back. Instead, tilt your head forward, and then swallow. This makes the cod liver oil capsule float to the back of your mouth, allowing it to be swallowed much easier!
Alternatively, if you can take cod liver oil as a liquid rather than a capsule. Liquid cod liver oil works out much more cost effective than capsules, but you cannot escape the taste of cod liver oil in your mouth. These must also be taken with food to get the most out of them.
Sometimes cod liver oil can leave a fishy taste in your mouth (especially if you have struggled to swallow it and the capsules starts to dissolve). Some capsules can even repeat on your for hours, giving you unpleasant fishy tastes in your mouth. Taking cod liver oil with a meal will help this, but if you have a small glass of orange juice or something acidic to wash the cod liver oil down, this will also help.
If you are taking several cod liver oil capsules a day, you can take them all at once, or spread them out – it makes no real difference. The nutrients in the cod liver oil are easily stored by the body. This isn’t true for all supplements though. Some supplements are water soluble, which means that body cannot easily store them. A good example of this is vitamin C. Even with these supplements though, if you take them all at once or throughout the day it makes little difference.