Calcium supplements come in capsule, tablet and chewable form. Chewable calcium looks like candy and you don't have to drink anything with it. You should take capsule or tablet calcium with food and liquid. Milk contains calcium naturally and does not need to accompany a calcium supplement, unless specified by your physician. Milk also interferes with the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. If you're taking a multivitamin that contains calcium, take it with water.
Taking Calcium Supplements
Calcium supplements are best absorbed when you take them with food. You can take calcium citrate on an empty stomach as well as with food, notes MayoClinic.com. You can eat any type of food when you take your calcium supplement. There are also no restrictions on taking your calcium supplement with a glass of milk, although you should also eat something.
If you are looking to increase the absorption of the calcium supplement, drinking milk may help. Some milk brands are fortified with vitamin D, which helps to metabolize calcium in the body. In addition, you may use a calcium supplement that contains vitamin D or a multivitamin supplement, which contains both vitamin D and calcium.
Be careful not to take too much calcium in the form of a supplement or through dietary means, such as drinking excessive amounts of milk. The recommended daily allowance of calcium for adults is 1,000 mg per day, but seniors and pregnant women need slightly more. The tolerable upper limit for calcium is 2,000 mg, which is the highest amount you can take without experiencing toxicity. Calcium overdose can cause an increased risk of kidney stones and prostate cancer. These risks are normally associated with calcium overdose in supplement form.
If you are unsure of how to take your supplement, ask a pharmacist or your doctor. If you are lactose intolerant or do not drink milk, you can take your supplement with a glass of water and food to minimize side effects and increase absorption.