Best Time to Take Vitamins
This article is for you if:
- You want to learn the best time to take vitamins
- You want to learn more about each individual vitamin inside your average multivitamin
To answer the first question right off the bat, the best time to take vitamins and supplements will largely depend on what vitamins you’re taking.
Not all vitamins are created equal. Moreover, when most people say vitamins, they really mean micro-nutrients that fall into both the vitamin and mineral category.
Some of them you should take in the morning with a meal to maximize their absorption. Others are best taken in the evening before you go to bed.
Some people find that taking vitamins upsets their stomach, especially if it’s empty. So, generally speaking, it would be best to take your vitamins alongside a meal.
What’s more, certain vitamins work well in conjunction with particular foods.
(For example, if you’re taking vitamin A, you need to combine it with a meal that has fat in it, because vitamin A is fat-soluble. That means that the only way for your body to absorb it properly is to take it along with some calories from fat.)
Most people over complicate vitamin supplementation, but lucky for you, you’ll have this post to fall back on.
Let’s talk about the best time to take vitamins and minerals for each of the main groups you’ll find in the store:
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Best Time to Take Multivitamins
People that would benefit the most from taking multivitamins are:
- Adults, because vitamin B12, calcium and vitamin D absorption decreases with age.
- Vegans and vegetarians, because they may not get sufficient levels of vitamin B12, iron, calcium, zinc, vitamin D and omega-3 from their diet alone.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women because of their extra requirement for essential nutrients. However, you should only take vitamins after checking with your doctor. The same goes if you’re on medication.
Before you go out and buy the multivitamins with the longest label in the store, you should research which vitamins you actually need. That will make it easier for you to make the right, healthy choice.
You should take your multivitamins in the morning with a meal so you can ease absorption. However, if that causes stomach pain, try taking them in the afternoon before you go to bed. Remember, the most important thing is to make them a part of your daily routine.
If you lack a specific nutrient, it would be best to supplement with that nutrient only. Multivitamins or vitamin complexes have a lot of vitamins and minerals in them, but that doesn’t mean you need all of them. There are even people that get a negative reaction from them, so more isn’t always better.
Best Time to Take B Vitamins
Vitamin B-1 is known as Thiamin. It plays a crucial role in breaking down carbs and protein. Good sources include peanuts, black beans, and grain products. Good sources: Whole or fortified grain products, pork, peanuts, and black beans.
Vitamin B-3 is also called Niacin. Found in peanuts, fish, brown rice, and whole grains.
Vitamin B-6 is involved in a vast amount of metabolic pathways – it’s essential for the optimal breakdown of food (and particularly carbohydrates) from big nutrients into small units the body can use. Good sources include bananas, tuna, chickpeas, and pistachios.
Vitamin B-9 is called Folate, and it’s essential to the production of red blood cells. It’s one of the building blocks of DNA and RNA. Good sources include avocados, leafy greens, broccoli, green peas and more.
Vitamin B-12 is only found in animal products. Vitamin B-12 is crucial to the normal functioning of the nervous system. It helps to create and regulate RNA, and it’s also involved in the formation of red blood cells.
So, to avoid this effect, you should take your B vitamins in the morning, preferably with a meal to maximize their absorption. It’s safe to take several B vitamins all at once.
Best Time to Take Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a stand-out among other vitamins. It’s technically a hormone, and it’s produced by your skin as a result of exposure to the sunlight.
To properly absorb calcium and promote bone growth, your body must have vitamin D. Supplementing may be an effective way to get the vitamins your body needs, if you cannot get enough vitamin D in your diet.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, meaning it doesn’t dissolve in water, so you should pair it with high-fat foods to ensure proper absorption.
That being said, there is limited research on whether or not taking it in the morning is better than taking it at night. That’s why it’s important to incorporate it into your routine, alongside breakfast or maybe your bedtime snack (as long as it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.)
Best Time to Take Iron
Iron is an essential mineral that affects the body tremendously. It can help to reduce tiredness and fatigue in your body, it supports your immune system, and it’s required in the production of haemoglobin — a protein that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
Taking an iron supplement is tricky because several foods and drinks actually reduce its absorption. Some of them include:
- Whole grains
When choosing the best time to take iron, you have 3 options:
- Take it in the morning with vitamin C to boost its absorption.
- Take it on an empty stomach or 1-2 hours before a meal.
- Take Active Iron whenever you want, because it eases absorption and is specially formulated to help reduce irritation.
Best Time to Take Magnesium
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that affects many functions. It plays a key role in more than 300 enzyme reactions in your body.
Great food sources of magnesium include:
- Dark leafy greens
- Nuts such as almonds and cashews
- Dry beans
Magnesium is such an important mineral that, even if you’re not taking it at the “perfect time”, just the fact that you’re taking it consistently is more than enough.
Some theories suggest that taking magnesium at night has calming effects on the muscle and nervous system, there is no evidence to suggest this is necessary.
Just like most supplements, it should become a part of your daily routine so you can ensure that you have balanced and adequate levels of Magnesium your system at all times.
Best Time to Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 (EPA & DHA), also known as fish oil is a vital nutrient for your body because it helps improve heart health, helps protect your brain function, and helps support proper growth. It doesn’t matter when you take fish oil, because you’ll only experience its benefits if you’re consistent with it. Just find a time that works for you.
Omega-3 has some side effects such as acid reflux. In order to combat it, you can split your daily dose into two smaller ones and take one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
You should keep in mind that to maximize the absorption of omega-3, you should take it with a meal that has a good source of fat. It can help you reduce the side effects as well as enhance the effectiveness of the supplement.
When is the best time to take vitamins: Conclusion
Vitamin and mineral supplements won’t work unless you take them daily. Some specific vitamins, minerals, and supplements have their golden windows that help you ease irritation or maybe even increase their effectiveness, but the most important thing you should do is be consistent.
You should also talk to your doctor and see if some supplements interfere with your medications. Depending on which vitamins you take, you should get them in the morning or the afternoon.
The best thing you can do is to develop the habit of taking them. Make them a part of your morning or bedtime routine. That way, you’ll ensure that you’re consistent with your supplementation.