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
Should You Take Vitamins in the Morning or at Night?
To answer the first question right off the bat, the best time to take vitamins and supplements will largely depend on what vitamins you taking. Not all vitamins are created equal. Moreover, when most say vitamins, they mean micro-nutrients that fall into both the vitamin and mineral categories.
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. Let’s talk about vitamins and minerals for each of the main groups you’ll find in the store:
Getting adequate levels of vitamins and iron are essential for a healthy immune system. Your immune system is your body’s natural defence against illness. If you are unable to meet your needs through food alone, supplementing with multivitamins in conjunction with Active Iron is an effective means of supporting your immune system. Click here to take a look at our store.
Best Time to Take Multivitamins
You should take your multivitamins in the morning with a meal so you can ease absorption. However, if that causes stomach pain, try taking it before bed. Remember, the most important thing is to make them a part of your daily routine.
People that would benefit the most from taking multivitamins are:
- Adults, because vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin D absorption decrease 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.
When is the Best Time of Day to Take Prenatal Vitamins?
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women may benefit from taking prenatal vitamins because of their extra requirement for essential nutrients. However, it is advised that pregnant women or those on medication check with a healthcare professional before taking vitamin or mineral supplements.
- As with traditional multivitamins, prenatal vitamins are best taken in the morning and as part of your daily routine.
Best Time to Take Vitamin D
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. It is important to incorporate Vitamin D into your routine, alongside breakfast or maybe your bedtime snack (as long as it doesn’t interfere with your sleep.)
Vitamin D is best taken in the morning, lunchtime or evening when you have high-fat foods such as a glass of whole-fat milk, avocado, olive oil, or flax.
(Image by silviarita from Pixabay)
Best Time to Take Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it is best taken with water. You can take vitamin C at any time of the day as long as it doesn’t irritate your stomach.
Best Time to Take B Vitamins
The best time to take B vitamins is after you wake up. There are also some data suggesting that taking vitamin B in the afternoon can affect your sleep. To avoid a B-complex affecting your sleep, 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.
What is each B Vitamin good for?
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. The best time to take vitamin B-12 is in the morning similar to all B vitamins.
[Active Iron offers a vitamin B complex that has the perfect daily amount of all B vitamins as well as iron. We have a vitamin B complex for men and a vitamin b complex for women.]
Best Time to Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oils)
Omega-3 can be taken at any time of the day. To improve the absorption of omega-3, you should take it with a meal that includes fats such as avocado, flax or whole-fat milk.
Photo by Michele Blackwell on Unsplash
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.
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.
Best Time to Take Folic Acid
Folic acid is the man-made version of Vitamin B9 (Vitamin Folate). Folic Acid helps the body create healthy red blood cells. Leading up to and during pregnancy, folic acid is important to support the development of a baby’s brain, skull, and spinal cord development.
You can take folic acid at any time of the day.Folic acid is a water-soluble supplement meaning it is best to take it with water.
Best Time to Take Magnesium
Most healthcare professionals would recommend taking magnesium with a meal due to the laxative effects, which could cause diarrhea on an empty stomach. As a result, you can split the dose into two (breakfast and dinner).
Magnesium is an essential nutrient that affects many functions in the body. It plays a key role in more than 300 enzyme reactions in your body. 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.
Like most supplements, it should become a part of your daily routine to ensure that you have balanced and adequate levels of Magnesium in your system at all times.
Best Time to Take Vitamin E
Vitamin E supplements work best when taken with food at night. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that requires natural fat in our meals for absorption.
Best Time to Take Zinc
Zinc is known for its immune-boosting qualities. It is best to take zinc one or two hours before meals, with a glass of water. You can take zinc at any time of day.
Best Time to Take Water-Soluble vs Fat-Soluble Vitamins
In this guide, we have already touched upon several fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins individually. For example, Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning it is best taken with high-fat foods.
As a result, the best time of day to take fat-soluble vitamins should be based on your eating pattern and when this type of vitamin will be most easily absorbed. This can mean taking them after your breakfast or your last meal of the day.
On the other hand, water-soluble vitamins are best taken on an empty stomach. This can mean taking them as soon as you wake up or more than two hours after eating.
An example of water-soluble vitamins includes Vitamin C, which also occurs naturally in several popular products, including orange juice.
Can I take my vitamins at night?
You can choose to take any vitamin at night that does not interrupt your sleep or will not affect the absorption of the vitamin. As a result, you can take the following vitamins at night:
- Iron if you are taking Active Iron
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
When to Take Vitamins Chart
Our easy-to-follow table has combined all of the content above to show the best time of day to take each type of vitamin supplement.
|Type of Vitamin||Best Time of Day to Take|
|Vitamin D||Morning or Night with whole-fat milk, avocado, or flax|
|Vitamin C||All-day with water|
|Folic Acid||All-day with water|
|Iron||Active Iron – Whenever suits you|
|Magnesium||No perfect time – be consistent|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acid (Fish Oils)||Morning & Afternoon|
|Vitamin E||Nighttime with a meal|
|Zinc||Any time of day one or two hours before meals|
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 golden windows that help you ease irritation or maybe even increase their effectiveness, 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.
*(Header Photo by Kayla Maurais on Upsplash)