Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins

2 March 2022

In order for  your body to work well it requires 13 vitamins.  Most of these are found in the food we consume daily but unless you have a perfect diet, it is likely that you will need to supplement with store-bought vitamins. 

Generally, vitamins can be taken at any time of the day, but some are absorbed differently.  Some are better taken with food and others work better on an empty stomach in order to get the full benefit.  Basically there are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins.

Water-soluble means they dissolve in water so you can take them at any time of the day and don’t need food to make them work to their fullest.  These include C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.  None of these are easily stored in the body’s tissues.  They come into your system and are used, then any excess is expelled through urine.

  • Vitamin C – This comes in a variety choices like ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid with bioflavenoids, liposomal, and calcium ascorbate. Ascorbic acid supplements are very much like the same acid found in fruits and vegetables.  You can take these at any time of the day, but if you take them with some food you reduce the chances of an upset stomach.  Doses in excess of 1,000 mg are not generally needed unless recommended for specific circumstances.  Store it in a cool, dark place.

Best time to take vitaminsBest time to take vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins need fat to be absorbed, so it is best that these are taken with a meal that contains some type of fat.  Just remember that there are good fats and bad fats.

  • Vitamin A – Most Vitamin A comes from fish liver oil or cartenoids. In the United States it is unlikely that there are Vitamin A deficiencies except in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those who have cystic fibrosis.  Don’t take extra A unless your healthcare provider specifically recommends it.
  • Vitamin D – This is the sunshine vitamin. From spring through late September most people can absorb enough D through moderate exposure to sunlight.  It promotes the immune system, bone health, growth of cells, and more.  Studies show that many people are low on this vitamin.  You can find out your level through a blood test ordered by your doctor.  While it can be taken at any time of the day, be sure to have it with a meal or snack that contains some fat.  It also needs magnesium to function to the maximum, so be sure that is included in your diet or multivitamin. Taking Vitamin K with the D seems to help bone density but Vitamin E can inhibit its absorption.
  • Vitamin E – A deficiency in E is quite rare, although it is contained in many supplements and is also naturally available in many foods. There are some conditions like Crohn’s disease, IBS, and cystic fibrosis may require some supplement.  In the reverse, too much E can be harmful to certain groups of people.  Check with your doctor.  If you do take E, it can be taken at any time of the day but is best when a fat-containing meal is consumed later on.
  • Vitamin K – This is Potassium. It is important for bone health, heart, and blood clotting.  While most adults won’t experience a deficiency, it can occur with medications that prevent K from being absorbed.  If you choose to take it, be sure it is not high dose and you take it with a meal or snack.  Don’t take it at the same time as E or A.  But, taken with D, Potassium will increase bone health and calcium levels.
  • Multivitamin – This is a single supplement that contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Read each label to see exactly what it contains and the amounts.  It will have both fat and water-soluble vitamins, so take it with a fat-containing meal to be safe.

 

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