Medically reviewed by
Diana Morgan, MS, CISSN
6 min read
Does it matter when you take your vitamins? Sometimes! Each vitamin is digested and absorbed a little differently in your body depending on its chemical composition. So mealtimes make a difference. Some vitamins are broken down best with food, some with water, and others should even be taken on an empty stomach. And time of day matters too, some vitamins stimulate your body and are best taken in the morning and others help relax your mind and body and are better suited for bedtime.
But above all else, the best time to take your vitamins is when it’s most convenient to you. In other words, find a time of day that you will remember to take your vitamins consistently. The most important consideration may be when you will remember to take the vitamin out of habit.
Vitamins offer a wide range of benefits. Many people take vitamins because they know (or believe) that they have a deficiency within their body. Vitamins can help bridge gaps that exist. For example, a person is most likely to take a vitamin D capsule if he is told by a physician that his vitamin D levels are low.
Many others take vitamins in a preventive or proactive manner. For example, an expecting mother will take a prenatal vitamin to meet new nutritional needs and prevent some future health conditions for her child.
Some people also take vitamins for the additional benefits, even if they are not deficient. For example, vitamins such as B12 can help to support a person’s energy levels.
It is best to take vitamins that you actually need, rather than taking something simply because others are doing it. Vitamins can play an important role in sustaining your overall health and it is best to give your body exactly what it needs.
Water soluble vitamins dissolve in water before your body can benefit from them. Therefore, it is important to take these vitamins at a time that is spaced out from food
B vitamins are one example of a water soluble vitamin. In addition to being water soluble, some B vitamins are also known as energy boosters. Therefore, the morning is clearly the most ideal time to take B vitamins. Taking B vitamins first thing in the morning will not only improve your body’s absorption of the vitamins, but it will also ensure that you can reap the energy-related benefits throughout the day.
Fat soluble vitamins are best absorbed when taken close to a meal containing fats and oils. Fat soluble vitamins include vitamin A, D, E, and K (ADEK). A meal that is higher in fats and oils will increase your absorption of these vitamins.
For the most part, vitamins can be taken together. Although most vitamins are generally considered to be safe, that does not mean they can be taken without any concern for side effects or interactions. If you are taking other medications or you have an existing health condition, you should speak with your physician before taking a new vitamin.
Prenatal vitamins are an essential component in any woman’s pregnancy (e.g. for baby’s health, nausea, etc.). The most important thing you can do when it comes to prenatal vitamins is establish a routine. Prenatal vitamins should be taken daily, so forming a habit will set you up for success.
Prenatal vitamins contain numerous vitamins and minerals that expecting mothers need to meet their new nutritional needs. Among these vitamins and minerals are two very important components: iron and methylfolate (the active form of folic acid).
If you are seeking for the most ideal time of day to take a prenatal vitamin, you will want to consider taking it first thing in the morning. Iron–which is contained in most prenatal vitamins–is absorbed best on an empty stomach, so it may be most ideal to take your prenatal vitamin first thing in the morning or before consuming any large meals. Your stomach is less likely to be full of food before bed and you will sleep through any minor stomach concerns that the prenatal vitamin may cause.