Medically Reviewed

Morning, Night, and Mealtimes: When is the Best Time to Take Your Vitamins?

There is no one best time of day to take vitamins. How you take them is as important as when. Knowing what you’re taking and why is key to determining when.

Which vitamins should be taken in the morning?

A lot of people like to take their vitamins first thing in the morning – and for good reason. Some vitamins might be especially beneficial when taken in the morning. Still, there are no strict rules around when you should take your vitamins.

Water-soluble vitamins

Many people prefer to take their water-soluble vitamins first thing in the morning, and for good reason. Some water-soluble, like the B vitamins, have been shown to boost energy, making them an obvious choice for starting your day. Furthermore, they can be taken on any stomach without any real effects on absorption.

Which vitamins should be taken at night?

Magnesium and calcium are frequently taken together as a nighttime supplement. The minerals are known to help with muscle contraction and relaxation, and deficiencies of either have been known to contribute to sleep disruptions. This study suggests that low serum calcium levels can contribute to sleep disruption. They are available over-the-counter separately and together and in capsule or powder form.

Melatonin is a hormone that is frequently used to help with sleep issues. Care/of’s Sleep Blend, contains the perfect blend of melatonin, valerian, ashwagandha, and passionflower. It may not make all your dreams come true, but it will help you fall asleep so you can have them.

Which vitamins should be taken with a meal?

When you’re thinking about which vitamins to take with a meal, ask yourself this question: Are the vitamins fat-soluble? Because, if they are, taking them with a meal – particularly a meal with some healthy fat – can help your body absorb the nutrients from these vitamins. Still, each body absorbs and stores vitamins differently.

The role of fat in vitamin absorption

Fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, E, and K, require a small amount of healthy fat for proper absorption, so it is highly recommended that you take them with a meal or snack that contains healthy fat. Foods like whole dairy, nuts, seeds, eggs, avocados, and oils like coconut or olive are all ideal fats to support your body’s absorption. Each body absorbs and stores these vitamins differently, so it is important to ask your physician for recommendations on supplements you may need and how to take them.

Which vitamins should be taken on an empty stomach?

Water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins B and C, can be taken on an empty stomach. Since they dissolve in water, it is best to take them with a glass of water to help break them down for maximum absorption. If you find that taking a vitamin without food upsets your stomach, you can always take it with food. Magnesium, although a mineral, is also best taken with food. As a general tip, having your vitamins with some food and water can help ensure optimal digestive comfort.

Time of Day Guide by Vitamin Type

While there are no hard and fast rules about when to take your vitamin, there are reasons to consider taking them at different times of day – depending on which vitamins you’re taking, and your reason for taking them. Let’s take a look at some examples.

Should I take my multivitamin in the morning or at night?

The time you take your multivitamin doesn’t have any impact on how well your body absorbs its properties. What matters most is whether you take it with food or not. There are as many opinions on this as there are vitamins, and they are all valid. Most people take their multivitamin with food. Feel free to talk to your healthcare provider about the best option for you, as each body responds differently.

When is the best time to take vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it really matters more how you take it than when. For maximum absorption (which is the goal), take your D supplement immediately after eating foods that contain fat. It doesn’t have to be at meal time – a small serving of yogurt, avocado, nuts, or something cooked in olive or coconut oil at any time would be sufficient.

When is the best time to take vitamin C?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that needs to be replenished daily. It does not require food for absorption and is best when taken with a glass of water any time day or night. Any vitamin C that your body doesn’t use will be excreted in your urine, so once you’ve reached the RDA of 1,000mg, more is not necessarily better. While vitamin C is plentiful in many foods, it is available in capsule, powder, and liquid forms. Care/of’s Vitamin C supplement made from acerola cherries and bioflavonoids, is an easily digestible, highly absorbed formula that helps maintain a healthy immune system.

When is the best time to take vitamin B-complex?

B-complex vitamins are water-soluble and can be taken at any time. If you’re experiencing a vitamin B deficiency, though, you might want to take yours on an empty stomach; this can help ensure maximum absorption. Most people prefer to take them in the morning, especially since B vitamins can help boost energy levels.

When is the best time to take vitamin B-12?

Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that can be taken at any time. Most people prefer to take vitamin B12 in the morning. If you’re trying to address a deficiency, taking this vitamin on an empty stomach first thing in the morning can help, while others may benefit by taking B12 with food.

When is the best time to take vitamin E?

As a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin E will work best when taken with a meal, particularly a meal that includes some natural fat. Some experts recommend taking vitamin E with an evening meal.

When is the best time to take vitamin A?

Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it’s best to take it with a meal containing some kind of dietary fat. Consuming your vitamin A with dietary fat will be a big help for absorption. The time of day is irrelevant.

A note for pregnant people: Supplemental vitamin A usually comes in its beta-carotene precursor form, which is a form of vitamin A that carries no risk during pregnancy. You should avoid preformed vitamin A while pregnant since this form can lead to problems. Care/of’s prenatal vitamin includes vitamin A as beta-carotene.

When is the best time to take prenatal vitamins?

As with any vitamin routine, the key is consistency. Take your prenatal vitamins at a time when you’ll remember to take them. There are some other factors to keep in mind, though. First of all, most prenatal vitamins contain fat-soluble vitamins. That means you might want to take it with food, especially food that contains some fat, to aid absorption. There’s also evidence to suggest that taking your prenatal vitamin with food or right before bed can limit potential nausea or stomach upset.

Moreover, some people like to take their prenatal vitamins in divided doses, depending on the serving size and whatever individual instructions have been provided by a medical professional. As always, talk to your healthcare provider about the best course for you to maintain a healthy pregnancy.

Special Considerations for Vitamin Intake

Whenever you’re taking vitamin supplements, you’ll want to consider questions other than what time of day to take them, or whether to take them with the meal. You’ll also have to make decisions about which vitamins to purchase, and which form they should be in. Before taking any new supplement, you should understand the risks and benefits, and talk to your doctor about the right path for you.

Understanding the Risks and Benefits of Vitamin Supplements

Taking vitamin supplements can come with a range of risks and benefits. Before you start taking vitamins, it’s important to understand both. Let’s start with the potential risks. To make sure you’re getting high-quality supplements, you should always look for supplements from reputable brands that have been third-party tested and certified C.L.E.A.N. When you see that a vitamin supplement has been tested by a third party, you can be confident that you’re actually getting what you’re looking for and what is listed on the label is actually in your supplement. When you see that a supplement has been certified C.L.E.A.N., you can be confident that you’re getting safe ingredients. (Note: All Care/of supplements are third-party tested and certified C.L.E.A.N.)

Another potential risk to consider is that vitamin supplements are not meant to replace the dietary intake of nutrients; they’re meant to supplement them. If your doctor has determined that you’re deficient in certain nutrients, then you may need to supplement your intake with higher doses of certain vitamins or minerals. Talking to your doctor, though, is the key so your levels can be measured and monitored over time.

The benefits of taking vitamin supplements truly abound. It’s not always easy to get the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of the nutrients your body needs. Dietary supplements can help bridge the gap between what you’re taking in through your diet and what your body actually needs to function at a high level. Supplements can also support you during particular stages of life, such as when you’re pregnant or lactating.

Vitamin formats (Chewable, Gummy, Pills)

Choosing the right vitamin for you can feel overwhelming. They come in so many forms! The important thing is to find a form that works well for you. Some common vitamin forms include: chewable, capsules, liquid, gummy, and powdered. The particular formulation of your vitamins will determine how well they are absorbed and how much your body benefits from the nutrients they contain. The form will also determine the serving size. For example, you may only need to take 1-2 capsules or gummies for the same effect you’ll get from four chewable tablets. Talk to your doctor about the best format for you. You’ll reap the most benefits from taking a vitamin consistently, so you should keep that in mind when selecting your preferred format.

Recognizing the Signs of Taking Too Many Vitamins

If you’re questioning whether you’re taking too many vitamins, the best thing you can do is follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Some nutrients have upper limits while others may not have a tolerable upper limit (TUL), a term used to describe how much of a nutrient you can take safely before potentially increasing your risk for experiencing negative side effects. Doses past the TUL can increase the potential risk for adverse events. Moreover, even vitamins that don’t have a defined TUL can still result in negative effects in certain individuals. More is not always better when it comes to nutrients.

When it comes to fat-soluble nutrients, it’s important to remember that they can be stored in the body for longer periods of time. That’s why consuming too much of a given fat-soluble vitamin can lead to troublesome imbalances. Again, the best thing you can do is follow your doctor’s guidance, and pay close attention to the dosage suggestions on the packaging.

The bottom line

Taking vitamins can support your health in myriad ways. Many people like to take their vitamins at the start of their day. Others prefer to take them with their lunch. Still others take them at night before bed. The key to getting the most out of your vitamin routine is to stay consistent.

It’s also important to make sure that you’re taking what you actually should be taking. The only way to determine which vitamins are right for you is to talk to a medical professional about your nutrient levels and needs.

The kinds of vitamins you’re taking will also play a role in when you take them. Fat-soluble vitamins, for example, are better absorbed when taken with meals that contain some dietary fat. Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, can be taken on an empty stomach; in some cases, it may even be preferable to do so.

But you don’t need to overthink this too much. Once again, the key is consistency. Talk to your doctor about your vitamin needs, and then determine the time of day that works best for you.

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