Well, we all can agree on the fact that while we try our best to eat a healthy and well-balanced diet, there might be times when we won’t get all the nutrients from the major meals that we eat. We also go through several changes in our lifetime and there would be times when we might have to deal with weak eyesight or insomnia or muscle pain. Many doctors and physicians would recommend adding vitamins and minerals supplements to our diet to bridge that gap. You might have bought the bottle from the pharmacy but must be wondering what the best time to take vitamins is? Well, the answer is short and a bit complicated: it depends on which vitamin you are taking?
Depends on the Type of Foods
Some people might find taking vitamins and minerals on an empty stomach causing diarrhea or constipation. Therefore, most physicians generally recommend the best time to take multivitamins is with a meal, unless recommended otherwise. There are several vitamins and minerals which are fat-soluble, i.e. you need a considerable amount of fats and calories for them to get properly absorbed by the body. So, if you are taking them after a fat-free breakfast, then you might be defeating their purpose.
When is the Best Time to Take Vitamins and How to Take Them?
1. Vitamin A
If you want to strengthen your vision, organs and reproductive system, you should be adding Vitamin A to your diet. There is no scientific research that says whether it should be taken in the morning or the evening, so take the supplement when it is convenient for you.
But this is a fat-soluble vitamin; therefore, make sure that breakfast, lunch or dinner should have good fat content.
2. Vitamin B
The Vitamin B complex or group consists of thiamine, folate or folic acid and riboflavin. The deficiency of this group of vitamins can affect your body in different ways depending on which specific Vitamin B you are lacking.
- Vitamin B6: A group of researchers found that when B6 is taken before going to bed, it increases the tendency of a person to have very vivid and bizarre dreams. It can also increase your ability to remember the dreams. Therefore, to avoid vivid, colorful or bizarre dreams, you can look at taking this vitamin in the morning.
- Vitamin B-12: This vitamin of the B-complex group helps your body in creating energy. A group of people shared that if taken in the evening, it gives them a burst of energy making it harder for them to fall asleep. If you are taking this with the other vitamins of this group, which is in the morning, you should be fine.
- Vitamin B3: Also known as niacin, Vitamin B3 helps you fall asleep. The important thing to remember here is not to take this vitamin along with alcohol as it consists of elements that can accentuate the effects of niacin. Since you are more likely to enjoy an alcoholic spirit in the evening, feel free to take this in the morning. If taking Vitamin B doesn’t interfere with your sleeping pattern, the best time to take the vitamin B-complex can be either morning or evening.
3. Vitamin C
If you are looking at boosting your immune system, a doctor might suggest including Vitamin C in your diet. Since this is a water-soluble vitamin, there is no need to take it along with a meal. But many people might find that it can upset their stomach and cause diarrhea. Therefore, taking it with a meal might make sense to you. Vitamin C also fights free radicals in your body and is necessary for proper iron absorption as well. If your doctor has recommended increasing a dose of iron, then the supplement for both iron and Vitamin C should be taken at the same time, irrespective of whether it is in the morning or evening.
Since taking larger doses can alter your sleeping pattern and cause you to snooze, you can cut down on naptime by taking it in the morning. The recommended daily dose of Vitamin C for an adult woman is 75mg and for an adult male is 90mg
4. Vitamin D
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, your body can make this vitamin when it is exposed to the sunlight. But since it can cause cancer and other skin related diseases, you might find yourself better off by taking a Vitamin D supplement to bridge the gaps in deficiency. Vitamin D is responsible for keeping your immune system in a good shape and work with calcium to strengthen your teeth and bones. If you are trying to lose weight, meeting your daily requirement of this vitamin might help. In menopausal women, taking larger doses of Vitamin D might interfere with their sleeping pattern and cause insomnia.
Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, make sure you take it with a meal rich in good fats. No study has supported taking it in the morning or evening, thus the best time to take vitamins is as per your convenience. Many people recommend taking it in the morning help them more.
5. Vitamin E
Another important vitamin not to be miss out on is Vitamin E. It boosts your immune function, helps in widening your blood vessels and is necessary for blood clotting. The deficiency might cause a weakened immune system, nerve damage and weak vision.
This is a fat-soluble vitamin, thus taking with a good-fats meal is recommended. It can be taken at any time during the day.
6. Vitamin K
This is the next fat-soluble vitamin on the list and helps in blood clotting, strengthening the bones and also helps in fighting cancer. Your doctor might recommend the Vitamin K doses for managing diabetes as it increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin.
Since there are no studies that show whether taking it at a particular time can have positive or negative effects on your health, the best time to take vitamin K would be along with a good-fats rich meal.
When is the Best Time to Take Mineral Supplements?
Now, coming to one of the most important minerals on this list to find out the best time to take a multivitamin is Calcium. This is one of the most important minerals which builds your bones, your basic skeletal structure that helps you be mobile. And sadly, the truth is that many people have calcium deficiency, especially women. A woman can develop a calcium deficiency or osteoporosis later in life if she did not take the recommended amount of calcium during her pregnancy to meet the needs of her own body as well as of the growing baby. In a case of lack of calcium, the fetus will keep deriving it from your reservoir of calcium causing you a dreadful bones disease later in life.
The best time to take calcium will depend on which kind of calcium are you taking. There is calcium citrate (the most common form) which can be taken with or without a meal. The other form, calcium carbonate, needs the help of your stomach acid to break down properly and get absorbed by the body Therefore, it is recommended to take along with a meal.
Just make sure that you do not take a calcium supplement along with iron or magnesium one as it won’t get absorbed properly.
The mineral magnesium helps in managing the nervous system and build bones along with calcium. A larger dose of magnesium can upset the digestive system causing loose stools or diarrhea. Doctors have seen that magnesium promotes sound sleep and also helps in alleviating the issue of leg cramps during sleep. Therefore, the best time to take this mineral would be before you go to the bed.
When is the Best Time to Take Multivitamins?
Since most of us take a multivitamin pill during the day, it becomes important to understand what is the best time to take multivitamins during the day, right?
Since a multivitamin pill combines several vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, K and minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and copper, and a lot of them are fat-soluble, it is advisable to take a multivitamin along with a fat-rich meal for better absorption.
Also, some of these can alter your sleeping patterns either causing lesser sleep or too much of it, therefore the best time to take multivitamins should be after breakfast.
A Word of Advice
Do not take any extra supplements without consulting your doctor. Also, depending on various other medications that you might be taking, like for diabetes or osteoporosis, discuss with your doctor regarding the dosage and the best time to take vitamins.