I always state that the best way to get all of your vitamins and minerals through food. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with this, so it is necessary to supplement. And beyond figuring out what vitamins and minerals you need to add to your diet, another question is what is the best time to take them? Is it best to toss them down your thing first thing in the morning with your glass of orange juice or better to supplement before sleep?
It depends what type of vitamin you are taking. Different types of vitamins should be taken at different times depending on what you are or aren’t eating and how your body may be able to digest them. Here’s a breakdown:
Black seed oil: 1 teaspoon first thing in the morning on an empty Stomach.
Fat soluble vitamins: the optimal time to take fat-soluble vitamins is with your evening meal. Fat-soluble vitamins are dissolved in our bodies using fats. They are then carried into our bloodstream and perform essential functions. Fat soluble vitamins include: vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin D. For vitamin D, you need to ensure that your Liver and Kidneys are fully functional for them to be able to synthesise the synthetics.
Water soluble vitamins: water-soluble vitamins absorb best on an empty stomach. That means taking them first thing in the morning, 30 minutes prior to eating, or two hours after a meal. Your body takes the amount of the vitamin it needs and flushes out the rest through urine. Water soluble vitamins include Vitamin C, all B vitamins, and folate (folic acid).
Prenatal vitamins: since prenatal vitamins are a multivitamin, taking them before lunch is an optimal time to absorb all that they contain. A good prenatal vitamin will include calcium, iron, and folic acid.
Iron: iron absorbs best on an empty stomach and can’t absorb properly if you’ve recently eaten dairy. Iron is absorbed better if you take it with a beverage that has vitamin C, such as orange juice.
B vitamins: for a good start to your day, take a B vitamin on an empty stomach when you first wake up in the morning. B vitamins are a special family of water-soluble vitamins that are energy-boosting and stress-busting.
Magnesium: magnesium confers a long list of benefits, from stronger bones and pain relief to heart health and better sleep. It's a good idea to take magnesium before bed since it can make you sleepy.
Fish oil: rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil can lower inflammation and help protect against heart disease. Unfortunately, fish oil can cause belching. Pro tip: The best way to avoid this unpleasant side effect is to keep the supplements in the freezer and take them right before a meal, so they go down first. When frozen, fish oil supplements go down further in your system before your body can digest them and they are less likely to cause belching.
Calcium: if you are taking calcium each day to keep your bones strong, split the dose in two and take half in the morning and the other half in the evening. High doses tend to spike calcium levels in the blood and are then excreted by the kidneys. This can cause problems in individuals at risk for kidney stones.
Probiotics: some are best taken with food and some without food. It depends on the probiotic and the way it is encapsulated. It is best to read the instructions on your probiotic of choice.
If you have a sensitive Stomach, supplements are best taken 1-2 hours after meals.