If you take vitamin and mineral supplements in hopes of improving your health, you may have wondered, “Is there a better time of day to take vitamins?” “
The answer depends a bit on what type of vitamin or mineral you are taking – and also whether you are taking any prescription medication (be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any vitamin or supplement):
- You can take multivitamins and individual water soluble vitamins like Group B anytime, with or without food, so taking them early in the morning is fine and can help you get into the habit of taking them regularly.
- Take individual fat-soluble vitamins like A and E with food, such as at dinner, to help your body absorb the vitamin and to prevent the nausea these vitamins can cause when taken on an empty stomach.
- If you are taking statins, thyroid medications, or antibiotics, ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need to take your supplements a few hours after your medications to avoid any interactions.
- If you’re taking both a multivitamin and individual supplements, like calcium, take them a few hours apart so your body can absorb them completely.
Talk to your doctor about whether you really need a vitamin or mineral supplement. There is no scientific evidence to prove that these products prolong the life of adults who take them; in fact, taking too much of some fat soluble vitamins can make you very sick. Most adults do not need to take supplements unless they are lacking in a particular nutrient, such as calcium. In these cases, you should try to get more nutrients from food sources first. But if it is difficult, as with vitamin D, then taking a supplement may be appropriate.
If you and your doctor agree that you might benefit from supplements, knowing what time of day to take your vitamin and mineral supplements can help you maximize their effectiveness and avoid dangerous interactions with the prescription drugs you’re taking.