The below information is a generalization of gathered info researched showing what time of day these vitamins will probably do their best and not a medical recommendation. Always check with your medical provider if you are taking other medications and remember you should take vitamins with your meals as they absorb better and because certain enzymes and fiber willl help them better absorb in your system. There are certain things you should alway crosscheck when taking groups of vitamins as there are different combos and reactions that happen with mixing certain things. Please research those.
The body performs different functions at different times of the day. Many people suggest adding food supplements at varied times of the day to accommodate for the digestion and assimilation of these nutrients.
At night, many suggest taking calcium. This is because calcium is utilized at night, and also because calcium can help you get to sleep when taken at bed time. Remember the adage of a glass of milk before bed? Calcium absorption is the reason this makes sense. Magnesium is needed to work hand-in-hand with calcium. Many people take magnesium along with calcium, in the same supplements, at bedtime, although some suggest that magnesium is best absorbed in the day time. If the calcium supplement contains magnesium, taking both at the same time is appropriate.
Many vitamins are best ingested with food, so taking them at meal time is advised. It’s easy to remember to take vitamins with meals, since you are eating and drinking at that time, anyway.
Fat-soluble vitamins need fat in order to be absorbed, so they should always be taken with meals that contain fat. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.
Vitamin C lasts only a few hours in the bloodstream. It should be repeated every three hours for best results, or the entire dose should be divided up to take a third with each meal.
Fiber is best ingested in the morning upon rising. That way it will do its work in the colon without being impeded by food. Fiber can cause vitamins to not absorb, as it can act as a coating to the intestines, so it is best to not take vitamins before fiber. Iron is especially not absorbed well with fiber.
Probiotics are taken with meals and sometimes before a meal, usually about 20 minutes. Digestive enzymes are taken with meals as well, for best effect.
Stimulating vitamins, such as vitamin C, should not be taken before bedtime, as it can keep a person awake. Some even suggest that citrus juice and vitamin C cause nightmares, but this is unconfirmed.
If you are taking many nutritional supplements you might want to organize them in a pillbox that provides a separate box for each time of the day. A few minutes preparation can ensure that you take the recommended doses and that you remember to get all your doses in, in a timely manner. Setting the box near your dining area will remind you to take the vitamins when you eat. Even if you don’t take vitamins at the “appropriate” time, adding nutrients to your diet will build health at any time of the day.
Take vitamins in the morning each day with breakfast so that you will get in a routine and will be less likely to forget them. The FDA and the wildly popular Dr. Oz favor taking your vitamin supplements in divided doses — one-half in the morning with breakfast, the other half in the evening with dinner. This is recommended for people who take different vitamins by the handful each day. Other reports state that night is a better time to take vitamins. According to ABC news, scientists at the Cleveland Clinic have found that vitamin D is best absorbed after your biggest meal, usually dinner. Research shows that those who take vitamin D after dinner display a boosted level of vitamin D in their blood, averaging 56 percent more than those who take it without food.
Here’s my advice for taking specific antioxidant vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C: 200 to 500 mg (divided into two doses) per day. Vitamin C is water soluble and any amount not used by the body quickly passes out of it. Consider higher dosages if you are under extra stress, living in smoke-filled or polluted environments, or not getting at least five servings of fruits and vegetables as part of your daily diet.
- Vitamin E: 400 IUs of mixed natural tocopherols (or at least 80 mg of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols) a day. Since vitamin E is fat soluble, it must be taken with food containing fat to be absorbed. I take vitamin E at lunch or dinner.
- Selenium: 200 micrograms a day. Selenium is a trace mineral with antioxidant and anticancer properties. Selenium and vitamin E facilitate each other’s absorption, so take them together. Doses of selenium above 400 micrograms a day may not be healthy.
- Mixed carotenes: 15,000 IUs a day. I recommend a natural form, which is easily found in health food stores. Read the label to make sure it gives you lycopene, the red pigment in tomatoes that helps prevent prostate cancer, and lutein, which can protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. I take mine at breakfast.
To lessen or prevent any side effects, follow these rules:
- Take your supplements during or after a meal, unless directed otherwise, and drink plenty of fluids as well.
- Take as indicated. Your supplements may be recommended or packaged for morning, noon or evening dosages, based on your individual health needs. For maximum benefit, take them at the time of day indicated on the package.
- Some supplements may interact with prescription medications. Read labels carefully and speak with a pharmacist if you have any concerns.
Maximizing Vitamin Absorption
Take fat-soluble vitamins with healthy fat. Because fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins E and K, are best absorbed when consumed with some fat, take your multivitamin supplement with a meal that contains a healthy fat source, such as olive oil, nuts or fish oil. Taking vitamins with food can also help prevent mild nausea, which is possible particularly with B vitamins.
Divide your doses. Selecting vitamins that can be divided into two smaller doses can enhance your absorption, according to Dr. Mahmet Oz, television medical expert and author of “You: The Owner’s Manual.” To reap maximum benefits, select “mini” vitamins that require two to three capsules per day or large vitamins that can be cut into two.
Maintain freshness. If your vitamins have expired, toss them out. Keeping your vitamins in the refrigerator may help preserve their freshness and effectiveness.