The Ultimate Guide On When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamins

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Entering the brand new world of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and other supplements, you may find yourself completely overwhelmed by the amount of information involved. One particular issue that stands out is the best time to take vitamins. This question can go unanswered for a long time. Even many veterans in the supplement department, who categorize their pills and powders with color coding, may make mistakes here. They may know precisely what vitamins to take, but they may still have no clue what time they should be taking them.

Comparison Table

Types of Vitamins

Details

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, K, E, and D

Water-Soluble Vitamins

The water-soluble vitamins are vitamins B and C and folic acid

Fatty Acids

Oily fish like mackerel and salmon are rich in fatty acids

Vitamin B

The B vitamins are a family of water-soluble vitamins that absorb best when taken with water

Amino Acids

Known as the building blocks of life, amino acids form proteins

Probiotics

You can get probiotics from a diet with lots of fermented food, such as yogurt and sauerkraut

Prenatal Vitamins

Prenatal vitamins are a kind of a multivitamin that usually has higher levels of iron, folic acid, and calcium

Minerals

Found with vitamins in one multivitamin form

Enzymes

Enzymes keep the body functioning well because they are proteins that make chemical reactions happen within the body

Herbal Vitamins

Herbal vitamins cover a wide variety of types, forms, and uses

It doesn’t matter who you are, newbie or near-expert, most supplement users could use some help on finding the best time to take vitamins so that the effects are maximized. However, to get that maximum benefit, you'll need to know a lot more about what you're putting in your body, such as the absorption rate of your vitamins and whether they will metabolize better with food or not. 

Product FAQ

Vitamins

1. What Are Vitamins and Supplements?

2. What Do Vitamins and Supplements Do?

3. How Do Vitamins and Supplements Work?

4. Where Can You Buy Vitamins and Supplements?

5. Where Can I Go for More Information on the Best Time to Take Vitamins?

How We Reviewed

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To bring you the top answers on the best time to take vitamins, we conducted thorough research so you wouldn’t have to. We brought together our findings and consolidated them for this article, and for you, the consumer.

Overall Price Range Of This Product

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You can find vitamins and other supplements for a wide range of prices, but what you may find is that the higher priced supplements may have more benefits than grabbing the cheap kind from the grocery store. Look for brands that do not use fillers or any unnecessary ingredients. For herbal supplements, check for organically grown product. These will often be more expensive, but many people find that the cost is worth the greater impact.

​What We Reviewed

  • Fat-Soluble Vitamins
  • Water-Soluble Vitamins
  • Fatty Acids
  • Vitamin B
  • Amino Acids
  • Prenatal Vitamins
  • Minerals
  • Enzymes
  • Herbal Vitamins

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Features

The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, K, E, and D. These vitamins need fat to absorb and work well in the body, making them ideal to take with a meal, especially since multi-vitamins can often cause nausea. This group of vitamins have all kinds of health benefits, including antioxidants, protection for vital organs, and to prevent many life-threatening diseases.

  • PRICE
  • BEST TIME

The best time to take vitamins that are fat soluble is with a meal, particularly a fatty meal to help them better absorb into the body.

PROS

  • Helps maintain body tissues and function
  • Provides protection from disease

CONS

  • Taking too much can be toxic
  • Can cause nausea if taken without food

Water-Soluble Vitamins

Features

The water-soluble vitamins are vitamins B and C and folic acid. These vitamins are not stored in the body. Rather, they are excreted through urine. Because of this, smaller and more frequent doses of these may be more beneficial than one large dose of each.

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  • BEST TIME

The best time to take vitamins of the water-soluble variety is periodically through the day. Doses should be broken up into multiple, smaller doses and taken with a glass of water.

PROS

  • Can boost mood
  • Helps fight depression and anxiety
  • Supports healthy skin

CONS

  • Excessive use can cause kidney stones
  • Can cause gastrointestinal problems when taken in large doses
  • Can interact negatively with some medications

Fatty Acids

Features

Fatty acids like omega-3s play an important role in the body, covering almost every tissue and system. Oily fish like mackerel and salmon are rich in fatty acids, but if you do not incorporate these kinds of fish into your diet often, it may be preferable to take a supplement.

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  • BEST TIME

Like fat-soluble vitamins, fatty acids are best taken with a meal, particularly one with a higher fat content for better absorption.

PROS

  • Keeps body tissues working smoothly
  • Can help fight depression and anxiety
  • Promotes brain and heart health
  • Supports a healthy pregnancy

CONS

  • Can have an unpleasant aftertaste
  • Excessive use can cause diarrhea

Vitamin B

Features

The B vitamins are a family of water-soluble vitamins that absorb best when taken with water. These vitamins are known for their effects in boosting moods and giving energy to the body. Because of this, it would be better for them to be avoided at bedtime, as this can affect a restful sleep.

 

  • PRICE
  • BEST TIME

The best time to take B vitamins is first thing in the morning, with a glass of water.

PROS

  • Helps improve mood
  • Fights depression and anxiety
  • Natural anti-inflammatory

CONS

  • Too much can cause body toxicity
  • Can interact negatively with some medications

Amino Acids

Features

Known as the building blocks of life, amino acids form proteins. That's very useful because the human body is made up of protein structures. These acids are essential to healthy growth and muscle development, especially for athletes, who use their muscles much more often.

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  • BEST TIME

For those supplementing a protein-deficient diet, take during mealtimes. For athletes, take on an empty stomach before, during, or after a workout, depending on the athletic goals you are aiming for.

PROS

  • Helps build and maintain muscle tissues
  • Can support a healthy immune system
  • Can boost energy

CONS

  • Bad taste
  • Can lead to dependency
  • Can destroy the natural balance of the body if not taken properly

Probiotics

Features

Probiotics are “friendly” bacteria that are essential in maintaining gut health. You can get probiotics from a diet with lots of fermented food, such as yogurt and sauerkraut. But they are easily destroyed by things like antibiotics, environmental toxins, chlorinated water, poor diet, and stress. In order to ensure you have enough in your system, supplements are often recommended.

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  • BEST TIME

The best time to take probiotics is on an empty stomach and at least 30 minutes before a meal. That way the stomach acids won’t break them down while digesting. Do not drink a hot beverage after taking a probiotic, as this could also damage them.

PROS

  • Aid in digestive health
  • Can help with gut inflammation

CONS

  • May have gastrointestinal side effects

Prenatal Vitamins

Features

Prenatal vitamins are a kind of a multivitamin that usually has higher levels of iron, folic acid, and calcium, which can quickly become depleted during pregnancy. Studies have shown that it is beneficial to take prenatal vitamins up to a year before becoming pregnant as folic acid has been known to fight spina bifida and other neural tube defects.

  • PRICE
  • BEST TIME

Prenatal vitamins can be found on Amazon for around $10, depending on the brand, quantity, type of vitamin, and different pill forms, such as gummies.

PROS

  • Helps fight spina bifida
  • Removes risk of vitamin and mineral depletion while pregnant

CONS

  • Can cause nausea
  • Often found in large pill form that can be hard to swallow

Minerals

Features

Minerals, like vitamins, are essential to proper body function and maintenance and can often be found with vitamins in one multivitamin form.

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  • BEST TIME

The best time to take minerals would be at mealtimes. Calcium and magnesium help relax muscles, so it may be better to take them with the evening meal.

PROS

  • Essential to proper body function and maintenance
  • Easy to take as a multivitamin

CONS

  • Can interact negatively with some medications or medical conditions

Enzymes

Features

Enzymes keep the body functioning well because they are proteins that make chemical reactions happen within the body. Digestive enzymes help digest food, with some specializing in specific troublesome foods like dairy, while systemic enzymes help inflamed tissues with recovering.

  • PRICE
  • BEST TIME

The best time to take digestive enzyme supplements is with meals. The best time to take proteolytic enzyme supplements is on an empty stomach.

PROS

  • Helps digest food
  • Supports healing inflammation

CONS

  • Can potentially interact in a negative way with your medications
  • Could cause upset stomach

Herbal Vitamins

Features

Also known as herbal supplements, herbal vitamins cover a wide variety of types, forms, and uses. They come from ancient Chinese medicine and have made a big impact on western culture, becoming a popular method for supplementing diet and exercise. Because there are so many herbs and so many ingredients involved in herbal supplements, it is best to follow labeling directions and consult with your physician before beginning use.

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  • BEST TIME

Follow the labeling instructions and the directions of your physician for the best times to take herbal vitamins.

PROS

  • Natural approach to health
  • Innumerable wellness benefits

CONS

  • Should be used with care
  • Benefits not as widely accepted by the medical community

The Verdict

Capsules

Supplements can be an amazing addition to your health, but the truth is there's no one best time to take all vitamins. In fact, the best time to take vitamins varies widely depending on what exactly you are taking.

Trying to understand the variety of vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, and supplements out there doesn’t have to be daunting. Simply use these tips and consult with your doctor, and you’ll be well on your way.

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