When To Take Your Vitamins

Fall 2010 CSANews Issue 76  |  Posted date : Sep 17, 2010.Back to list

The best method of taking your vitamins is spaced throughout the day; there is evidence that taking them at specific intervals may help with their absorption.
If you're taking a multivitamin, make sure it's on a full stomach, both to help absorption and because some people don't tolerate vitamins very well. Take your multivitamin within half an hour after a healthy morning breakfast or at lunch, if you don't eat a good breakfast - the earlier in the day the better, to maximize its potential.

Some vitamins, including A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. This means that they require fat (animal or vegetable) to be in your stomach in order to be absorbed properly, so they're best taken with meals.

Others, such as B and C, are water-soluble. They don't require fat in your stomach, but they do need stomach acid so, if you're taking antacids or other stomach acid-reducing medications, you may not absorb the vitamins as well.
Some vitamins work together, while some can actually hinder performance if taken together.

Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron, so it's beneficial to take vitamin C and iron together.

Vitamin D and magnesium should be taken with your calcium supplement, as these both help with the absorption of calcium. On the other hand, calcium hinders the absorption of iron, so if there's iron in your multivitamin and you take a calcium supplement as well, make sure that you don't take them at the same time. 

There is some evidence that calcium is best taken before bed, as it may promote better sleep (it's a natural muscle relaxant and can also calm the mind).

And if you have difficulty swallowing large pills, many vitamins are available in liquid form.