When is the best time of day to take vitamins?

When is the best time of day to take vitamins?

Your body needs 13 vitamins to function properly, of which 9 are water-soluble and 4 are fat-soluble. Although these nutrients are found in foods in varying amounts, some people need to take supplements of certain vitamins to meet their nutritional needs. Normally, most vitamins can be taken at any time of the day. This means that some vitamins are better absorbed under certain conditions, so it’s good to know how and when to supplement to promote optimal absorption. This article explains how and when to take vitamins.

As their name suggests, water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. It is therefore not necessary to take them with food in order for them to be absorbed. There are nine water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C and eight B vitamins – B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 ​​(pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate).) and B12 (cobalamin).

You need to consume water-soluble vitamins regularly because, unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they are not easily stored in your body’s tissues. Conversely, excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine.

When to take water-soluble vitamins?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays many vital roles in your body. For example, it functions as a powerful antioxidant and is essential for the health of the immune system as well as the synthesis of collagen and neurotransmitters. There are several forms of vitamin C supplements, including ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, liposomal vitamin C, and calcium ascorbate. Ascorbic acid supplements have similar bioavailability to ascorbic acid found in foods such as fruits and vegetables. You can take vitamin C supplements at any time of the day, with or without food, although taking ascorbic acid with food can help reduce potential gastrointestinal side effects from its high acidity. Store vitamin C supplements in a cool, dark place as this nutrient is sensitive to heat and light.

Also keep in mind that since excess vitamin C is excreted, doses above 1000 mg are generally not needed – except in specific circumstances, such as high-dose intravenous vitamin C therapy.

B vitamins

B vitamins are sold individually or as B complex supplements that contain all eight B vitamins. They are water soluble. Because they are water soluble, you can take them with or without food and at any time of the day. This means that B vitamins are often recommended to be taken in the morning due to their important role in nutrient metabolism and energy production. In addition, some people may benefit from taking B vitamins on an empty stomach. For example, people with B12 deficiency are advised to take B12 supplements on an empty stomach with water to promote maximum absorption.

When to take fat-soluble vitamins?

Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins depend on the proper absorption of fat. Therefore, it is generally recommended to take fat-soluble compounds with food that contains fat.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is rare but more common in developing countries. Certain populations are at higher risk of developing vitamin A deficiency due to increased requirements or decreased absorption. These include pregnant and breastfeeding women and those with cystic fibrosis. Most vitamin A supplements contain vitamin A obtained from fish oil or in the form of vitamin A carotenoids, which are plant compounds that your body converts into the active form of vitamin A. To promote optimal absorption, you should take vitamin A supplements with a meal that contains fat. Keep in mind that if you eat a balanced diet, taking vitamin A supplements is usually not necessary.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for immune function, bone health, cell growth and more. Unfortunately, more than a billion people worldwide are deficient in this important nutrient. Vitamin D can be taken at any time of the day, and most of these supplements should be taken with a meal or snack that contains fat for optimal absorption. For example, a study in 50 older adults found that vitamin D absorption was 32% higher. in those who took a vitamin D supplement with a fat-containing meal than in those who took it with a fat-free meal. It is important to note that the activation of vitamin D depends on the presence of adequate levels of magnesium. So, in order to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D, make sure you also get enough magnesium.

Also, keep in mind that some fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin E, can affect the absorption of vitamin D. On the other hand, taking vitamin K along with vitamin D can benefit bone mineral density.

vitamin E

Vitamin E acts as the main antioxidant in your body and is essential for healthy circulation and immune function. It is also a popular dietary supplement, although this nutrient is found in many foods and deficiencies are rare. This means that people with certain conditions, including short bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease, sometimes need to take a vitamin E supplement to avoid a deficiency.

It is generally recommended to take vitamin E supplements with food. It may not be necessary to take vitamin E with a meal containing fat if you consume enough fat in the following meals. Keep in mind that while vitamin E is essential for good health, excessive use of it in supplement form can be harmful for some populations. For example, some research suggests that high-dose vitamin E supplements may lead to an increased risk of prostate cancer in healthy men.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K refers to a family of fat-soluble compounds that includes vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinones).

Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, bone and heart health, and more. Clinically significant vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults, although it is more common in people with bleeding disorders and malabsorption and in people taking medications that interfere with vitamin K absorption. You can take vitamin K supplements at any time of the day with a meal or snack that contains fat. Since most people get enough vitamin K through their diet, taking high-dose supplements is not recommended, although these supplements are generally safe and not associated with significant side effects (28).

However, vitamin K supplements may interfere with some blood-thinning medications. If possible, take vitamin K separately from fat-soluble vitamins E and A. On the other hand, taking vitamins D and K together can be beneficial because these nutrients work synergistically to support healthy bones and healthy calcium levels in the body. body


Multivitamins usually contain different vitamins and minerals. Some people prefer multivitamins to individual nutritional supplements because they are convenient and can be cheaper. Although data on the long-term health benefits of multivitamin use are inconsistent, it is known that taking them can help fill nutrient deficiencies, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and pregnant women.

Because these supplements usually contain both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, they are generally recommended to be taken with food. This can improve the absorption of certain nutrients while reducing the risk of gastrointestinal upset that can occur when taking multivitamins on an empty stomach.

If you take two or more pills a day, consider splitting the dose to help your body absorb certain nutrients more efficiently. For example, take one pill with breakfast and another with lunch.

* Presse Santé strives to convey knowledge about health in a language accessible to all. IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information provided replace the advice of a medical professional.

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