You’ve probably heard that timing is everything. This saying is especially true when it comes to your health and wellness. Experts have recommendations about everything from when you should hit the gym to the time of day you should hit the hay. But is there also an ideal time of day to take a multivitamin? If you’re wondering about the best time to take multivitamins, read on to learn the answer. You can also take our vitamin quiz to learn more about the right vitamins for you.
In general, what is the best time to take multivitamins?
You aren’t alone if you think you should take a multivitamin with your breakfast as part of a balanced diet. It turns out that the best time of day to take most essential vitamins and supplements is when you have a meal. Breakfast just so happens to be a popular time to do it. However, if you are taking multiple supplements, it’s best to take them with the largest meal of the day. Taking your vitamins, daily multivitamin, or individual vitamin with food encourages optimal absorption. It’s also a great way to prevent an upset stomach.
When should you take water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins?
A water-soluble vitamin is one that your body doesn’t store long-term, which means you need to get this type of vitamin from diet or other sources every day for your nutrient intake. Examples of water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and most B vitamins. Vitamin C helps to support the immune system, neutralizes free radicals and aids in iron absorption. The B vitamins also play important roles in the body, such as supporting normal nervous system function. You can take these vitamins at any time of day. However, it’s always a good idea to take them with a meal.†
As for fat-soluble vitamins, they dissolve in fat and oil. As a result, your body does a better job of absorbing these vitamins when you take them with foods that have fat. Examples of these vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamin A supports eye health, while vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to neutralize free radicals. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and plays many roles in the body, including supporting immune, muscle, teeth and bone health. Finally, vitamin K is an important nutrient for helping support healthy bones.†
When is the best time to take mineral supplements?
When talking about nutrients, it’s important to also discuss minerals. The most common minerals are calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc. You likely know that calcium supports bone health, but you might not be as familiar with these other minerals. Iron supports red blood cell formation, which is critical for women during their reproductive years. Magnesium supports bone health, nerve and muscle function, and converts food into cellular energy. As for zinc, it’s a vital nutrient that supports a healthy immune system and normal growth and development.†
As with many other vitamins, it’s recommended that you take these mineral supplements with food to avoid an upset stomach. As a result, you can take mineral supplements any time of the day as long as it’s with a meal.
What is the best time to take multivitamins as a pregnant woman?
If you’re a mother-to-be, it’s important to take a prenatal vitamin. This is a specially formulated multivitamin that supports the health of expectant mothers and the health and development of their growing babies. Prenatal vitamins include DHA for fetal brain and eye development, folic acid for brain and spine health in the baby, and iron for red blood cell formation. Most include vitamin A through zinc.†
When selecting prenatal vitamins, pregnant women should consult with their health care provider to find the right vitamin for them and their baby. As for the best time of day to take multivitamins as a pregnant woman, it’s often recommended that you take them with a meal. Whether this meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner is up to you. As with any type of vitamin or supplement, just be sure to always take the recommended prenatal vitamin dosage.
What’s our top piece of advice about the best time to take multivitamins?
Even more important than taking your multivitamins at a certain time is taking them consistently. To get the most out of your multivitamin, make sure to take it every day. Whether you take your multivitamin with your breakfast, along with lunch or right after your dinner, the key is to consistently take it every day. As a result, you should pick a time of day that works for you and stick with it when you take your daily vitamins and supplements.
† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Carroll is a nutrition scientist and communicator with over 25 years of experience as a clinician, researcher, and educator at major universities, medical centers, and nutrition industry settings. She is a passionate advocate of nutritional health and established the nutrition education and science platforms at Pharmavite. Carroll is an expert in personalized nutrition and has published several scientific papers on vitamin and mineral inadequacies and the impact on health and wellbeing. Prior to joining Pharmavite, Carroll taught nutrition at UCLA Medical School and Santa Monica College and was a chief clinical dietitian and researcher.
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