Optimal Time for Taking Supplements

Some vitamins and minerals should be taken with food for better absorption while others can be taken any part of the day.

If you follow the right timings you’ll get more benefits from the supplements and multi vitamins you take and will be safe from any potential interactions and side effects.

The most important thing to learn is that there are two kinds of essential vitamins and minerals our body needs–Fat soluble and Water Soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins and minerals are soluble in fats. Vitamins that fall into the Water soluble category are soluble in water and any excess is excreted from the body safely; unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body when they are not in use and the body uses it as and when required.

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Fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E, and K)  and Minerals (iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc) should be taken with meals as they require a source of fat for absorption. The water-soluble B vitamins and Vitamin C don’t necessarily need to be taken with food and can be consumed before meals.

Most of your supplements and multivitamins can be taken with breakfast. This includes your daily multivitamin, B-Complex, Vitamin E, and Vitamin C in addition to others.

Do not take Calcium along with your multivitamin if it contains iron as Calcium can interfere with Iron absorption. Many multivitamins do contain a small amount of calcium. The small amount of calcium should not affect iron absorption. The iron in multivitamins is less likely to cause side-effects, such as nausea when taken with food.

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If you take an iron-containing multivitamin with your breakfast meal, take a calcium supplement after your Lunch or Dinner.

Magnesium, on the other hand, is advised be taken before you go to bed as people have reported improved sleep due to magnesium supplementation in the evening.

It is not necessary to take calcium and magnesium together. In fact, if you need to take large amounts (more than 250 mg) of either of these, you may be better off taking them at separate times, as they can compete with each other for absorption.

Supplemental calcium is best in smaller, more frequent doses to support absorption. You can divide the dose between Lunch and Dinner.

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If lunch is a more convenient time for you to take your vitamins and supplements, then you can take your multivitamin, B-complex, Vitamin E, Vitamin C or any other vitamins at this time. However, remember to take your calcium supplement separate from your multivitamin and the preferable time is after Lunch.

Before/ With Meals -Multivitamin (Including essential minerals), B-Complex, Vitamin C, Iron and protein supplements.

After Meals -Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Choline, Digestive enzymes oil-based nutrients (Flax seed oil, Fish Oil)

Check with your doctor to see if any supplements you’re taking can interact with any medications you’re on and try taking your medication and supplements at the different time.