Have you ever wondered what time of the day you should take your vitamins? You’re not alone. However, many factors contribute to how a supplement is absorbed in the body. For example, some are best absorbed with food, while others should be taken on an empty stomach. Some are best in the morning, and some at night. So where do we start?
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know so you can ensure you’re taking your vitamins at the right time of the day.
What Are The Different Types Of Supplements?
Before diving into when to take a supplement, it’s essential to understand the different types of supplements available, as this will have the most significant impact on when you should consume it.
In the world of supplements, there are vitamins, minerals, omegas, probiotics, herbs, antioxidants, and more. There is a pill to support just about every bodily function, and when used correctly and taken at the right time, supplements can greatly benefit your health.
- Water-Soluble Vitamins: Water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C and all B vitamins (folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12). Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and cannot be stored in the body, so any excess is eliminated.
- Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K, which are carried by fat and can be stored in fat cells.
- Minerals: Common minerals in supplements are calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, chromium, iron, zinc, selenium, and potassium. Some minerals need food to get absorbed, and different foods affect mineral absorption.
- Other supplements: Other common supplements include omegas fatty acids (healthy fats), probiotics (living cultures), and herbs
Each supplement has its own guidelines, which we’ll cover in detail below.
Taking probiotics in the morning with water can offer various benefits, such as improving your immune system, digestion, inflammation, metabolism, and more. It’s the best way to support the colonization of beneficial bacteria in your gut. If you prefer taking all your supplements together, you can take probiotics with meals or at night. However, if taken with food, digestive enzymes produced by the body may harm the beneficial bacteria, resulting in a lower quantity colonizing in your large intestine than the label indicates.
Vitamin C & B Vitamins
Water-soluble vitamins like vitamins C and B benefit cell function, metabolism, immune function, energy production, and more. You can take them in the morning with water; they won’t cause heartburn or stomach upset when taken without food. Vitamin B-12 has an energy-boosting effect, so avoiding taking it before bed is best.
Multivitamins are best to take in the morning with your first meal of the day. They usually contain minerals, water-soluble vitamins, and fat-soluble vitamins, so you will need a little fat to carry the fat-soluble vitamins into the cells and for your body to receive the benefits. A small amount of fat can help A, D, E, and K get where they need to go. Some minerals can cause an upset stomach, so it’s also best to take these with food.
Calcium and other minerals
Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are common forms of calcium. It needs acid to break down, so it’s best to take it with food. Calcium carbonate is present in antacids like Tums and Rolaids, which help ease acid reflux symptoms. Calcium citrate is highly absorbable and can be taken with or without food. For minerals like zinc, iron, potassium, chromium, and selenium, it’s best to take them with food to reduce the risk of stomach upset, but avoid foods containing phytates or phytic acid, commonly found in beans, peanuts, nuts, and grains, as they block mineral absorption.
Omega fatty acids, such as omega 3, 6, and 9, are essential for optimal health. The body does not produce omega 3 and 6, so you must consume them through your diet or supplements. Omega 9 is optional because the body can make it. Since omegas are fats, consuming them with fat is best to trigger the production of lipase, which carries them into cells. Lipase is produced in the mouth, stomach, and pancreas and is necessary to absorb food and fatty acid supplements properly.
Herbs And Other Plants
When taking medicinal herbs and high-potency plant supplements, it’s best to consume them on an empty stomach with water for faster entry into the body. However, if you have a sensitive stomach, take them with food.
Bump Vitamins provides ginger, turmeric, green tea, echinacea, and cranberry. Ginger aids digestion and reduces inflammation, making it suitable after meals for the digestion of fats and relief from constipation and nausea. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, great for the liver and kidneys, and suitable to take any time of the day. Green tea is an antioxidant that boosts energy and metabolism and is best consumed in the morning or afternoon. Echinacea boosts immune function and can be taken at any time. Consuming cranberry with a fruit-containing meal enhances its effectiveness in aiding urinary health and digestion.
Taking supplements at the optimal time of day is beneficial, but what matters most is consistency. Bump Vitamins offers a convenient subscription plan that automatically ships your supplements every 28 days to make taking them easy. Always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement and report any unwanted side effects.