What’s the Best Time to Take Your Supplements?

So you’ve decided to start your healthy journey and want to add supplements to your regimen. But not sure where to start?

When it comes to your health, it shouldn’t be difficult or confusing. So we’re here to help! Read on to learn the basics of supplementation and when the best time is to take your supplements for optimal results.

Types of Supplements & Vitamins

Before diving into when and how to take your supplements, let’s go over the basics and discuss the types of supplements. 

The FDA defines dietary supplements as something intended to add or supplement the diet and are different from conventional food.[1] Supplements come in many different forms, such as capsules, soft gels, tablets, powders, and more. 

To get more specific, there are two types of vitamins:

Water-Soluble Vitamins

These supplements are exactly what you think—vitamins that dissolve in water. In total, there are nine water-soluble vitamins: Vitamin C and eight B Vitamins which include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, rely on fat for absorption. These vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Best Times to Take Your Supplements

The right time of day to take your supplements is the time that works best for you and your schedule. However, there are some tips according to experts that you may want to keep in mind. 

During Your Morning Routine

There are a lot of discussions when it comes to whether you should take your supplements in the morning or before bed. There are arguments for both—some say morning for efficacy while others say night so they absorb while you rest.

Most experts, however, suggest that you take your supplements during your morning routine is ideal. Here’s why:

At night, your digestion slows down, resulting in insufficient absorption.[4] Additionally, multivitamins and B vitamins tend to stimulate brain function and metabolism too much, so taking them before bed is not ideal. It might make it difficult to wind down and relax.[5,6]

However, it truly depends on when works best for you and when you’ll remember. So we suggest keeping your supplements in sight. Try next to your coffee maker or, if you rather take your supplements during lunch, keep a stash with you in your lunch bag or work bag.

What to Take With a Meal vs. What to Take on an Empty Stomach

A general rule of thumb is taking your supplements with a meal to decrease the chance of stomach upset.[7] Taking them with a meal can help improve absorption. However, there are a few considerations to the rule.

Take With a Meal

  • Fat-soluble vitamins and multivitamins absorb better when taken with a meal or snack, especially one that contains at least a teaspoon of fat. 
  • Research also shows that taking probiotics with a meal or even 30 minutes before a meal is ideal.[8]  
  • Iron, fish oil, and magnesium are known to cause stomach upset if taken on an empty stomach.

Doesn’t Require a Meal

  • Water-soluble vitamins just need a liquid and can be absorbed without food.
  • Cleated minerals

Take With Water

No matter when you take your supplements, it is always recommended to take your supplements with a glass of water. This is because fluid intake is a key component of breaking down the supplement and ensuring that all of its ingredients are dispersed. 

As mentioned before, fluid intake is also important for water-soluble vitamins to fully absorb. 

So when in doubt, always take supplements with a glass of water.

Consistency is Key

While timing can play a role in taking your supplements, the true key is consistency. As long as you follow the recommended use on the labels as well as these guidelines, consistency is what will help give you results.

When it comes to water-soluble vitamins especially, you’ll need to take them regularly. This is because they are not readily stored in the body. Excess water-soluble vitamins are, in turn, excreted through urine.[3] 

Keep your supplements where you know you won’t forget about them. Set reminders on your phone or use some form of tracking them. Whatever you need to do to keep up a solid schedule with your supplements.

Have you started your health supplement regimen yet? Click here to browse our line of premium natural supplements that have clinically proven ingredients to transform your health. 


Resources:

  1.  FDA. (2022, June 2). FDA 101: Dietary supplements. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements 
  2. Lykstad J, Sharma S. Biochemistry, Water Soluble Vitamins. [Updated 2022 Mar 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538510/
  3. Shibata, K., Hirose, J., & Fukuwatari, T. (2014). Relationship Between Urinary Concentrations of Nine Water-soluble Vitamins and their Vitamin Intakes in Japanese Adult Males. Nutrition and metabolic insights, 7, 61–75. https://doi.org/10.4137/NMI.S17245 
  4. Dantas, R. O., & Aben-Athar, C. G. (2002). Aspectos dos efeitos do sono no aparelho digestório [Aspects of sleep effects on the digestive tract]. Arquivos de gastroenterologia, 39(1), 55–59. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0004-28032002000100010 
  5. Kennedy D. O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068 
  6. Zheng, Y., Ma, A. G., Zheng, M. C., Wang, Q. Z., Liang, H., Han, X. X., & Schouten, E. G. (2018). B Vitamins Can Reduce Body Weight Gain by Increasing Metabolism-related Enzyme Activities in Rats Fed on a High-Fat Diet. Current medical science, 38(1), 174–183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11596-018-1862-9 
  7. Team, D. H. (2021, December 29). 6 tips to avoid nausea after taking vitamins. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/get-nauseous-after-taking-vitamins-6-tips-to-make-them-easier-to-stomach/ 
  8. Tompkins, T. A., Mainville, I., & Arcand, Y. (2011). The impact of meals on a probiotic during transit through a model of the human upper gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial microbes, 2(4), 295–303. https://doi.org/10.3920/BM2011.0022 
Samantha

Written by Samantha