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The best time to take multivitamins depends on the type of vitamins you’re taking. Some vitamins work best on an empty stomach while others work best after you’ve eaten a complete meal. You may feel your best if you take multivitamins in the morning, however, some people prefer to take them before bed.
While there is no “right” time to take multivitamins, we can help determine what routine is best suited for you based on what you are taking.
Before you dive too deep into your daily multivitamin routine, consult with your doctor. Some vitamins can cause negative reactions if mixed with certain prescription drugs. Taking more than the recommended daily dosage of multivitamins can also create other health risks.
B vitamins are most-commonly taken to increase energy levels and reduce stress levels. That’s why they’re often recommended during the winter months.
Some of the most common forms of B vitamins are B2, B6, and B12. If you are taking any of these water-soluble vitamins (vitamins that are carried to the body’s tissues but not stored in the body), it is good to do so in the morning on an empty stomach.
Other common water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C and Folate (Folic Acid). Again, since these vitamins are carried to the body’s tissues, they are most effective when taken on an empty stomach. This is easiest to remember in the morning, but if you find that taking these vitamins in the morning upsets your stomach, you can also take them at least thirty minutes prior to a meal or two hours after a meal.
It’s also important to learn the difference (and benefits) between folate and folic acid. One is the common form of B9 and the other is synthesized.
Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins are carried into the bloodstream to help perform the body’s essential functions. Some of the most common fat-soluble vitamins are vitamin A (to strengthen your immune and reproductive systems), vitamin E (to improve eye and heart health, and more), vitamin K (for bone health and normal blood clotting), and vitamin D (to regulate calcium and phosphate levels in the blood).
The optimal time to take these vitamins is with an evening meal that contains saturated fats and oils because they are dissolved in our bodies using fats and stored in the liver.
As the name suggests, prenatal vitamins are taken to supply important nutrients to pregnant women. However, you do not need to be pregnant to take them. Consult with your doctor if you think you could benefit from adding a prenatal vitamin to your daily routine.
Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins that include calcium, folic acid and iron. With this combination, it is recommended that prenatal vitamins be taken before a daytime meal, preferably with a full glass of water. It is common for women to feel nauseous or constipated when taking prenatal vitamins. If you are experiencing these symptoms, try taking the vitamins before bed to make you feel more comfortable.
As a general rule, do not double your dose of any multivitamin, especially prenatal vitamins. Increasing your consumption of prenatal vitamins will develop too much vitamin A, which can be harmful to your baby.
The best time to take multivitamins depends on what you’re taking. Remember, water-soluble vitamins are best taken on an empty stomach, while fat-soluble vitamins are most effective when consumed with a meal.
If you have questions or concerns about your daily multivitamins, consult with your doctor before consumption.
Eating healthy is also an important way to absorb all of these necessary vitamins and nutrients. For tips on preparing healthy meals on-the-go and health facts about fast food diets, get our guide to “Eating Healthy On A Busy Schedule.”