Supplement Routine 101: What are the Best Times to Take Supplements?
Have you ever wondered if you should take supplements in the morning or at night? With food or without? You’re not alone; it can be confusing. While there may be no clear wrong way to take vitamins and minerals, there are tips to optimize supplement efficiency and ensure they deliver the highest potency. We’re here to break it down for you and recommend the best times to take your favorite supplements and how to maximize their effectiveness!
Best Time of Day to Take Vitamins
Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, taking it with food enhances absorption. Fats found in food help facilitate the entry of vitamin D into the bloodstream. Some healthy, high-fat food sources include eggs, nuts, and avocados. If you have little exposure to sunlight, consider taking vitamin D supplements in the morning to kickstart your day with a dose of sunshine in a bottle.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means your body doesn’t store it like fat-soluble vitamins. Any excess vitamin C is excreted in urine. For this reason, it’s often recommended to take water-soluble vitamins several times a day. Vitamin C supplements can be taken in the morning or night, ideally both. While it doesn’t have to be taken with food, if it causes stomach discomfort due to its acidity, pairing it with a meal is a wise choice.
B vitamins can be taken individually or together in a B-complex supplement. B vitamins, like vitamin C, are water-soluble, so you have the flexibility to take them with or without food. Some research suggests that morning consumption is beneficial since these vitamins play a vital role in nutrient metabolism and energy production.
Multi-vitamins are usually a combination of several vitamins and minerals, both fat-soluble and water-soluble. Taking multivitamins in the morning can help boost healthy energy levels to start your day. However, combining several vitamins and minerals can be hard on an empty stomach so it is best to pair them with a meal to avoid any stomach discomfort or nausea.
The Best Time to Take Minerals
There are several forms of magnesium, such as citrate, glycinate, chloride, and malate. Here we will focus on magnesium glycinate supplements, which promote nerve relaxation, cramp relief, and improved sleep. Taking it before bed is a good choice if you’re aiming for better sleep quality. It is unnecessary to take it with food, but taking it earlier in the evening with a meal may mitigate any discomfort. Consistency is key when taking magnesium, so try to take it around the same time every day.
Zinc can be taken any time of the day, with or without food. You kind of have to listen to your body on this one. Nausea is a frequently reported side effect of taking zinc supplements, so many people opt to take it with a meal. If you still feel sick, your body may be telling you to stop or to switch the source. Also, keep in mind that zinc supplementation may lead to copper deficiency, so it is often recommended to supplement with copper. It is also best to avoid taking zinc together with iron or calcium to prevent interference with each other.
Iron is another important mineral that can be taken at any time during the day. Iron supplements are absorbed on an empty stomach, but if they causes discomfort, they can be taken with food. To maximize absorption, pair your iron supplement with vitamin C. Low iron is one of the most common nutritional deficiencies, especially among women, so it is essential to be aware of and look out for the signs.
Calcium? Tricky one. Some research indicates it may help you fall asleep, making evenings a good choice. However, some health professionals advise that you don’t take calcium supplements at the same time as magnesium or multivitamins because it may hinder absorption. And because some people take magnesium at night to sleep and a multivitamin in the morning, maybe lunchtime is the sweet spot. At the end of the day, you must find the time that works best for you, depending on your routine. Most calcium supplements are recommended to be taken with food.
When to Take Omega-3 and Probiotics?
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega fatty acid supplements are usually recommended to be taken 2-3 times daily. So, morning, afternoon, or evening, choose what works best for you. Since omega-3s, EPA and DHA, are fats found in fish oil, taking them with a meal aids absorption.
Take probiotics about 30 minutes before a meal. This gives the good bacteria in your gut time to flourish and heal digestive issues before breaking down food. A convenient time is in the morning, right after you wake. This establishes a regular schedule, allows the probiotic supplement to go to work in an empty gut, and gives you the 30 minutes needed for optimal results.
The timing of digestive supplements depends on the product ingredients and health needs. For example, products that contain digestive enzymes, such as Enzyme Complex or Betaine HCL, are best taken right before a meal to support efficient fat breakdown. Other products such as Digestan™, Aloe Vera Gel Complex™, or Ulcerex™ are most beneficial after a meal, promoting relief from digestive discomfort such as bloating, cramps, or acid reflux.
Stress Relief Supplements
Supplements to promote stress relief can be taken as needed. Products such as Ashwagandha+™, Relax+™, or Passion Flower should be consumed when you need them most. If you start your day heading to a stressful job, plan to take your supplement in the AM to help maintain a sense of calm. If you have trouble sleeping at night and are a chronic nighttime overthinker, taking a calming supplement before bed might be a good solution. Ashwagandha and passion flower are often used to promote better sleep.
In the end, supplements must be taken regularly and daily for the best results. So, it’s most important to find a schedule that works for you and ensures you won’t forget to take them. Always talk to your healthcare provider if you have specific concerns about combining certain vitamins, supplements, and medication. Consistency is the key to reaping the benefits of your supplements.
Your Hispanic American Health Store
Health Hispanica® is a Hispanic-American health store specializing in supplements from Hispanic-American-owned brands such as Natura-Genics® and Yerba Farma®. We strive to provide quality and innovative supplements at fair prices and educate our clients and community on healthy living.
The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
The statements above are recommendations only and should not be taken as medical advice.