“Organic Farming” is very rare to see these days. Though you see vendors selling fruits and vegetables, labeled as “farm fresh” in the market, the question is — are they truly free from pesticides? I don’t think so. This is exactly the time when people start lacking in some vital vitamins, which their body needs. This has made millions and millions around the globe to turn towards “Vitamin Supplements”. Taking them is a great way to improve your nutrition. But the question is when is the best time to take vitamins? Are there any requirements when to consume and when to not? To clear you with everything, I have researched few facts and thought of putting them down in this article.
So, When Is The Best Time To Take Vitamins?
Learning the exact time or period to take vitamins is important because it makes sure that you get the most from them. However, the answer to the question – when is the best time to take vitamins depends on various things. Let me explain you deeply in this article.
Generally, the best time to take vitamin supplements is during or after your meals (in the daytime). Never take your vitamin supplements in empty stomach, as this quickly passes in the urine. This is very true if you are taking B & C vitamins (water-soluble). However, there are few supplements, which are only to be taken in the morning in empty stomach. Consult your doctor about this. If its exactly to be taken on your breakfast, after breakfast, before lunch or after lunch, is hard to determine generally. So, the timing to take your vitamin tablets all comes down to its type. Say for example, if it is a multivitamin (that combines few other vitamins), then the ideal time to take them is usually in the morning, with your breakfast. That is because vitamins are synthetic substance & are greatly absorbed when they are consumed with food.
I hope I have answered your question now. This is not the end of this article. There are still few more things, which are important for me to write and make you aware.
Learn More About The Best Time To Take Your Vitamins
Doctors advice infants, elderly & everyone in between, even including pregnant women, menopausal women, children and young adults to take vitamin / mineral supplements for different reasons. Minerals like iron, copper, calcium and vitamins like A, B, C, D, E & K from food sources help strengthen our immune system, teeth and bones. These nutrients not only boost energy but also improve your overall health. But, when is the best time to take vitamins? Though a short answer has been given to you in the above box, there are still few more things you need to know.
1. Its Best To Take Them In The Morning
The best time to take your vitamins is in the morning. Your body doesn’t have adequate nutrients after 8-hours of sleep. Thus, requires extra energy to rise & function. Most importantly, you should take your vitamin supplements within 30-minutes after your breakfast, particularly if it has higher quantities of protein, fruit and calcium. Taking them in the morning ensures that they are easily digested with your food. Moreover, it makes sure that the nutrients are effectively used throughout the day. On the other hand, few vitamins like C and B12 may have stimulating effects. In case, your body is stimulation-sensitive, never take them before / close to bedtime since this could disturb your sleep. It is highly advised to consult your doctor prior starting with any vitamin supplement.
2. Which Vitamins To Take When?
I hope you know about “fat-soluble” vitamins — ones that are accumulated in the body’s fat tissues. These vitamins require being consumed with some kind of dietary fat (like nuts) so that it is absorbed better by your system. Vitamins like A, D, E & are fat-soluble. Another type called “water-soluble” like vitamin C & B aren’t stored in fat tissues & if required, should be replaced every day. Again, it is suggested to take vitamin supplements in the morning. The only exception is the B-vitamins, which help people fight fatigue or stress. Since these are energy vitamins, avoid taking them during bedtime or before bedtime.
3. Vitamins To Be Taken With Breakfast
Repeating my answer again, most vitamins are supposed to be taken with your breakfast. This usually includes
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
These help your day to start right and healthy. How? The nutrients present in multivitamins & B-complex vitamins help convert food into energy, thereby, making your day start right. However, there’s one caution. Health experts don’t suggest taking “Calcium” with “Multivitamin”, especially if your multivitamin contains “Iron”. Calcium interferes with iron’s absorption. So, if you are taking multivitamin (that has iron) in your breakfast, take the calcium supplement with the other meal (lunch). On the other hand, “Vitamin C” increases better Iron absorption. Therefore, keep drinking orange juice during your breakfast or consume vitamin-C supplement with iron.
4. Vitamins To Be Taken With, Before & After Lunch
If you feel that lunchtime is more convenient to take your vitamins, then you certainly can, which more often includes
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
However, the most important thing is to have them with your food so that there is better dissolution & absorption. Again, never take a calcium supplement with a multivitamin that has iron in it.
5. Vitamins To Be Taken During, Before & After Dinner
Calcium supplements could be taken with your dinner or few hours after dinner (prior going to bed). However, the kind of calcium form you’re taking decides if you should be taking it with a snack or in a empty stomach or a meal. Calcium Carbonate best absorbs in the presence of food. So, such supplements can be consumed either during lunch or during dinner. Now, consider Calcium Citrate – these can be consumed with / without food because it doesn’t require stomach acid or food for absorption. Hence, you can take calcium citrate in empty stomach, bedtime or in-between your day meals.
6. Mostly, It Is With Your Meals But Sometimes Depends…
Multivitamins and vitamins come in limitless combinations. Therefore, the best time to take them depends on their nature and function. Since most vitamins and minerals are just nutritional elements, found in food, they are easily absorbed & digested when best took with a meal. This is exactly why doctors recommend taking vitamins during your meal.
7. Have Water-Soluble Vitamins Regularly
Vitamins like A, D, E & K fall under the category “fat-soluble vitamins. But Vitamin-B complex & vitamin-C aren’t – they are “water-soluble” instead. Water-soluble vitamins are eliminated regularly from the body via excretory – urine — whereas fat-soluble vitamins stay stored in the body. Due to this reason, you should take water-soluble ones regularly. To have proper absorption, digestion and unbroken vitamin flow, often doctors recommend splitting up the vitamins while taking them.
8. Take Multiple Vitamin Pills Together
Often people take only 1 multivitamin per day while others take different supplements every day. If this sounds more like you, then know the actual science involved behind the vitamin breakdown. For instance, few vitamins work well only when they are combined with others. A good example is vitamin-D + Magnesium combination. Both help in absorbing calcium better. Therefore, should be taken together. But calcium on the other hand, reduces the body’s ability to soak up iron. Thus, calcium supplements should not be taken with iron supplements / any vitamin that has higher iron levels. It is important to space out your supplements so that they work better on your overall health.
9. Be Cautious With The Calcium & Iron Interaction
Though doctors recommend taking vitamin supplements with meals, you cannot overlook how vitamins could interfere with the function or absorption of other vitamins. Say for example, people taking calcium supplements for osteoporosis & iron supplements for anemia — must take iron in the morning & calcium at some other time. Unless you don’t know which vitamin works better with what, don’t ever do the mistake of taking them together. Else, it develops a stomach-acid imbalance. Consult your doctor for this.
10. Be Cautious With The Vitamin-E & Vitamin-K Interaction
Apart from the above, even few other vitamins could react negatively too, if combined wrong. For instance, large amounts of vitamin-E could interfere with your body’s ability to use vitamin-K. Now, this particular vitamin is vital to make sure that there’s a appropriate blood clotting. However, when both are combined – it can increase bleeding risks.
11. Take Folic Acid And Vitamin-B12 Together
If you’re someone, who takes folic acid supplements, then make a note that you might end-up masking anemia, which is frequently caused when there is a deficiency in vitamin-B12 — leading to a nerve damage (can’t be reversed). For best results, take folic acid and Vitamin-B12 together.
12. Remember The RDAs
Minerals and vitamins are 2 different terms. To put it in a simple definition, minerals help vitamins to work better.
10 Vital Minerals Are Listed Below:
For every mineral and vitamin, you have a RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)
13.Appropriate Time To Gulp Down Water Soluble Vitamins
It is advised to take water soluble vitamins on an empty stomach, preferably 30 minutes before gobbling up your breakfast or 2 hours after your meals. The reason behind this is on an empty stomach, the body absorbs them in a much better way.
As the name suggests, the water soluble vitamins dissolve with the water that is already present in your body. Thus, the body takes in the entire vitamin content present in the medicine and then absorbs the supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin B and folic acid. The amount required gets absorbed by the body and the extra amount is then flushed out through urine. These days, with hectic schedules, people are not able to take proper care of their body. Thus, it is advised to include such supplements in the dietary regime.
14. Proper Time To Swallow Your Vitamin B Pills
Vitamin B is a supplement that helps in reducing stress and mood swings. Thus, it is recommended to inject in Vitamin B water soluble pills in your daily health routine. Vitamin B water soluble pills shall be taken before hogging on your breakfast, on an empty stomach.
It is important to start your day on a good note and Vitamin B will help you to get the much needed energy to go through your entire day. The most popular categories of vitamin B supplement taken by people are Vitamin B-2, B-6 and B-12.
It is often said that excess of anything is bad for health. Vitamin supplements are a sure fire way to boost your health and should be included in your daily diet, but it is important to take care of the appropriate consumption of these medicines. It is advised that these supplements shall be consumed after consulting a doctor and a proper dosage should be followed.
Other things, that should be pondered over is that the vitamin supplements should never be consumed with prescription drugs. For instance, do not mix Vitamin K with blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin).
Pregnant women should keep in mind, that the appropriate supplements should be consumed and there should be an overdose of a supplement that is not in low amount in your body. For example, if you have a low amount of iron in the body, then you should swallow double dose of iron instead of going extra on the vitamin. Your body is asking for more off iron and not vitamin. Overdose of vitamins in your body, will prove to be fatal for the child, because of the retinal produced in the body.
Always be aware of the diet while you are consuming supplements. This way you will be cautious of the supplements that the body requires and you are not on an overdose of vitamins,. If the overdose of vitamin occurs in your body, your body will go off balance. In terms of pregnancy, this is extremely harmful for the baby. You should make sure that the grains and cereals that you are consuming should be in balance with the vitamin supplements that you are taking.
Are Vitamin Supplements Safe?
In the recent years, studies have shown that consuming multivitamins might be unnecessary & even dangerous to some. A study result published in the year 2008 claimed that excess folic acid (contained in most multivitamins) leads to “prostate cancer”. And another 2011 research (involving women, taking supplements for more than 25-years) reported that these women had increased risk of death. An important thing to note here is the unlike prescription vitamins – ones that are not FDA tested or approved. The best way to check a vitamin’s safety is by looking for the USP Verified mark. This indicates an approval seal from “US Pharmacopeia-National Formulary”, (non government & nonprofit organization).
Let us also not overlook the fact that most foods we consume today are fortified with essential vitamins. Eating them on daily basis makes sure you are healthy. However, let’s face it — they are not “pesticides-free”, which becomes a major reason for people to head with multivitamins. It is highly advised to check with a doctor prior taking multivitamin supplements.
Do You Really Need Vitamin Supplements?
We get sufficient amounts of minerals and vitamins from our food. However, it becomes necessary for certain people to take vitamins. For example, pregnant women, elderly or ones who lack in a specific vitamin.
Where Do Vitamins Come From?
Usually, vitamin supplements are from foods.
- Vitamin-A is acquired from fresh fish liver oil
- Vitamin-C is acquired from rosehips
- Vitamin-B is extracted liver or yeast
- Vitamin E is acquired from maize or soy beans
On the other hand, vitamins can be synthetically produced. However, they aren’t as effective as the naturally-derived ones. So, buy the naturally extracted ones.
Where To Store Your Vitamin Supplements?
You need to store your vitamin supplements in a cool and dark place. It is best to keep them in your refrigerator but make sure that there’s a air-tight lid for the container.
What Health Issues Could Vitamins Cause?
Very little amounts or deficiency of any vitamin easily disturbs your body’s balance. Thereby, causing many health problems. On the other hand, excess of any vitamin is equally dangerous. It is particularly true when it comes to fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E & K. These vitamins are harder for a body to get rid through urine.
How To Get Vitamins Naturally From Your Diet?
There is no doubt that we require vitamins to lead a healthy life. But unless required, avoid taking supplements. Prefer healthy foods instead. Foods naturally have vitamins in them. Consider eating varieties of natural and fresh foods. This will help you have a better body & a better shape.