If you’ve shelled out the cash for a daily multivitamin, you want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. There are certain ways to maximize the efficacy of dietary supplements – such as taking them at the optimum time. But how do you know what’s the best time to take a multivitamin?
Especially since there are so many ingredients, it can be hard to know whether you should pop the pill in the morning or at night, with food or on an empty stomach. There’s a lot of contradictory advice out there that makes the decision even more confusing. Not to worry, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about the best time to take a multivitamin.
Does Timing Really Matter?
Taking a multivitamin, particularly if you’ve been directed to by your doctor, is a good way to banish nutritional deficiencies. Taking it at the right time can make the supplement more effective and therefore resolve your issues more quickly.
Factors such as meal timing have an impact on absorption of vitamins in the stomach. It also has an effect on unwanted symptoms such as nausea or trouble sleeping which can comes along with some multivitamin ingredients.
So, in short, timing does matter in some cases. While it’s not of huge importance, taking your multivitamin at a certain time could make your life a little easier.
Most multivitamins instruct that you take the supplement early in the day with food and drink. For most people, this is the optimum time to take a multivitamin.
Check The Ingredients
Certain vitamins, like fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), may be absorbed better when taken alongside dietary fat. (source) This implies that taking them with a meal may improve absorption. The absorption of water soluble vitamins (C and B vitamins) isn’t significantly influenced by whether they’re taken with a meal.
Formulations containing B vitamins are best taken early in the day. This is because this group of vitamins plays a role in metabolism. They are oftentimes found in energy drinks due to their ability to help the body turn food into fuel.
Have You Experienced Any Side Effects?
If you’ve been taking your multivitamin first thing in the morning and find yourself feeling nauseous by midday, try taking it with dinner instead. Some people find that they can easily sleep through the side effects.
You may also be able to curb gastrointestinal ill effects by taking your multivitamin with food and plenty of liquid. Getting your stomach moving with food and drink may break down the capsules more easily.
Ask Your Physician
Multivitamins can negatively interact with certain over the counter and prescription medications. (source) Some examples include certain antacids, antibiotics, and heart medications.
If this is the case, it’s best to check with your doctor what’s the best time to take a multivitamin. Your healthcare provider can ensure that your multivitamin doesn’t interact with any of your other medications. You may need to take them several hours apart or avoid a certain supplement altogether.
Follow the Package Directions
Most multivitamin manufacturers have taken into account the formula of their product and potential side effects when writing their directions for use. Unless you’ve experienced adverse effects or you’ve been directed by your doctor to take your vitamin at a different time, I’d opt to follow those directions.