The Best Time Of Day To Take Vitamins Isn't What You'd Typically Think
When I was a kid, one of my favorite parts of my morning routine was taking my gummy vitamins. They were fruity, chewy, and basically candies, but somehow were considered healthy enough that I got to take two on a daily basis. Now that I'm officially an adult, I've graduated to taking unappetizing vitamins — no gummies to be seen. The tastelessness of the supplements usually means that I forget to take them until much later in the day. Fortunately, the best time of day to take vitamins is pretty much any time of day, so if you have trouble fitting that step into the morning rush, no worries.
"The best time of day to take your vitamins is whenever you will remember them," private practice dietitian Erin Brown tells Elite Daily in an email. "The important part is to take them regularly, so if you're a morning person, then take them in the morning, or if taking them before brushing your teeth at night works best for you, take them then."
While it's pretty effective for getting into a habit, taking vitamins at the same time every day doesn't really make a difference in how your body absorbs them, says Brown. No matter what time of the day you decide to reach for your supplements, your body will absorb whatever it needs, and then expel the rest through your urine.
Some specific vitamins might benefit your body better when you eat them with food, though, according to Rachel Fine MS, RD, CSSD, CDN, a registered dietitian and owner of To The Pointe Nutrition. For example, she tells Elite Daily in an email, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D are best absorbed when taken with a meal or snack that incorporates a source of fat. So, if you take them in the morning, make sure to add cream cheese to your bagel or peanut butter to your oatmeal.
If you take a variety of supplements, you might not always want to take them all at the same time. "If someone takes multiple vitamins, the only two that shouldn't be taken at the same time are iron and calcium," explains Brown. "Calcium and iron get absorbed using the same pathway, and calcium always gets absorbed first. Therefore, by taking the two at the same time, you are reducing the absorption of iron," she says. "Also, it's best to take vitamin C and iron together, as vitamin C makes iron absorption more efficient."
While it's definitely OK to take your vitamins first thing when you wake up, there's one that you might consider taking them right before you fall asleep. A magnesium supplement might benefit you most if you take it at night, according to Robert Santos-Prowse MS, RDN. "You can maybe get some synergistic benefit from taking magnesium at night, because there is some evidence that it has a relaxing or sleep aid effect," he explains.
If it seems like a major hassle to take a variety of supplements each day while remembering what to take together (and what to take separately), you might benefit from opting for a multivitamin. This will help you be sure that you are not throwing off other vitamins with imbalance, says Dr. Jeff Golini, resident nutrition expert with Winner Circle Athletics.
Just so you know, adult gummy multivitamins are totally a thing, so you can indulge in your childhood passion for them while still making sure your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs. Just remember that, although they're tasty, you'll have to stick to enjoying only two of these each day.