When is the best time to take vitamins?Scannable guide

author: Expert reviewer:

February 28, 2024

Hannah Fry

Beauty & Wellness Assistant Editor

Hannah Fry

Beauty & Wellness Assistant Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at Mindbodygreen. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah writes about lifestyle topics including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development and more.

Emma Engler, M.S.

expert review

Emma Engler, M.S.

mbg nutritional research scientist

Emma Engler, MS, is a nutrition research scientist at Mindbodygreen, supporting nutritional product research, development and innovation, as well as science education and communication.

Various vitamins and supplements

Image Source: Tatjana Zlatkovic /stokesi

February 28, 2024

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Side effects such as stomach pain, nausea, and fatigue may occur after taking vitamins. However, taking supplements at the right time during the day or night can help combat these side effects permanently.

We know that deciding when to take certain vitamins can be confusing (after all, there are many different types of vitamins on the market), so we’re making it easier for you with this cheat sheet. This is the best time to take each vitamin in your daily diet.

What you need to know:

  • B vitamins should not be taken at night. Since they tend to be more energizing for some people, they may cause sleep problems in some people. While this may not be true for everyone, other supplements like magnesium and CBD are better suited to taking before bed.
  • Fat-soluble vitamins should be taken with food. These include vitamins A, D, E and K. Take with food to promote proper absorption by the body.
  • Vitamins, minerals, and other active ingredients may cause drug interactionssuch as interfering with absorption, so ask your doctor how to time your prescription with other prescriptions to ensure safety.

When to take vitamins and supplements

Below you’ll learn more about the most important instructions for taking each common vitamin. We’ll tell you if you should take it with or without food, the best time of day, and any common contraindications that come to mind.

Vitamin A: Take anytime, with food

“Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. As with all fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), its bioavailability is increased when taken with vitamin A source of fat,” explains a registered dietitian. Maya Ferrer, RD, CDN.

Either take vitamin A with a meal that contains healthy fats or make snacks with ingredients like avocado and peanut butter to ensure vitamin A is absorbed properly.

Feller adds that people who are pregnant or have liver disease need to talk to their doctor before starting to supplement with vitamin A, especially in the form of retinol. Some blood thinner medications may also have contraindications to high doses of vitamin A, so if you’re also taking these medications, talk to your doctor about them, she said.

Vitamin C: Anytime, with or without food

“Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and does not need to be taken with food to increase bioavailability,” Feller says.

However, some people experience gastrointestinal symptoms when taking vitamin C, including upset stomach and loose stools if they overdose, so keep this in mind if you are trying a new product.

Anyone who is susceptible to certain types of kidney stones needs to talk to their doctor first.

Vitamin D: Take anytime, with food

Feller says vitamin D bioavailability increases when you take it with a meal that contains fat. However, the time of day is not that important.

Vitamin E: Take anytime, with food

Vitamin E is another fat-soluble vitamin that should be taken with a meal containing healthy fats to increase absorption.

Similar to vitamin A, people taking blood thinner medications need to discuss with their doctor when and whether to take this medication.

Vitamin K: Anytime, with food

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is best taken with food.

Lifestyle Doctor and Longevity Expert Poonam Desai, MD It is recommended that people with kidney health problems discuss with their doctor when and whether to take this vitamin.

B-complex vitamins: Take in the morning or on an empty stomach

“B vitamins are water-soluble, so [they] It can be taken on an empty stomach at any time of the day,” Desai said.

However, she adds that some people do report trouble sleeping after taking some B vitamins, so she recommends taking them in the morning to be safe.

“In addition, B vitamins play a vital role in metabolism and energy production, which is another reason why morning is a good time to take B vitamins,” she points out.

Multivitamin: Take in the morning, with food

because most Various vitamins Containing B vitamins, Desai recommends taking it in the morning to avoid sleep disruption.

Since multivitamins usually also contain some or all of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K), you’ll want to take them with food, too.

Prenatal vitamins: Take any time, with food

For optimal absorption, Desai recommends taking your prenatal vitamins with food. “Many women experience nausea during pregnancy and take prenatal vitamins Eating it with food can reduce the likelihood of nausea, acid reflux and stomach upset,” she adds.

If your prenatal pill contains B vitamins, it’s best to take it in the morning.

When to take other supplements

Now that we’ve covered the best times to take vitamins, let’s dive into when to take other popular supplements like minerals and probiotics:

Iron: Anytime, with food

iron “Iron is a mineral that can be taken with vitamin C to increase its absorption,” says Feller. Iron vitamins can be taken on an empty stomach, but are best taken with food.

The mineral may cause stomach upset in people who are prone to gastrointestinal problems, she said. If this happens to you, consider pairing the supplement with food (but avoid high doses of calcium, fiber-rich foods, or taking with thyroid medication) Prevent possible interactions).

Constipation is also a possible side effect of iron supplements.if you have Having trouble getting things moving After taking iron supplements, Feller recommends switching to a liquid iron supplement that is easier to digest.

Magnesium: depends on type

  • Magnesium bisglycinate: magnesium bisglycinate It has specific benefits for sleep quality, so it should be taken about an hour before bed. This form tends to be the most bioavailable, easy to digest And does not need to be taken with food.
  • magnesium citrate: Best taken early in the day with food.
  • Magnesium oxide: It’s best to take it early in the day with some food.
  • Magnesium Malate: It’s best to take it first thing in the morning with some food.

Feller noted that patients with heart, kidney or gastrointestinal disease and those taking prescription medications should consult their doctor before starting a high-dose magnesium supplement.

Calcium: Take anytime, with food

Calcium is another delicate supplement in terms of its relationship to other medications, especially thyroid medications, so be sure to check with your doctor before purchasing and consider the best time of day to supplement to avoid malabsorption. or side effects.

Another note is that calcium absorption is limited to about 500 milligrams at a time, so if you’re taking a higher dose (for example, to meet bone density needs), it’s best to take calcium supplements spaced out throughout the day.

Probiotics: Any time, with or without food

Different probiotics contain different type of bacterial strain, Therefore their effects vary widely. Therefore, Feller explains, there are no universal recommendations for when to take probiotic supplements. Check the label to see if it should be taken with food, in the morning, etc.

Protein powder: anytime, preferably before or shortly after exercise

As for timing, it really depends on your goals and daily schedule. If you plan to exercise that day, consider taking protein a few hours before or after your workout.

If you didn’t work out that day but still want to take a protein powder (this is a valuable stepping stone towards your goals) Daily protein intake goal), take it whenever you want as a snack or add it to a meal.

Collagen: Take anytime, with food

Desai says collagen protocols vary widely depending on the form included in the supplement. However, she notes that most collagen should be taken with food to increase absorption. Since many collagen supplements come in powder form, it’s easy to use them in smoothies, lattes, yogurt, and more.

Hemp-derived CBD: anytime you want to relax, with or without food

Given the calming effects of hemp-derived CBD, it can be especially beneficial when taken before bed or when you want to relax.

This supplement does not have as many contraindications, but it is best to consult your doctor before adding CBD to your regimen.

Replenish when to take bring food
Vitamin A Any time Yes
Vitamin C Any time It doesn’t matter
Vitamin D Any time Yes
Vitamin E Any time Yes
Vitamin K Any time Yes
B vitamins morning It doesn’t matter
Various vitamins morning Yes
prenatal vitamins Any time Yes
iron Any time Yes
magnesium depends on form depends on form
calcium Any time Yes
Probiotics Any time depends on strain
protein powder Any time It doesn’t matter
collagen Any time Yes
CBD Any time you want to relax Yes

Mind body green POV

Some vitamins and minerals are best taken in the morning, while others are perfect for taking in the evening. You’ll also want to take certain supplements with food to increase their bioavailability (and reduce the risk of indigestion).

Also, remember to double-check your supplement routine to make sure you are not exceeding the recommended dose, as many vitamins and minerals have an upper tolerable limit (UL) or a maximum daily intake that has been shown to be safe. Input amount.

This guide provides a general primer on when to take vitamins and supplements, but refer to the label on your specific product to be sure.

Finally, if you are taking medications, talk to your doctor before purchasing a supplement and let them know if you have any adverse side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues, nausea, etc.


Is it better to take vitamins in the morning or in the evening?

B vitamins have been shown to disrupt sleep in some people, so they are best taken in the morning. Vitamins A, C, D, E and K can be taken at any time of day, but most should be taken with food.

What vitamins are best to take at night?

Taking supplements like magnesium and CBD before bed can support sleep.

Should vitamins be taken before or after meals?

It depends on the supplement. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, K and B, are best taken with or after meals to increase absorption.


Knowing when to take your supplements can help you maximize their benefits. While there are some helpful guidelines, it’s best to double-check your product labels and talk to your doctor if you’re unsure. Not sure where you should take your vitamins first? Take our quiz A personalized supplement plan will help you optimize your health.

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