Presse Santé

What is the best time of day to take vitamins?

To function properly, your body needs 13 vitamins, 9 of which are water-soluble and 4 fat-soluble. Although these nutrients are found in varying amounts in foods, some people need to take supplements of certain vitamins to meet their nutritional needs. Normally, most vitamins can be taken at any time of the day. That said, some vitamins are better absorbed under special conditions, which is why it is good to know how and when to take a supplement to promote optimal absorption. This article explains how and when to take vitamins.

As the name suggests, water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. So it is not necessary to take them with food so that they are absorbed. There are nine water-soluble vitamins, including vitamin C and the eight vitamins B – B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 ​​(pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate ) and B12 (cobalamin).

You need to eat water-soluble vitamins regularly because, unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they are not easily stored in your body tissues. In contrast, excess water-soluble vitamins are excreted in the urine.

When to take water-soluble vitamins?

Vitamin C

Vitamin C plays many essential roles in your body. For example, it works as a powerful antioxidant and is needed for immune health, as well as for the synthesis of collagen and neurotransmitters. There are several forms of vitamin C supplements, including ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids, liposomal vitamin C, and calcium ascorbate. Ascorbic acid supplements have a bioavailability similar to that of ascorbic acid in foods such as fruits and vegetables. You can take vitamin C supplements at any time of the day, with or without food, although taking ascorbic acid with food can help decrease the potential gastrointestinal side effects caused by its high acidity. Be sure to keep vitamin C supplements in a cool, dark place, as this nutrient is sensitive to heat and light.

Also keep in mind that when excess vitamin C is excreted, doses above 1,000 mg are usually not needed – except in specific circumstances, such as high-dose intravenous vitamin C treatment. .

Vitamins B

B vitamins are sold individually or as B-complex supplements that contain all eight B vitamins. They are water-soluble. As they are water soluble, you can take them with or without food and at any time of the day. That said, it is often recommended to take B vitamins in the morning because of their important role in nutrient metabolism and energy production. In addition, some people may benefit from fasting B vitamins. For example, people with B12 deficiency are advised to take B12 supplements on an empty stomach with water to promote maximum absorption.

When to take fat-soluble vitamins?

Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins depend on fats to be properly absorbed. Thus, it is generally recommended to take fat-soluble compounds with a meal that contains fats.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency is rare but more common in developing countries. Some populations are more at risk of developing vitamin A deficiency due to increased needs or reduced absorption. These include pregnant and lactating people and people with cystic fibrosis. Most vitamin A supplements contain vitamin A derived from fish liver oil or in the form of vitamin A carotenoids, which are plant compounds that your body converts into the active form of vitamin A. For optimal absorption, you should take vitamin A supplements with a high-fat meal. Keep in mind that if you have a balanced diet, taking vitamin A supplements is usually not necessary.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is needed for immune function, bone health, cell growth, and more. Unfortunately, more than a billion people in the world are deficient in this important nutrient. Vitamin D can be taken at any time of the day, and most of these supplements should be taken with high-fat meals or snacks to ensure optimal absorption. For example, a study of 50 older adults found that vitamin D absorption was 32% higher in those taking a vitamin D supplement with a high-fat meal than in those taking a low-fat meal. It is important to note that vitamin D activation depends on the presence of adequate levels of magnesium. Therefore, to maintain healthy vitamin D levels, make sure you also consume enough magnesium.

Also keep in mind that some fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin E, can affect the absorption of vitamin D. In contrast, taking vitamin K at the same time as vitamin D can be beneficial for bone mineral density.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E works as a major antioxidant in your body and is essential for healthy blood circulation and immune function. It is also a popular dietary supplement, although this nutrient is found in many foods and deficiencies are rare. That said, people with certain illnesses, including short bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and Crohn’s disease, sometimes need to take a vitamin E supplement to avoid any deficiencies.

It is usually recommended to take vitamin E supplements with a meal. It may not be necessary to take vitamin E with a high-fat meal, as long as you consume enough fat at subsequent meals. Keep in mind that while vitamin E is essential for health, taking too much of it as a supplement can be harmful to some people. For example, some research suggests that high-dose vitamin E supplements may lead to a high risk of prostate cancer in healthy men.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K refers to a family of fat-soluble compounds that includes vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinones).

Vitamin K is needed for blood clotting, bone and heart health, and more. Clinically significant vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults, although it is more common in people with clotting and malabsorption disorders, as well as in people taking medications that interfere with vitamin absorption. K. You can take vitamin K supplements at any time of the day with a high-fat meal or snack. Since most people get enough vitamin K from their diet, it is not recommended to take high-dose supplements, although these supplements are generally safe and are not associated with significant side effects (28Trusted Source ).

Nevertheless, vitamin K supplements can interfere with some anticoagulant medications. If possible, take vitamin K separately from fat-soluble vitamins E and A. On the other hand, taking vitamins D and K together can be beneficial because these nutrients work in synergy to promote healthy bone and healthy calcium levels in your body


Multivitamins typically contain a variety of vitamins and minerals. Some people prefer multivitamins to single nutrient supplements because they are convenient and can be cheaper. Although data on the long-term health benefits of taking multivitamins are inconsistent, it is known that their intake can help fill nutrient deficiencies, especially in vulnerable populations such as the elderly and women. speakers.

Because these supplements usually contain fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, it is usually recommended to eat them with a meal. This can improve the absorption of certain nutrients while reducing the risk of gastrointestinal disorders, which can occur when taking multivitamins on an empty stomach.

If you take two or more pills a day, consider splitting the dose to help your body absorb certain nutrients more effectively. For example, take one pill for breakfast and another for lunch.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE INFORMATION GIVEN REPLACE THE CONSULTATION OF A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL.

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