- No scientific evidence proves that taking vitamins and dietary supplements at a particular time of day can reduce or enhance their effectiveness.
- Taking them at specific times may prevent adverse effects, however.
- Eating nutrient-rich foods is still the best way to obtain the nutrients that the body needs.
Is timing important for vitamins?
Vitamins work in different ways according to their types. While some may have special considerations, science does not support any specific recommendations for timing vitamin intake, except to ensure consistency.
Listed below are the recommended times for taking different types of vitamins.
Our bodies do not produce or store water-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin C and most B vitamins, so we need to consume them from animals, plants, and other supplemental sources.
You can get Vitamin C from various plant products, such as grapefruit, orange juice, and lemons. You can take Vitamin C at any time of the day in the recommended amounts.
B vitamins help boost energy and alleviate stress. It has eight types, and each has a separate function for the body:
- vitamin B-6
- vitamin B-12
- folic acid
- pantothenic acid
You can take several types of B vitamins simultaneously, or you may also opt for B vitamin complexes, which combine the daily amount of each B vitamin.
The recommended time for taking a B vitamin is after waking up to reap its energy-boosting benefits. Recent research has also found that vitamin B-6 may interfere with sleep and cause vivid dreams.
Your diet can usually provide your daily fat-soluble vitamin requirements.
Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they dissolve in oil, so they should be taken alongside meals to enhance absorption.
Women considering becoming pregnant should supplement with 0.4 to 0.8 milligram (mg) folic acid daily, suggests the United States Preventive Services Task Force.
According to a 2019 review, some prenatal vitamins can cause indigestion and nausea when taken on an empty stomach. To avoid this, a woman can consider taking the vitamin alongside a small snack.
It’s also best for a woman to consult with a doctor before taking any prenatal vitamins.
Minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are essential for body function. However, taking too much of a mineral can be toxic to the body, and taking it in an empty stomach may cause side effects, such as an upset stomach.
Should a person take supplements?
A 2019 prospective study indicates that taking dietary supplements does not reduce the overall risk of mortality, while a 2016 review of studies suggests there’s little evidence that vitamin supplementation can prevent heart disease.
Some vitamins may also interfere with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medications, so make sure to consult your doctor before taking one.
Some, like vitamin E and beta-carotene, may be harmful or even fatal if taken in large doses. Likewise, taking high levels of vitamin A during pregnancy can cause congenital irregularities.
Experts still believe that eating nutrient-rich foods is the best way to obtain the nutrients that the body needs. Nutrient-rich foods include kale, spinach, nuts, fruits, and low-fat meats.
Taking multivitamins is recommended if you have a deficiency.
Source: Medical News Today