When to Take Vitamins: Suggested Times and Doses
We all need vitamins and minerals to ensure long-term bodily health, grow and develop into healthy adults, and maintain our health as we get older. But even though vitamins are important, your body responds differently to different vitamin groups and needs more or less of certain vitamins compared to others.
Some vitamins are best taken at certain times and in specific dosages. Today, let’s break down the suggested times and doses for essential vitamins included in many multivitamins and supplements from Hope Health.
Water Soluble vs. Fat Soluble Vitamins
There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body's fat. Any extra amounts of the vitamins are passed through the urine if those vitamins aren't absorbed quickly enough by the digestive system.
Fat-soluble vitamins are the opposite; these vitamins can be stored in the body’s fat reserves, so if you have extra vitamins, you don’t necessarily need to take more for some time. That said, taking too many fat-soluble vitamins can also be dangerous as high levels of certain vitamins and minerals can be toxic to your body.
Anyone taking a multivitamin or supplement needs to know the appropriate dosage for their vitamins to ensure no side effects. Since water-soluble vitamins have to be replaced frequently, larger doses are usually appropriate, and many water-soluble vitamins can be taken daily.
In contrast, fat-soluble vitamins should be taken in small doses to avoid storing too many of them in the body’s fat. Fat-soluble vitamins can be taken throughout the day, though the “ideal” time is still dependent on the vitamin in question.
Let’s look at some specific vitamin examples so you know when you should take over-the-counter vitamins and how much is usually appropriate.
When to Take B Vitamins (Water Soluble)
First up are B vitamins, which are either included in multivitamins or as B complex vitamins. There are eight major B vitamins, including vitamin B9 (or folate/folic acid) and vitamin B12. Each of these water-soluble vitamins plays a key role in nutrient metabolism, energy production, and more.
In fact, because B vitamins help your body produce and maintain energy levels, the best time of day to take B vitamin supplements is at the beginning of the day, preferably with breakfast. You may also benefit from taking B vitamins without any food, however, as taking these vitamins on an empty stomach could help your body absorb the vital nutrients very quickly.
Don’t take B vitamins right before bed, as their energetic properties could cause you to be alert and awake when you are trying to go to sleep.
When to Take C Vitamins (Water Soluble)
Vitamin C is also one of the most important vitamins overall since it plays a critical role in several bodily functions. It’s necessary for immune system health to be a powerful antioxidant. It is also needed so your body can make neurotransmitters and collagen, a key protein that gives your skin its shape and elasticity.
Many vitamin C supplements include ascorbic acid or calcium ascorbate. Thus, the bioavailability of these supplements is similar to that of fruits and vegetables, where you find vitamin C naturally. Vitamin C can also be found in citrus juices, like orange juice.
Generally, it's safe to take vitamin C supplements any time of the day with or without food. However, taking vitamin C supplements with food can reduce the risk of side effects to your stomach acids or an upset stomach (because many vitamin C supplements are acidic).
Vitamin C supplements should be taken in doses of less than 1000 mg in general.
When to Take A Vitamins (Fat Soluble)
Vitamin A is fat-soluble, and most people aren’t anywhere close to vitamin A deficient. The majority of vitamin A supplements come from fish liver oil or carotenoids. In either case, vitamin A supplements are best eaten with a meal that contains fat to ensure absorption of any extra.
However, odds are you don’t need a vitamin A supplement unless you have been told to take one by your doctor or healthcare provider.
You only need about 700 to 900 mcg of vitamin A per day for men or women, respectively.
When to Take D Vitamins (Fat Soluble)
Vitamin D, a.k.a. The sunshine vitamin plays a major role in cell growth, bone health, and immune system functionality. In contrast to vitamin A, many people are at least slightly deficient in vitamin D.
Fortunately, you can take vitamin D at any time of the day, although you can ensure optimal bioavailability by taking vitamin D supplements with meals or snacks that contain fat. Also important to note is that you need enough magnesium in your diet to activate vitamin D. Therefore, you should possibly try to target vitamin D supplements that also include magnesium.
Note that you only need about 80 mcg of vitamin D per day.
When to Take E Vitamins
Vitamin E supplements are important antioxidants and also play a key role in immune system functionality. It’s found in a variety of foods, so a deficiency in vitamin E is quite rare. However, it may occur in individuals with cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease, or other chronic conditions.
Vitamin E supplements should be taken with a meal if possible, and you can generally take vitamin E at any time during the day.
Vitamin E dosages shouldn’t exceed around 15 mg per day.
When to Take K Vitamins
Last but not least is vitamin K, which is technically a group of fat-soluble compounds. Regardless, vitamin K is needed for heart health, bone health, and blood clotting. While clinical vitamin K deficiency is very rare, you might have this deficiency if you have a bleeding disorder.
Take vitamin K supplements at any time a day with a nutrition-rich snack or meal that contains fat to ensure that any excess is stored in your body’s fat for later use. Also, note that some vitamin K supplements can interact negatively with anticoagulant medications.
Vitamin K supplement doses shouldn’t exceed 120 mcg for adults in most cases.
All in all, understanding when and how to take vitamins and mineral supplements is crucial if you want to take advantage of their included ingredients as much as possible. Fortunately, you can get many of the most important vitamins and healthy compounds your body needs from natural, organic supplements from Hope Health.
Some other types of vitamins you can also take are niacin, zinc, fish oil, riboflavin, and biotin.
Our Immune+ Organic Tablets are specifically formulated so that you need to take three tablets for a perfect dose of key minerals and nutrients like Vitamin C, Elderberry, and Moringa. Even better, you can find other important supplements and vitamins at our online store.
Check it out today and remember that the best supplements are made with natural, healthy ingredients, no unnecessary chemicals or additives.
Vitamins: Their Functions and Sources | University of Michigan Health
The Best Time to Take Vitamins | Cleveland Clinic
By the way, doctor: What's the right amount of vitamin C for me? | Harvard Health
Vitamin D Deficiency - StatPearls | NCBI