What's the best time of day to take vitamins or supplements?

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Several factors can help determine the best time of day to take vitamins or supplements. For instance, if you take medications regularly, timing your supplements right can help you avoid possible drug-supplement interactions. For example, calcium can decrease the absorption of some antibiotics, thyroid medications and other drugs if taken at the same time.

Timing may also help you increase your supplement's benefits. For example, there's some evidence that taking vitamin C at mealtime can help you absorb the iron in any plant-based foods at that meal. So if you take your vitamin C in the morning along with your bowl of iron-fortified cereal, you may absorb more iron from the cereal. On the other hand, your body can't absorb large amounts of calcium at once, so experts recommend taking doses of no more than 500 milligrams (mg) several times a day.

Talk to your doctor about any supplements you take, and about whether it's best to take them at a certain time of day.

A basic rule is that multi-vitamins or other supplements should be taken during or right after a meal for maximum absorption.

Continue Learning about Vitamins

Vitamins

Vitamins

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates vitamin supplements and provides recommended daily amount information. The FDA says that we should pay attention when considering vitamin supplements, because ...

frequently many different vitamins and minerals are combined into one product.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.