We all want to stay healthy, and that's for sure. Harsh reality? It is hard to get everything we need from food alone. Despite consciously trying to eat and live healthily, we often fall short on several essential vitamins and minerals for optimal functioning.
Multivitamins and food supplements are a great way to fill in nutritional gaps in your diet.* They can help us get more of the vitamins and minerals our body needs for optimal health. * They're designed to supplement your diet with key nutrients that you might be missing out on. *
There are several factors we consider in choosing the best multivitamin. Many people go crazy reading through each label, checking for reviews, and asking for recommendations from friends and family members. And yet, there's one significant factor that most of us often overlook: The best time of the day to take multivitamins.
So, when is the best time to take multivitamins — Morning or night?
Well, you may read different opinions from different resources across search engines and social media platforms. Some experts like Jeffrey Blumberg (a professor) and Neil Levin (a clinical nutritionist) agreed that multivitamins tend to perform best when taken in the morning as they stimulate brain function and metabolism, which can be too much for a relaxing evening. Blumberg also stated that digestion slows down during sleep, so taking nutrient supplements late at night is likely to reduce absorption.
Determining the best time to take multivitamins shouldn't be rocket science or even set in stone. It's pretty simple — it's when your body's absorption is at its maximum, plus it also depends on the type of vitamin.
Here's a breakdown of when specific vitamins should be taken:
Dr. Perez Gallardo of Cleveland Clinic recommended taking water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C and B12 on an empty stomach. All B Vitamins, except folate, is vital in our body's energy production.* Vitamin B6, for instance, has anti-stress properties, which help to improve our mood and promote brain function to keep us productive and focused during the day.* Obviously, taking it at night is not ideal as it can interfere with sleep and cause vivid dreams.*
A study published by the National Library of Medicine tackled that REM sleep deprivation alters calcium ion concentration, membrane-bound ATPases, membrane fluidity, and gene expression.* These alterations are likely to induce changes in cellular physiology, including the spike in the generation of free radicals.* Now, how does it relate to taking vitamins?
There are vitamins like Vitamin E that contain antioxidant properties and offer a lot of benefits to people who are struggling to sleep at night. * Vitamin E has a neuroprotective effect, so it is best taken with dinner or before bedtime. *
It's also worth mentioning that fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamin D, are best taken after eating foods that contain fat. * You won't actually need too much fat. Dr. Perez-Gallardo shared that even small amounts of whole or low-fat milk or yogurt can do the trick.
With food or without food?
Multivitamins are often taken in the morning, but there are specific vitamins that are best taken with food and others that are best taken on an empty stomach.
Vitamins A, D, E, and K should be taken in conjunction with a meal for maximum absorption.* Vitamin D works best with the largest meal of the day.
Supplements that are not ideal to be taken on an empty stomach are calcium, iron, and magnesium, as they are likely to upset your stomach.* So, taking these vitamins with food will improve absorption and aid digestion. *
Water-soluble vitamins, especially B vitamins and vitamin C, are best absorbed in the body on an empty stomach. *So, taking them as soon as you wake up or before breakfast is ideal. Fun fact! The human body only takes what it needs from water-soluble vitamins, so the rest are just excreted through urine.
How about prenatal multivitamins?
Now let's talk about the best time of the day to take prenatal vitamins!
While most nutritionists suggest that we can get the essential nutrients from the food we eat, not everyone is in a position to eat well, like pregnant moms who usually endure the annoying changes brought by morning sickness.
Prenatal multivitamins typically contain different types of vitamins and minerals, so it's quite tricky to determine whether to take them when we're full or when our tummy's empty. While there is prenatal multi like Root'd that is safe to be taken any time of the day, you may want to take it with your breakfast or lunch to prevent nausea and lower the chance of an upset stomach or acid reflux.
Root'd Prenatal MULTI is also infused with sugar-free electrolytes as our thoughtful consideration to help you replenish lost electrolytes due to morning sickness and to keep you and your baby healthy and hydrated.*
Who should take multivitamins?
Adults usually benefit the most from taking multivitamins. Absorption of essential vitamins such as vitamin B12 and vitamin D decreases as we age, so taking food supplements may help to address this issue. *
Vegans and vegetarians should also take nutritional supplements and vitamins since they usually don't get enough omega-3s, iron, calcium, and vitamins B12 and D. *
When it comes to supplements and vitamins, everyone's body is different—which means that what works for your besties might not work for you. That's why it's always best to consult a doctor before taking any supplement or multivitamin. They can recommend the best option for your specific needs and health goals.