Best Time To Take Multivitamins

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By Meghan Stoops, RDN

Reviewed by Juliana Tamayo, MS, RDN - Last Updated

Best Time To Take Multivitamins

Whether you are currently taking a multivitamin, have in the past, or are considering taking one in the future, you may have some questions about when to take them. Most people report taking multivitamins in the morning, but some take it whenever they remember.

Does timing really matter when taking your daily multi? If you’re looking for answers, you’re in the right place. In this guide, we’ll take a deeper look into the best time to take multivitamins, the benefits of taking them, and other common questions.

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Benefits of Taking Multivitamins

Multivitamins are great for filling in nutritional gaps and making sure we are getting everything we need each day, even if our diet may fall short a little. For those who need them, multivitamins are a great addition to your routine to ensure you are not falling behind on essential nutrients; however, vitamins and minerals are better absorbed in the form of food than supplements. If you can, it’s best to consume a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods to ensure adequate nutrition. 

Multivitamin Supplement Pills

Does Time of Day Matter for Taking a Multivitamin?

For best absorption, it is often recommended to take your daily multivitamin in the morning with your breakfast. Although, the timing of your daily multivitamin is not actually as important as being consistent with taking it. Most people find that getting into a routine of taking their vitamins in the morning with breakfast works best to avoid forgetting or taking them at irregular times during the day when you might not be eating or able to eat. Always try to take your multivitamin with food to avoid any uncomfortable side effects, such as nausea.

Best Time to Take Multivitamins: Factors to Consider

For most multivitamins, taking with food is encouraged; however, if you are taking a special combination of vitamins or individual vitamins, such as Vitamin B12, there are some other factors to consider.

Those taking vitamin B12 supplements, or B-complex vitamins, can take them on an empty stomach. These vitamins are water-soluble, so be sure to consume them with a large glass of water. B vitamins can also be linked to increased energy, so taking them in the mornings can help to prevent sleep disruptions.

Taking Multivitamins

Fat-soluble vitamin combinations, such as vitamin A, D, E, and K, should be taken with food to ensure absorption. These vitamins require fat to be absorbed into the body. If eating a large meal in the morning is not your thing, you can also take these with a glass of milk or a small amount of yogurt.

Since multivitamins are most often a combination of both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, taking these with your breakfast, or other meal, and a large glass of water can provide the best benefits for maximum absorption. 

Should I Be Taking a Multivitamin?

If you have not otherwise been prescribed or encouraged to take certain vitamins or minerals by your health care physician, the need for a regular multivitamin is a personal choice that depends on the quality of your diet. Not everyone needs to take a multivitamin.

The purpose of multivitamins is to fill in nutritional gaps, wherever they may be. If you eat a balanced diet rich in a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, lean meats, and dairy products, you likely don’t need to be taking a multivitamin. 

Taking Multivitamin Supplements

Those who should consider adding one into their routine are those who struggle with eating a balanced diet, those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, those who consume very low calories, those who have had bariatric surgery, and those with certain digestive conditions, such as Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and more. If you fall into one of these categories, always be sure to speak with your health care physician before adding a multivitamin into your routine.

Some top multivitamin options worth considering:

Final Thoughts: Best Time to Take Your Multivitamin

Multivitamins were created to help bridge nutritional gaps, whether related to poor diet, diet preference, or health conditions. However, a healthy diet is always a better option if it is available to you. The time you choose to take your multivitamin is whatever time you can be consistent, which is often in the mornings with breakfast. If you are taking a specialty vitamin recommended by your doctor, you might consider the type of vitamin before determining when you plan to take it and if you need to take it with food or simply a glass of water.

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Meghan Stoops, RDN

Meghan Stoops is a Registered Dietitian and licensed Nutritionist with a bachelor’s in Dietetics from San Diego State University. Meghan developed an interest in dietetics early on through her own personal struggles with nutrition misinformation. She began doing her own research, which sparked her passion for nutrition and it’s impact on our physical and mental health. Today, she takes take a non-diet, all-foods-fit approach to nutrition, and is devoted to teaching others that eating healthy does not mean restriction or sacrifice.