The Best Time to Take Multi-Vitamins

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The best time to take multi-vitamins is right after a meal with plenty of water, as many vitamins and minerals are fat soluble and require food in the system to be absorbed. Take a multi-vitamin after mealtimes with information from a registered and licensed dietitian in this free video on healthy eating.

Part of the Video Series: Health & Nutrition
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Video Transcript

My name is Christine Marquette and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian with Marquette Nutrition and Fitness and I'm going to talk to you about the best time to take multivitamins. In general, the best time to take multivitamins is after a meal with plenty of water. The main reason is that in a multivitamin, it just as it says, as the name implies, it has a variety of different types of vitamins and most vitamins are absorbed better if you have some food in your stomach. Particularly the fat soluble vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins will not be absorbed if you haven't consumed a small amount of fat. So if you were to take them on an empty stomach, that can really cause stomach upset and you really wouldn't absorb many of those fat soluble vitamins. In particular those are vitamins A, D, E and K. Those are your primary fat soluble vitamins. The other things to keep in mind as far as timing of a multivitamin, if it's a multivitamin that has iron in it and you are also someone who takes calcium, it's best if you don't take the calcium at the same time as you take that multivitamin with iron because calcium and iron can bind each other and prevent your body from absorbing either one. So it's critical that you don't take your multivitamin at the same time that you take calcium if that multivitamin has iron in it. The other thing to keep in mind is if you use fiber supplements, that also has an impact on how well your body will absorb the vitamins and minerals in your multivitamin. Fiber can actually bind different minerals and different vitamins and prevent your body from absorbing them. So once again, if you take fiber supplements, you need to take your multivitamin at a separate time. So ideally if you're taking a variety of things, you're taking calcium, you're taking fiber, you're taking multivitamins, you would take your multivitamin in the morning after your first meal. Then you can take your calcium perhaps after your second or third meal and you could also take your fiber with a different meal in the day so that you have it all spread out, none of them will interact with each other, they won't bind each other, you will actually absorb all the nutrients from the different supplements that you're taking. So ideally your multivitamin will be taken after your first meal of the day with an adequate intake of water.

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