The Best Way to Take Vitamins

Although it is essential to consume healthy diets that are high in fruits, vegetables, proteins and grains, and low in fats, daily supplements and multivitamins help to ensure your body is getting what it needs. But knowing when and how to take these supplements is key to getting the most out of your daily pill.

  1. Timing is Everything

    • The best time to take a vitamin is in the morning, when the body is deprived of nutrients and needs energy to rise and function. Generally, supplements and vitamins should be taken within 30 minutes after eating a healthy breakfast--specifically, one high in protein, calcium and fruit. Consuming the vitamin while eating food helps to ensure the vitamin is processed by the body, as it will be broken down and digested along with the food. Taking your vitamin in the morning also ensures that the vitamin's nutrients are used effectively throughout the day.

    When to Consume Multiple Pills

    • Although many people rely on just one daily multivitamin, some consumers choose to take several supplements or pills daily. In this case, it's essential to understand the science of vitamin breakdown and apply this knowledge directly. Some vitamins, for example, work well when mixed together, while others may hinder performance. Vitamin D and magnesium, for example, assist in calcium absorption and should be taken together. Calcium, however, minimizes the amount of iron the body can absorb, and thus calcium supplements should not be taken along with iron supplements or daily vitamins that contain high levels of iron. Vitamin C assists in iron absorption, and therefore a vitamin C pill or glass of orange juice taken along with a multivitamin is beneficial. Spacing out pills that work against one another is essential in ensuring a healthy, well-balanced diet.

    Special Multivitamins and Supplements

    • Although daily multivitamins are helpful in ensuring that your body is getting the necessary vitamins and nutrients, some patients need multivitamins more than others. Women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant are especially in need of multivitamins, specifically those that contain folic acid. Women who do not consume enough folic acid while pregnant have an increased chance of serious neural tube damage in their babies--specifically, the babies may have problems with their brain or spine. In addition, women and men over the age of 50 should consume special multivitamins that strengthen bones and promote blood circulation.

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