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When Should I Take My Multivitamin?

DrSugar Answers: Timing With Vitamins?

DrSugar is in the house! And she's answering your health-related questions.

Dear DrSugar,
Just wondering if there is an ideal time of day, absorption-wise, to take multivitamins and supplements. Specifically, upon rising, before retiring, or somewhere in between. Thanks!
— Vitamin Curious

Thanks for a wonderful question. As I’ve mentioned before, multivitamins can be a very important addition to your everyday life, as they can ensure you're getting all the nutrients you need to be healthy. However, as the Mayo Clinic states, if you are already eating a well-balanced diet, you may not even need a multivitamin and if you do take one as a "safety net," you should know that you may exceed what your body needs or can use. The very same article also discussed how the more you spend on vitamins does not necessarily mean that the vitamins are any better! So, today, we’re going to expand on the multivitamin topic. To learn the optimal time to pop your multi keep on reading.

According to Dr. Andrew Weil, there are no rules about the best time of day to take supplements. His advice is to take them when they agree with you most. However, many people get nausea, heartburn and other stomach disturbances from taking vitamins and mineral supplements, especially when taking them on an empty stomach. Dr. Weil also recommends taking multivitamins with a meal containing fat. This allows for the best absorption and least stomach irritation.


Taking your vitamins with a meal containing fat is particularly important for good absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E. You can experiment taking your multivitamin with breakfast, lunch, and dinner to see which meal seems to protect you most from any stomach side-effects. FitSugar recently reported that research has shown that taking a multivitamin containing Vitamin D with dinner resulted in a high level of absorption of this very important vitamin.

Ultimately, talking with your physician is important regarding multivitamins and supplements, as your medical history (if you have medical problems or are on certain medications) may dictate what vitamins or supplements you should be taking. It seems though, that the time of day that is optimal to take multivitamins is not set in stone, but most of what information is out there seems to support taking it with meals.

Have a question for DrSugar? You can send it to me via private message here, and I will forward it to the good doctor.

DrSugar's posts are for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment recommendations. Click here for more details.

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guavajelly guavajelly 6 years
What I really want to know is: Do stomach acids destroy most of the vitamins we take. I take very few supplements and always wonder if I'm just paying for expensive pee!
guavajelly guavajelly 6 years
What I really want to know is: Do stomach acids destroy most of the vitamins we take. I take very few supplements and always wonder if I'm just paying for expensive pee!
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