Supplementing your nutrition may include taking vitamins. The time you take vitamins is only important, since it normally syncs with certain activities. For instance, some vitamins work better, just like some medications, when you take them with food. So for maximum benefit, you take them at a mealtime. Some vitamins work better when taken on an empty stomach, so taking them before a meal is best. Other vitamins are best taken in the morning, since they can improve your energy level.
Fat soluble vitamins need fat for absorption.
As the name indicates, these vitamins dissolve and are stored in fat. They include vitamins A, D, E and K. Since they require fat for absorption, to maximize their benefits, eating food that has a small amount of fat can help dissolve and transport these fats, so you get the maximum benefits. Food like avocados, or mayo on a tuna wrap can increase the amount of fat. The average meal includes about 5 grams of fat, a high fat meal has about 15 grams. Studies on vitamin D show that absorption of vitamin D was increased by up to 32% when take with a meal, compared to water. That absorption increased up to 57% if the meal had more fat.
Water soluble vitamins should be taken with water.
Just as the name implies, water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and water is necessary for absorption. Water soluble vitamins include vitamins C and Bs. When taken with water, the water shouldn’t be too hot or too cold, since the vitamins don’t dissolve properly with either. There is a disagreement whether vitamin C is effective when taken with food. Some say it is less effective, and should be taken on an empty stomach, others say food makes it more effective. It can irritate the digestive system and taking it with food can help prevent that.
Multivitamins pose a problem.
If you follow the hypothesis that you should take vitamin C on an empty stomach and fat soluble ones with a meal that contains fat, multivitamins pose a big problem. They contain both water and fat soluble vitamins. If you find vitamin C upsets your digestive tract and need to take it with food, then take your multivitamin at meal time.
- If you want maximum absorption for fat soluble vitamins, take them after you’ve eaten food that contains fat, not with the food. A cup of yogurt could be enough to make a difference.
- B vitamins, vitamin B12 in particular, can boost your energy and keep you awake if taken at night. It’s better to take the first thing in the morning to give you the energy boost for the day.
- Vitamin C like any antioxidant that’s an anti-inflammatory, should not be taken immediately after a workout. Studies show it can hamper the workout effectiveness by blocking the inflammation necessary for progress when taken within 6 hours after working out.
- Always check with your doctor or pharmacist for any interactions with present medication before taking any vitamins or supplements. For instance, larger doses of vitamin E when taking warfarin may cause excessive bleeding.
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