ConsumerLab.com Answers  

Best Time to Take Multivitamins

Question:
When is the best time of day to take a multivitamin?

Answer:
If you need to take a multivitamin, you'll want to take it in a way that maximizes absorption of its nutrients (i.e., essential vitamins and minerals) but is convenient enough so that you don't skip taking it. For many people, breakfast is the most convenient time to take a multivitamin, but if your breakfast does not include significant amounts of fats or oils, you won't get the best absorption of vitamin D and other fat soluble vitamins -- A, E, and K. In that case, take your multivitamin with whichever meal contains the most fats and oils. Taking your multivitamin with a meal may also reduce stomach upset or nausea that can occur with these supplements.

If you take separate supplements providing large amounts of vitamins or minerals, be aware that these can compete with the generally smaller amounts of similar nutrients in your multivitamin. For example, if you take a separate calcium supplement, take it at a different time of day than your multivitamin because the large amount of calcium will reduce absorption of minerals in your multivitamin, such as magnesium, iron, copper and zinc. Similarly, if you take a separate supplement with vitamin D, A, E, or K, take it at a different time of day than your multivitamin because it may reduce absorption of other fat-soluble vitamins in your multivitamin.

If you take a separate supplement with vitamin B12 (which 10 to 30% of older adults don't absorb well from foods), take it at least 6 hours apart from your multivitamin, because you can only absorb a small amount (about 1.5 mcg of B12) at a time. Taking small amounts of B12 twice daily is a good strategy to boost B-12 levels if needed and may be better than taking a large dose once a day.

Be aware that the calcium and/or magnesium in multivitamins may interfere with the absorption of certain medications, such as antibiotics, statins, and thyroid hormones. So, take them at a different time of day than your multivitamin. (Check for drug interactions with other vitamins and minerals in the Drug Interactions section of our site).

When choosing a multivitamin, it's generally best to go with one that provides up to the daily requirement of each nutrient. Many multivitamins provide much more than you need, and this can potentially have negative effects. Check our Top Picks in our Multivitamin Supplements Review.

Learn more about multivitamins:



Which vitamins and minerals should be taken together or separately? >>

The maker of my multivitamin says it doesn't include folic acid because too much from supplements can be harmful. Is that true? >>

I noticed that some ingredients in my multivitamin have no daily value established. A few concern me, specifically Boron (150 mcg per tablet), Nickel (5 mcg per tablet), and Tin (10 mcg per tablet). Should I be concerned about these ingredients?  >>

Have you evaluated a multivitamin by Vita Logic called Daily Extra? >>

I'm trying to pick a good multivitamin for my children and husband, and for myself. Any suggestions based on your research? >>

Is there cause for concern with "gummy vitamins?" There are many different gummies out there. Are some better than others? >>

Why does my multivitamin make me nauseous? Is there anything that can help? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Diane18240   August 22, 2019
My husband takes 500 mg of calcium with 500 IU of D and 250 mg of magnesium. It's a food based product from Rainbow Light and can be taken with or without meals. He was taking it with dinner along with 100 mcg of Vitamin K2, but I moved it to breakfast (usually a protein shake/smoothie) when I read that Vitamin D might block the absorption of K2. Now I read on your site that one shouldn't take a separate calcium supplement with a multivitamin which he takes at breakfast, so now I don't know what to do. Should I have him take the K2 in the morning and the calcium/vitamin D/magnesium with dinner?

ConsumerLab.com   August 23, 2019
Hi Diane - You're correct. 500 mg is a lot of calcium to take as a supplement at one time and taking more would not be a good idea. Also, best to find another time of day to the the vitamin K2 than with the vitamin D if possible, but best that each be taken with a meal containing some oils.

GERALD17830   May 9, 2019
Why isn't weight considered for RDA?

ConsumerLab.com   May 9, 2019
Hi Gerald -- As noted on our RDAs page, Recommended Daily Allowances are calculated to meet the sufficient nutrient requirements of nearly all (97% - 98%) healthy people. The calculations factor in the median height and weight for each gender/age category (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK114332/). However, it's true that needs may be different in some circumstances. For example, individuals who are obese require larger doses of vitamin D from supplements to reach adequate levels (see https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/vitamin_D_supplements_review/Vitamin_D/#rule), and nutrient requirements may be different for people with certain diseases or medical conditions.


Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
For your privacy, only your first name (from your account) followed by a random number will appear with your comment. Your last name and email address will not be displayed.
Comment:

Share your thoughts and comments about this topic in the space below. Please abide by the following rules:
  • If you make a statement of fact, such as whether a type of treatment does or does not work, state your basis -- such as personal experience or a published study.
  • If you make a positive or negative comment about a product, note whether or not you have a financial interest in the product or in a competing product.
  • Please be respectful in your tone.
  • Please do not submit any type of HTML markup or scripting as it will not be accepted, nor will comments that exceed 2,500 characters.
For your privacy, only your first name (from your account) followed by a random number will appear with your comment. Your last name and email address will not be displayed.
Comment:

You can modify your comment below. Please be aware the comment will have to approve the changes before they will be shown:
Comment:

Your edit has been submitted and is being reviewed by ConsumerLab.com prior to publication.
This CL Answer initially posted on 11/7/2018. Last updated 5/7/2019.
ConsumerLab.com members may submit questions to CLAnswers@ConsumerLab.com. We read all questions and try to answer those of popular interest.

 

   BECOME A MEMBER
JOIN NOW


Product Reviews

ENCYCLOPEDIA
In addition to our product reviews our encyclopedia covers the following:

Herbs & Supplements

Conditions

Drug Interactions

Alternative Therapies

MEMBER TESTIMONIALS


Follow us on...
facebook twitter
 
 
Join |  Sign In
   
Join Us on Facebook! Join Us on Instagram! Join Us on Twitter! Join Us on YouTube! Join Us on YouTube!
Product Tests
Brands Tested
Health Conditions
Encyclopedia
CL Answers
Clinical Updates
News
Recalls & Warnings
RDAs
Where to Buy Products
Raw Materials Tests
Testing Program
How Products Were Tested
Join CL Today
Testimonials
Join Free Newsletter
Group Subscriptions
Gift Membership
About Us
The CL Seal
CL Survey
Privacy Policy
Sitemap
Contact Us/Help

©2019 ConsumerLab.com, LLC. All rights reserved. A single copy of a report may be printed for personal use by the subscriber. It is otherwise unlawful to print, download, store or distribute content from this site without permission.
ConsumerLab.com name and flask logo are both registered trademarks of ConsumerLab.com, LLC. This site is intended for informational purposes only and not to provide medical advice.