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The Best Time Of Day To Take A Multivitamin Might Not Be When You Think

To understand the ideal time to pop your multivitamin, you first have to understand the different types of nutrients your multivitamin contains.

One major consideration: fat-soluble vitamins, which are better absorbed in your body when you take them food, points out Jessica Cording, M.S., R.D., dietitian and author of The Little Book of Game-Changers. “Because multivitamins do typically contain fat-soluble vitamins–which are vitamins A, D, E, and K–consuming them with a meal or snack that provides some fat enhances absorption,”* she says. That doesn’t mean you won’t get some benefit if you take your multivitamin without food, but you certainly won’t get as much out of it as you would if you took it with fat.*

The water-soluble vitamins your multi also likely offers (think vitamin C and those eight B vitamins), meanwhile, just need a little liquid (i.e., the water or beverage you swallowed your multi with) in order to be absorbed and do their thing. Water-soluble vitamins can be absorbed with or without food.

As mbg’s in-house dietitian Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., R.D.N., explains, “In a multi, the fat-soluble vitamins–and by the way, any other fat-soluble compounds a specialized multivitamin may include–are the ‘limiting factor’ or primary consideration when it comes to timing, necessitating proximity to some fat content for optimal absorption.”

So, to strike a balance that best supports the absorption of all the goodness in your multivitamin/mineral supplement, Cording recommends taking it with a meal or even just a little food, like a scoop of nut butter, and a glass of water.

As for whether to take your multivitamin in the morning or night? That ultimately comes down to personal preference, although some experts recommend opting for the a.m. “In general, most people are more likely to stick with taking a multivitamin first thing in the morning,” Doerfler says. This way, the twists and turns your day takes don’t get in the way of you sticking to your routine.

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