With more than half of Americans taking some sort of dietary supplement, and many of those taking more than one supplement a day, I often get asked when the best time of day to take supplements is.
Many would think that the answer might be a simple suggestion to take them all with breakfast or dinner, but, depending on what supplements you are taking, the answer may not be so simple.
Of course, read the instructions on your bottle to see what the manufacturer suggests, but here are some of my suggestions.
Multivitamins - Most people take multivitamins in the morning. For most, this is a great time, especially if you need a little pick-me-up before starting the day. Some multivitamins are more than one pill a day; if that is the case, then there is an opportunity to split your dose up and get another possible energy boost in the afternoon.
B Vitamins - Some B vitamins, like B12, can provide a bit of energy, so most prefer to take them in the morning. Though they can be taken at one time, if more than one capsule or tablet is suggested, then the second can be taken in the afternoon, if preferred, to help avoid an afternoon energy crash.
Calcium - Most calcium supplements usually call for more than one pill to get the full dose. As inconvenient as it might sound, you will probably get a better calcium absorption by taking it in smaller amounts two to three times a day, depending on how many capsules or tablets are suggested.
Magnesium - Though there are a few people that prefer to take their magnesium in the morning, most find magnesium to be calming and relaxing, so many magnesium supplements are generally suggested to be taken around bedtime.
Probiotics - I prefer to take my probiotics at night as to give them more time to work without my eating schedule getting in their way. Some people find that probiotics taken near a meal are easier on the stomach, so be mindful.
Digestive Enzymes - If you are hoping to get digestive benefits with enzymes, then make sure you are taking them as close to your meals as possible. I prefer taking them right before I take my first bite, but if you forget, they can be taken right after you finish eating.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you get the most out of your dietary supplements, but remember none of this is set in stone.
Your needs can be different than most, so play around with your timing to find what works best for you, and if you are on any prescription medications, consult with your healthcare professional to see what they suggest.
Travis Lemon is a certified herbalist at Healthy Life Market who has worked in the natural health and wellness industry for more than 12 years. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.