Best Time To Take Your Supplements

time of day to take supplements

If you are taking supplements, two things are critical if you want to reap the most benefits from them: quality and timing. You need to start with quality products made by reputable manufacturers, and you need to know the best time to take your supplements, including which ones should and should not be taken along with others. 

Read about supplements for a whole-body experience

We’re not going to talk about quality and reputation here. Instead, let’s discuss the timing of your supplement use and how you can optimize the rewards from each of your choices. One approach to supplement use is to consider which ones to take during three main parts of the day: morning, afternoon, and evening.

Morning supplements

Here’s a tip: two of the morning supplements—vitamins E and CoQ10—should be taken with healthy fats. We suggest an avocado toast or a green smoothie with avocado or coconut oil as a breakfast choice containing healthy fats!

  • B vitamins: These are your energy boosters for the day and include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, biotin, folic acid, and cobalamin. A quality B complex will give you the entire spectrum of B vitamins in balanced doses. If your B complex contains vitamin B12, take this supplement two hours before or after taking vitamin C, as vitamin C interferes with your body’s ability to absorb B12. B vitamins can be taken with or without food.
  • Coenzyme Q10: This supplement is heart-healthy and should be taken with healthy fats. If you have diabetes or low blood pressure, be aware that CoQ10 can reduce blood sugar levels and blood pressure, so do not take it without your healthcare provider’s guidance.
  • Iron: Take this mineral on an empty stomach and never with calcium. However, if it makes you nauseous, then take it with food, but not with coffee or foods high in calcium. If you have a high-calcium breakfast (e.g., milk, dairy yogurt, leafy greens), take your iron later in the day with food. That’s when you can take it along with vitamin C, which can improve absorption.
  • Vitamin E: You should take this fat-soluble vitamin with healthy fats. 
  • Vitamin C: Now is the time to take the first of your two vitamin C doses for the day. Taking iron along with vitamin C helps with absorption.

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Afternoon supplements

Several of these supplements should be taken with food, so immediately after lunch is a convenient and easy-to-remember time to take them. 

  • Fish oil: Taking fish oil with food significantly improves the absorption of these essential fatty acids. Here’s a trick: Freeze your fish oil supplements: they go down faster when frozen, and it helps avoid belching.
  • Iodine: This mineral can provide you with a midday energy boost.
  • Vitamin D: Take with healthy fats such as avocado, eggs, olive oil, or coconut oil. Vitamin D operates in synch with vitamin K, and it improves absorption of both vitamin D and calcium when these two are taken together.
  • Vitamin K: This heart-friendly vitamin works hand-in-hand with vitamin D and when taken with a healthy fat. If you are deficient in vitamin K and need to take a separate supplement, take it a few hours before or after any other fat-soluble vitamins (i.e., A, D, and E).
  • Vitamin C: Time for your second dose!
  • Zinc: Take this mineral with food, but never with calcium or iron. Zinc also can interfere with the absorption of copper and other minerals, so be sure to take zinc at least two hours apart from these supplements. 

best times to take supplements

Evening supplements

  • Calcium: Your body best utilizes calcium when you take it at night. Do not take high doses of calcium along with high amounts of zinc or magnesium, as they all compete for absorption.
  • Magnesium: One of the best supplements to help you relax and fall asleep, so before retiring is best. Avoid taking high doses along with high amounts of calcium or zinc because they all compete for absorption.
  • Probiotics: Beneficial bacteria work best in your gut if you take them in the absence of digestive enzymes, which can break them down, so right before you retire is suggested. However, if you are taking probiotics to help manage specific health conditions (e.g., diarrhea, irritable bowel), follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations. 
  • Turmeric: Perhaps best known for its ability to help with digestive problems, the optimal time to take turmeric (curcumin is the active ingredient) is at least three hours before or after a meal, which makes before retiring the most convenient time.

Other things to know about taking supplements

Keep these tips in mind when choosing and taking your supplements.

  • If you take multivitamins, you can help prevent nausea by taking them with a meal. 
  • When taking high-quality food-based multivitamins, you may need more than one dose to absorb them better. Check the directions on the package.
  • Do not take antioxidant supplements and calcium supplements together. Calcium can reduce the body’s ability to benefit from beta-carotene, lycopene, and other carotenoids. 
  • Do not take large amounts of mineral supplements at the same time because they compete for absorption. Instead, take mineral supplements at least two hours apart.
  • If you are a green or black tea drinker, do not take your iron supplements simultaneously. Instead, allow a few hours between consuming the tea and the supplement. 

Bottom Line

To get the most benefit from your nutritional supplements, it’s essential to adjust the timing of your dosing and which supplements you should take in combination with others. And if you can't remember to take your supplements at specific times, do it when you remember to and enjoy the benefits to your health.

Axe J. What vitamins should not be taken together? The Upside
Mann D. 13 supplement or medication combos you should never mix. The Healthy 2021 May 14
Mann D. The best time of day to take 11 common supplements. The Healthy 2021 Mar 4
Western Pennsylvania Health. When is the best time of day to take turmeric supplements? Western Pennsylvania Health News 2019 Mar 17
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Lisa Roth Collins, RHN
Lisa Roth Collins is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and is the Marketing Manager at She is passionate about health and wellness and tries her best to make healthier choices every day for herself and her family. Her journey to natural health was driven by her own struggles with digestive discomfort, depression, and anxiety. Lisa returned to school in 2014 to study nutrition at the Canadian School for Natural Nutrition. She threw herself into her studies so she could learn as much as she could to help herself feel better and thrive. Upon completing the program and being certified as an RHN, Lisa began her work at Naturally Savvy where she has been able to help so many people learn to make healthier choices for themselves. Through her work, she has connected with so many incredible people in the industry whether other authors, influencers, or brands. Plus, she is affectionately known as "Techie Spice" because of her ability to wrap her head around technology. Every day she gets up with a renewed sense of energy and ready to make a difference. You can read all of Lisa's content here. In her spare time, Lisa loves to try new recipes, make delicious and nourishing meals, and she is an avid reader. For more information about Lisa, check out her profile on here.