Can I take a Vitamin C supplement before bed?

Consider this when you want to take a vitamin C supplement before bed.

Just like many other vitamins and minerals, understanding when best to take vitamin C, will help increase its effectiveness. It is a powerful antioxidant loaded with health-giving benefits that you want to get the most out of. You might be wondering if taking a vitamin C supplement before bed is ok or when it is best to take it exactly? Understanding what vitamin C is and how it functions in the body help establish the best time.

How does vitamin C function in the body

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient which means that it cannot be stored in our bodies. When a certain threshold of vitamin C has been reached in the body, it excretes what it does not need via the kidneys and urine. Our bodies also do not produce their own vitamin C which means we need to take a vitamin C supplement daily if we are not getting enough of the nutrient from our food. The benefits of taking this little supercharged nutrient are many.  

Benefits of vitamin C include:

  • Collagen production important for healthy skin and bones
  • Improves absorption of other vitamins like Vitamin E and Iron
  • Supports healthy blood pressure
  • Strong antioxidant that fights free radicals
  • Can have a positive effect on bone mineral density

Timing your vitamin C supplement intake

Deciding whether to take your vitamin C supplement before bed or not will depend on a number of factors such as:

·       Vitamin C’s compatibility with other meds

Make sure that the medication you take is compatible with your vitamin C supplement. Combining some meds with certain minerals or vitamins can amplify one or counter the other. If you are on meds like blood thinners, heart medication, or any other, consult a health practitioner to advise whether taking them at the same time as Vitamin C poses a risk and if taking them apart is recommended. If you always take some of your meds before bed, you will want to know how compatible they are with vitamin C, before combining the two at the same time.

·       Pairing your vitamin C supplement with other vitamins and minerals

Some vitamins just don’t pair well with others. Calcium may affect the absorption of vitamin C for example, while iron and vitamin C are complementary. Vitamin C will help with iron absorption and also counter the possible side effects of iron intake such as constipation. Taking your vitamins and minerals apart during different times of the day can help with effectiveness too. If you take B12 and vitamin C supplements, take them 2 hours apart, since vitamin C interferes with B12’s functioning in the body.

·       Daily exercise routine

It is a good idea to space exercise and vitamin C intake. Research has shown that taking an antioxidant just after a workout may reduce the effect you want from training. Vitamin C in higher dosages of about 1000 mg can negate the impact of exercise-related inflammation that stimulates muscles to grow. A 6-hour wait after exercise is recommended before you can take vitamin C. If you decide to take your vitamin supplement before bed, it might not be a good idea either, since vitamin C can keep you awake.

·       Any insomnia or sleeping disorders

Vitamin C is known to be a strong antioxidant that can give you your vigor and energy back. Getting a boost of energy just before bedtime might not be such a good idea. Therefore it is not advised to take a vitamin C supplement just before bed.

·       Any gastrointestinal issues

Vitamin C is generally well tolerated by most people. There are many individuals however that do not tolerate ascorbic acid well, resulting in an upset stomach and nausea. These people may want to take it at mealtimes rather than taking a vitamin C supplement before bed.

When is best to take your vitamin C supplement?

Taking a vitamin C supplement before bed might not be an issue for some, but could be a problem for others. There is no one size fits all. Everyone’s individual needs should be considered on their own merits. Deciding when best to take vitamin C would depend on your short and long-term health goals as well.

Generally, it is advisable to take your vitamin C supplement daily at the same time so you get into a habit of not forgetting. This can be anytime really. Everyone’s individual needs should be considered on their own merits. Deciding when best to take vitamin C would depend on your short and long-term health goals as well.

If you want to boost your immunity over the short term by increasing your daily intake, dividing the dosage throughout the day is not a bad idea, especially for those who experience upset stomachs.

Taking vitamin C with breakfast, an afternoon snack or supper also helps with gastrointestinal issues. It may actually help with the absorption of the nutrient too.

Consider the compatibility of vitamin C with other meds, vitamins, and minerals when deciding what time is best to take it.

Consult a doctor or nutritionist if you are not sure about when to take vitamin C. They will be able to give you advice based on your individual needs. 

Taking dietary supplements should always be done alongside the guidance of a medical practitioner. This article was not written or overseen by a medical professional and should not be viewed as advice or diagnostic information.


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Disclaimer and Cautionary note: Sunny Life Mag is a digital magazine for entertainment. The articles published are not here to diagnose or treat any health or medical conditions. The contents of this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and do not constitute medical advice; the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dermatologist, physician, with any questions you may have regarding any skin conditions or other medical conditions.

Image credit: Daria Shevtsova

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