As with many other vitamins, understanding when best to take your vitamin C supplements will help increase its effectiveness. It’s a powerful antioxidant, loaded with health-giving benefits, that you want to get the most out of for maximum benefit. Understanding how this nutrient functions in the body, will help you decide whether to take vitamin C supplements in the morning or at night.
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So how does it function in the body?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient which means it cannot be stored in the body and we don’t have to take it with food. What the body does not need is excreted via the kidneys and urine. We do not produce our own vitamin C, which means we need to obtain it from food every day. Try and get your daily dose of vitamin C from natural food sources as much as possible.
The myriad of good things Vitamin C does
- Collagen production is 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
Taking vitamin C supplements morning or night: things to consider
Deciding to either take your vitamin C supplements morning or night, will depend on a number of factors such as:
Vitamin C’s compatibility with other meds
You want to make sure your meds are compatible with your vitamin C supplement. Combining meds with certain minerals or vitamins can amplify one or counter the other’s actions or side effects. If you are on blood thinners, heart medication, or any other medication, consult a health practitioner who will be able to advise you on the best course of action.
Pairing vitamin C with other vitamins and minerals
Some vitamins just don’t pair well with others. Take them separately either morning or night, based on their specific benefits. 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 a vitamin C supplement, take them 2 hours apart, since vitamin C interferes with B12’s functioning in the body.
Your daily exercise routine
It is a good idea to space exercise and vitamin C supplement 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 this happens just before bedtime it might not be a good idea either, since vitamin C may keep you awake.
Any insomnia or sleeping disorders
Vitamin C is known to be a strong antioxidant that can give you a boost of energy. Taking it during the day, either early morning or late afternoon may be preferred over evenings by people who have sleeping disorders.
Any gastrointestinal issues
Generally, vitamin C supplements are 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 Vitamin C supplements either morning or night with meals to ease stomach issues.
So, is vitamin C supplements better to take in the morning or night?
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 nausea and diarrhea.
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.
As mentioned earlier, consider the compatibility of your vitamin C supplement with meds and other nutrients, when deciding when is best to take it.
Consult a doctor or nutritionist if you are not sure about taking vitamin C supplements in the morning or night. 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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Cautionary note: Not any of these statements have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The content of the articles and the products recommended are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health issue. The intention is also not to imply that vitamins or any dietary supplements are substitutes for a balanced diet or are in any way more beneficial or superior to dietary nutrients. It is also not intended to imply that general or normal health may be affected by not taking dietary supplements or receiving intravenous vitamin C infusions.
Image by Sonja Langford