The Best Time to Take Your Vitamins: Water-soluble vs. Fat-soluble

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Taking vitamins can help us to meet our daily nutritional needs, but they can also help us to stay healthy and fight off diseases by supplying our bodies with the essential nutrients they need to keep functioning properly. However, vitamins differ in how your body absorbs them and when you should take them. Here’s what you need to know about water-soluble vs. fat-soluble vitamins, as well as the best time of day to take them both!

The Difference Between Water-soluble and Fat-soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and they need to be consumed every day. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, so they need to be taken only once per day or less, depending on the vitamin. 

Some examples of fat-soluble vitamins include Vitamin A, D3, K2, and E. Fat-soluble vitamins can also be obtained through food sources like fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel; eggs; butter; cream; milk; cheese; coconut oil and nuts like almonds. These sources contain high amounts of nutrients which is important for maintaining healthy bones as well as preventing heart disease.

 With water-soluble vitamins such as B6, B12, C, folic acid and biotin, they are only absorbed in small amounts when consumed through food sources; you need higher doses of these vitamins to be effective. 

Some examples of water soluble vitamins include Vitamin B1 (thiamin), which helps convert carbohydrates into energy; Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and niacin (vitamin B3) help with metabolic functions, Vitamin B5 and pantothenic acid help in converting carbs into energy while vitamin E and choline are antioxidants that protect cells from free radical damage. An example of a water-soluble nutrient is choline found in soybeans and cauliflower.

Best Time To Take Water-Soluble Vitamins

Water-soluble vitamins are best taken with a glass of water or juice in the morning and at lunchtime, since they get absorbed into the bloodstream more quickly than fat-soluble ones. They should also not be taken with milk, coffee, tea or any other beverages high in calcium, as these drinks can interfere with absorption and lead to deficiencies. Milk is an exception if you’re taking calcium supplements and vitamin D at the same time; that combo requires a little extra time for the body to absorb all those minerals, so it’s better to have them at bedtime.

Best Time to Take Fat-soluble Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are best taken with meals containing some type of healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, oils, avocados and eggs. This helps the body absorb them more easily and effectively. If you don’t eat at least one meal a day containing these types of fats, then you should take a multivitamin that contains all the fat-soluble vitamins every day. 

When taking water-soluble vitamins (such as C, B12 or folic acid), it is important to know how much is needed daily for optimal health.

Do I Need Both Types of Vitamins?

You might be wondering if you should get both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, but the answer is no. They serve different purposes in the body and they do not compete with each other because they are consumed at different times of the day.

What if I forget to take my vitamins?

If you don’t remember to take your vitamins, it’s not the end of the world. You’re still getting a lot of the benefits from them by simply being in contact with them (i.e., in the same room). That said, we recommend taking vitamin B12 at least twice a week and vitamin D once a day for optimal levels.

The bottom line

Water-soluble vitamins need to be taken with water for maximum absorption in the body. Fat-soluble vitamins are better absorbed when taken with food, so eat a meal before taking them. For most people, it’s best to take both types of vitamin at different times of day. Remember that only foods rich in these vitamins can provide you with all the health benefits they offer.

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