Guide to Optimize Your Vitamin and Supplement Intake

While we have the good intention to eat healthy, take vitamins and supplements and exercise, we hardly have time to plan how to optimize our efforts to get the most of it.

HealthSpan put together a number of studies and produced a go-to guide with the best tips for taking vitamins and supplements throughout the day. Once you learn how to optimize your vitamins and supplements intake, you just need to follow your new routine.


Iron: Best taken in the morning, on empty stomach. Calcium is a major inhibitor of iron absorptions, so make sure you don’t take these two together.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C only lasts a few hours in the bloodstream, so it’s best taken in split doses throughout the day. Start in the morning and take the remainder later in the day.

B Vitamins: Take them first thing with breakfast to boost and maintain energy levels.

Vitamin E: This is best absorbed when dietary fats are present, for example, milk in cereal, nuts, yogurt or avocado.


Coenzyme Q10: Oil based CoQ10 supplements are better absorbed when dietary fats are present, ideally taken with breakfast or lunch to avoid any influences on sleep.

Zinc: Take Zinc in the afternoon with food, as it can cause nausea if taken on an empty stomach. Avoid taking it at the same time with calcium and iron.

Iodine: Iodine cannot be stored within the body, so a regular intake is needed. Some studies have suggested iodine increases energy levels, so take this for a boost at midday.


Vitamin D: Best taken with a meal and better absorbed if dietary fats are present. Some studies have found it to have negative influences on sleep, so take this earlier in the afternoon.

Vitamin K: Best taken with a meal and better absorbed if dietary fats are present. Can be taken at any time during the day, but is best taken with vitamin D, Calcium and vitamin C.

• Fish Oil: Best taken with a meal to aid absorption.


Calcium: Calcium is best utilized at night.

Magnesium: Magnesium aids sleep, so take it before going to bed.

Probiotics: Best taken with water on empty stomach, 30-60 minutes before meals to minimize interaction with digestive enzymes.

5 Tips for taking daily vitamins and supplements

1. Prefer to have your vitamins and supplements with water or orange juice and avoid hot drinks and caffeine, as it can interfere with absorptions and increase the loss of minerals from the body.

2. Keep your supplements in a cool, dry, dark place.

3. If you miss a dose, don’t double up. Just take it at the next scheduled time.

4. Never exceed the recommended dose on the packaging, unless advised by your nutritional practitioner or doctor.

5. Always check with your doctor if you are taking medication to ensure there are no contraindications. See complete infographic below. Click twice on the image to expand it.