How many vitamins should you take, and when should you take them? I have been getting quite a few questions based on these two general topics lately. I have previously written about whether you should take vitamins or not.
Generally speaking, your body is only able to process so much of any particular nutrient at any given time. There are also certain substances that will help your body to absorb vitamins and minerals, and others that will block your body from absorbing them. For example, having vitamin D in your system can help your body absorb calcium, while caffeinated coffee or tea can interfere with the process.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are taking any sorts of prescription medications or have any medical work coming up; excessive vitamins and minerals can sometimes have an averse reaction or cause problems that your doctor will be able to warn you about.
If you are going to take any sort of supplement, then you should take it with a meal. If you are going to take a multivitamin, then you should take any other vitamins at a different time of the day. For example, my wife takes a multivitamin with breakfast, and vitamin C with dinner. If she took the vitamin C with breakfast, then her body would be unable to absorb most of it. If you have a pill splitter, you can take part of a pill at different times of the day.
If you can, try to get as many of your vitamins and minerals as you can through the foods that you eat. If you eat regularly throughout the day and include plenty of fruits and vegetables, then you probably do not need to supplement.