When's The Best Time To Drink Vitamin C?

    When's The Best Time To Drink Vitamin C?

    Ascorbic acid, which we commonly call vitamin C, is an essential nutrient that promotes and maintains health. Not only does it help the body heal, but it also contributes to the formation of blood vessels, collagen, cartilage, and muscles. As a potent antioxidant, vitamin C protects the cells against the effects of free radicals.

    Since the body cannot create vitamin C, we get it from the foods we eat. And just to be sure we’re getting enough, many of us take vitamin C supplements. What is the best time to drink vitamin C? Find out here.

    Taking Supplements: Does Timing Matter?

    Is there really “the best” time to drink vitamin C? That depends on whether timing matters when it comes to supplements.

    Generally, timing matters because of its connection to the types of vitamins and foods we eat at a particular time.

    The type of vitamins matter because some vitamins, like B12, give energy, so they are best taken in the morning. Other types, such as magnesium, may promote sleep, so they are best taken in the evening, close to bedtime.

    On the other hand, the type of food matters because vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin B6, are best absorbed in an empty stomach with a glass of water. In contrast, fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, are best absorbed when taken with foods that contain fat.

    So, if you take fat-soluble vitamins in the morning with a fat-less breakfast, you might not be getting the most of it. Likewise, water-soluble vitamins taken with foods that contain fat may not be absorbed well.

    What’s The Best Time To Drink Vitamin C?

    Now, let’s discuss the best time to drink vitamin C.

    Vitamin C is water-soluble, so experts recommend taking it with a glass of water in the morning before breakfast. You can also take it at night long after your dinner, but if you feel that it interferes with your sleep, then morning is truly the best time for you.

    Other Things To Consider

    Although the best time to drink vitamin C is generally in the morning (on an empty stomach, with a glass of water), there are still considerations.

    Do You Experience Upset Stomach?

    Too much vitamin C may cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If this happens to you, consider lowering the dose and taking the supplement with meals.

    Are You Taking Multivitamins?

    Many multivitamins contain both water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, so experts recommend taking them with a glass of water and food so that any fat in the meal can help absorb fat-soluble vitamins. However, note that the water-soluble vitamins will not be absorbed as well as the fat-soluble ones.

    Are You Taking Iron?

    Iron is best absorbed with vitamin C, so if you take an iron supplement, take it together with ascorbic acid regardless of the time of day.

    Do You Have Other Medicines?

    Finally, the best time to drink vitamin C also considers drug interactions. For instance, vitamin C may increase your estrogen levels if you take hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives. On the other hand, vitamin C might reduce your response to anticoagulants like warfarin.

    To be on the safe side, discuss possible drug interactions with your doctor.

    Key Takeaways

    What’s the best time to drink vitamin C? According to experts, since vitamin C is water-soluble, the general rule is to take it in the morning with a glass of water before breakfast. Still, there are some considerations you need to discuss with your doctor, such as side effects and drug interactions.

    Finally, do not forget that the best way to get adequate vitamins and minerals is through a healthy and balanced diet. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables and choose whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

    Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Chris Icamen

    Dietetics and Nutrition

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Feb 13, 2022