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The Best Time to Take Vitamins and Supplements

Understanding the optimal timing for vitamin and supplement intake can be a complex task, with various recommendations and differing opinions. 

Dr. Eric Berg, a proponent of holistic health and nutrition, sheds light on this subject, emphasizing that the timing of vitamin intake is not universally applicable and may require individual experimentation for the best results.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Best with Meals

Dr. Berg advises that fat-soluble vitamins, such as A, D, E, and K2, are most effectively absorbed with dietary fats. 

He notes that although these vitamins are often sold in oil bases like MCT or olive oil, consuming them with a fat-containing meal can enhance their absorption. 

He suggests taking these vitamins when feasible for those following fasting regimens, as they will still be absorbed significantly.

Cod Liver Oil: Morning Preference but Flexible

Cod liver oil, a source of vitamins A, D, and omega-3 fatty acids, can be taken anytime. 

Dr. Berg prefers taking it in the morning but emphasizes its flexibility due to its oil base, which contains the vitamins.

Vitamin D3: Adjusting to Sleep Cycles

Dr. Berg observes that vitamin D3 can improve sleep quality when taken before bedtime for most people. 

However, he acknowledges that it might sometimes disrupt sleep, recommending experimentation with morning or evening intake to see what aligns best with individual sleep patterns.

Digestive Aids: Around Meal Times

For digestive aids like betaine hydrochloride and digestive enzymes, Dr. Berg recommends taking them close to meal times. 

Betaine hydrochloride, which aids digestion, is ideally taken just before eating. However, it can also be beneficial post-meal, particularly after overeating, to assist digestion.

Bile Salts and Detoxifiers: After Meals and at Bedtime

Bile salts, including gallbladder formulas, should be taken post-meal, especially for those with low stomach acid. 

Dr. Berg also advises taking detoxifying supplements, such as dim (a cruciferous extract), before bed to support the body’s natural detoxification processes during sleep.

Amino Acids and Trace Minerals: On an Empty Stomach

Dr. Berg recommends taking individual amino acids, like tryptophan, on an empty stomach to avoid competition with other amino acids from food. 

Similarly, trace minerals may be more effectively absorbed on an empty stomach due to concentrated stomach acid.

Calcium and Magnesium: Evening Intake

Calcium and magnesium are typically recommended by Dr. Berg for evening consumption, especially for those experiencing leg cramps or sleep issues. 

He suggests avoiding calcium with meals as it can neutralize stomach acid.

Probiotics and Natural B1: Before Bed

According to Dr. Berg, probiotics and natural vitamin B1 are beneficial before sleep. 

They can support digestive health and the immune system and may help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Versatile for Various Times

Apple cider vinegar can be taken with meals, on an empty stomach, or before bed diluted in water. Dr. Berg highlights its potential benefits for morning blood sugar levels and sleep quality.

Electrolytes and Energy Supplements: Morning or Pre-Workout

Electrolyte powders, particularly those high in potassium, are recommended for morning intake to avoid nighttime urination and to provide energy throughout the day. 

They can also be taken at night by those who find it beneficial for their sleep. Energy-boosting supplements like B12, ginseng, and maca are best taken in the morning to enhance daytime energy levels.


Dr. Berg emphasizes the importance of personalizing supplement intake based on individual responses and needs. 

While there are general guidelines for the optimal timing of vitamins and supplements, listening to one’s body and adjusting accordingly is crucial for achieving the best health outcomes. 

This tailored approach ensures that individuals can maximize the benefits of their vitamin and supplement regimen, aligning it with their unique health goals and bodily responses.

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