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The Best Time To Take Your B Vitamin To *Actually* Reap The Benefits

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  • Posted on 26th Jul, 2022 00:05 AM
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Before or after breakfast?

The supplement world is vast and, at times, overwhelming as you attempt to work through which vitamins and minerals your body actually needs to thrive in a sea of options. However, one supplement that we could all benefit from giving a little more attention is a B vitamin complex. After all, the family of essential B vitamins is wide ranging (there are eight in total: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, biotin, folate, and vitamin B12). And especially if you follow a plant-based diet it may be difficult to meet your B needs for the day.

From when you should be taking your B vitamin complex to reap the benefits, to the particularities of how you should be taking this vitamin, here’s everything you need to know.

The best time to take a B vitamin complex.

The best time to take your vitamins is whatever time you'll actually stick to moving forward. After all, consistency is key when it comes to an impactful supplement routine. "We have daily micronutrient requirements, not weekly or monthly, for an entire array essential vitamins and minerals, including those all-important B vitamins," nutrition scientist Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN explains.

Some vitamins are water soluble, while others are fat soluble (i.e., vitamins A, D, E, and K). B vitamins are water soluble by nature. So you might assume that you'll reap the most benefits taking your B complex on an empty stomach with a wonderfully hydrating glass of water, right?

While that might be a fine practice (perhaps even first thing in the morning for ease of routine), Ferira explains that it's an internet myth and nutrition misnomer that water-soluble vitamins require an empty stomach and water.

"Yes, B vitamins are soluble in water, that's their biochemical design. Thankfully, the body and its cells and organs are made up of lots of water. That's why daily hydration goals are so important. But the notion that B vitamins need water, an empty stomach, and no other nutrition 'noise' for absorption is silly," she says.

"In fact, B vitamins' water-soluble nature means they dissolve with ease, absorb with ease, and excrete with ease (i.e., when our body has gotten its fair share). It also means they don't store in our adipose tissue, aka body fat, so you have to be even more cognizant of replenishing them daily," Ferira goes onto say, concluding: "The reality is this: You can take B vitamins on an empty or full stomach, with water or any beverage that delights you."

To each their own. Another nutritionist we chatted with prefers to incorporate "B complex supplements an hour before or two hours after a meal, though it can be taken with a meal if you experience queasiness taking it without food,” notes registered dietitian Jess Cording, M.S., R.D., CDN.

And if you take medication, always check with your doctor before integrating a B vitamin complex. As Cording notes, B complex supplements may impact your ability to absorb certain medications, and therefore, should be spaced away from them sufficiently. That's where personalized nutrition and supplement timing comes in.

Some people are also more sensitive to supplements than others, and if you’re finding that your B vitamin complex is causing stomach unease, you may be better served pairing it with breakfast. “If the supplement you are taking only has B vitamins in it, then there is no specific indication to take with or without a meal,” adds registered dietitian Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, R.D. and founder of BZ Nutrition. If, however, your B complex also contains zinc, you’ll definitely want to pair this supplement with a meal, as zinc may cause queasiness on an empty stomach.

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Other water soluble vitamins.

Both B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins, meaning they're not stored within the body, and are instead used up and urinated out. As a result, it's important to regularly consume them. “We need to take them—and eat foods high in vitamins B and C—on a daily basis to give our bodies enough,” says Zeitlin.

Vitamin C is useful for supporting immunity within the body as well as aiding in collagen production. “If you’re focused on hair/nails/skin health, don’t think of biotin alone (a B vitamin). Add in vitamin C, as well,” she explains. And again, the morning may be best.

When to take fat soluble vitamins.

As for fat soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K), these are what the body is able to store within fat cells, rather than using them up entirely. As the name implies, “these are best taken with something that provides a source of fat to enhance absorption,” says Cording. 

The warning with these, however, is that they’re more likely to have an interaction with medication you’re taking, so it's important to check with your doctor before proceeding.

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What about a multivitamin?

Although you can gather B vitamins from the foods you’re eating (and you should certainly try to, as well!), turning to high quality supplements is a surefire way to ensure you’re getting the quantity you need.*

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Taking a multivitamin such as mbg’s ultimate multivitamin+ which offers a built-in B vitamin complex is a great way to supply your body with what it needs, with methylation technology for cellular energy*.

“If you are taking a multivitamin, which is something I recommend to all of my clients regardless of how many veggies you eat daily, it will have both the fat and water soluble as well as minerals like calcium—but wraps everything up in a nice little bow,” notes Zeitlin. Both gentle and bioavailable, if you’re looking for an easy way to nourish your body, this is your chance.*

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The takeaway.

Depending on the vitamin, timing may be important in order to provide your body with the maximum benefits. In the case of a B vitamin complex, experts recommend adding it to your morning routine. While a glass of water and an otherwise empty stomach is suggested, always listen to your body and a doctor's guidance.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(50)
ultimate multivitamin+

ultimate multivitamin+

Built-in B complex with methylation technology for cellular energy*

ultimate multivitamin+

ultimate multivitamin+

Built-in B complex with methylation technology for cellular energy*

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(50)
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