Q: I take iron, calcium, Vitamin B complex and Vitamin D—is there a best time to take them? I was taking them in the morning but now I take them at night before bed.
-Heather Cardinal, Sherwood Park, Alberta
A: “It’s not so much about time of day that’s important. It’s important to consider if you have to take the specific vitamin with food or on an empty stomach, though,” says Michelle Latinsky, a nutrition specialist with Jamieson. “You also have to make sure the supplements don’t interact with each other.” Once you’ve looked into that, she recommends taking them when it is convenient for you. “Choose a time specific to your routine is best, whenever you’ll remember to take them regularly,” she says.
In terms of those specific supplements, Latinsky recommends checking first with your doctor if you do indeed really need to take iron supplements (she finds that many people taking iron are not in need of iron supplements). If you do need iron supplements, Latinsky suggests taking your calcium and iron two hours apart as calcium latches onto iron and reduces its absorption. Also, “you should take iron with food to avoid an upset stomach—maybe take it in the morning with your breakfast, that way you’ll be separating it from your calcium,” adds the Toronto-based registered dietitian.