T Nation

When To Take Vitamins?


I take a lot of vitamins. I have anemia so I must take a daily iron pill and a calcium and I am going to be 40 so I take the aspirin and a whole long list of pills.

My question is, can you take your vitamins all at one time, right before bed, so you sleep past the nausea that sometimes occurs with too many vitamins at one time? Or is it a bad practice and hard on the kidneys?

Currently I have a protein shake for breakfast and take my iron and calcium. My thing is, I really want to just take everything once because I am a bit lazy. So if I can take them all right before bed that would be great rather than splitting them up so I won't feel nauseas.



When it comes down to it, I don't think it will make too much difference whether you split up vitamin doses or not.

I would take them with a meal though.


I turn 39 next week.
Though not anemic I was deficient on a few vitamins and minerals having had an analysis done.
I found injecting the vitamins I was deficient on gave me speedy results.
IM injections would solve the nausea problem and getting a combined injectable like a MIC with B12 and B6 will deliver more into one's system with less applications but I understand some may shy away from needles.


some say minerals in the evening, vitamins in the morning; i'm not sure how much it really matters though.


Iron and Calcium compete for absorption, I wouldn't take them at the same time (From what I have read)

Here's the book excerpt;



Can you share which vitamins you had deficiencies? I wonder if your test results would be common among the general population.


They were a result of poor diet, no training and smoking for 6 months.

Zinc - values for this variable were extremely low.

Also fatty acids.
All I remember as far as meals is concerned is that I had either a medium pepperoni pizza or a microwave meal for dinner.

Needles to say I lost all my muscle and 10kg in weight.
I haven't reached full recovery yet but the injections were invaluable.

I have this analysis done every 4 to six months and the deficiencies are always different and usually match my life style/stressors of the past given period.


Interesting. Thanks. Where do you get this type of testing done?


AH!!! hey thanks for that!


It's just a regular blood test I'm pretty sure. The circulatory system is the transport system of the body, so I'm assuming that it would be here (in the blood) where you would do the testing.


Well, firstly, there is the thing about the fat-soluble vitamins, seeing as they are, you know, fat-soluble. You'll need some fat for them to do you any good.

Then we have some of the minerals competing for absorption. I wouldn't take large doses of divalent cat ions at the same time - zinc, calcium and so on. The amounts in a regular multivitamin tablet are probably okay, though.

Lastly, I can imagine that you are following a somewhat high fiber diet? The phytate contained in things like whole grains and so on, will decrease the absorption of a lot of minerals, which are not accounted for in the mineral content of the plants. Try to separate your mineral supplements (zinc, magnesium, copper) from the whole grains.


I tend to take 95% of my stuff in the morning. Here is my list of AM stuff:

(In a shake)

(in pill form)
Milk Thistle
Fish Oil
Green Tea
(in chewable form)

I have these all about 15-25min before breakfast first thing in the morning.

Then at night I have my ZMA.

No problems for me as far as nausea. Hope that helps!


I take fish oil with most meals so that makes it easier for me to remember. I take vitamins and Superfood in the morning with a shake. I take more several meals later. Then I take ZMA about an hour before bed.

First meal
Multi, C, D, E, Calcium, Glucosamine/MSM, Superfood, fish oil

Second meal
Fish oil

Third meal
Fish oil

Fourth meal
Multi, fish oil

Fifth meal
Fish oil, magnesium

ZMA about an hour before.

Sixth meal



awesome...thanks for this. I was going to post the exact same question.


What vitamins are you taking that are making you feel nauseated?

I've always found that poor quality vitamins had this side-effect and it was related to the binding agent that was used (or at least that's what I recall from reading on the subject)

I used to take a PILE of vitamins, till I went for some routine bloodwork for life insurance and found my liver functions were through the roof.

I've since cut back on everything and am limiting myself to high-quality stuff.

I now go with:

High-Quality Multi Vitamin (3 times a day)
Fish Oil (Flameout as anything else gave me the fish burps)
Vitamin D (3 times a day)
ZMA (at night 30 mins before bed)

That's it...

There was an article/post about vitamins on the site some years ago and I found the reviews helpful. I went with one of the top-3 for a multi...


Morning during meal
Multi Vitamin
Vitamin C

Lunch during meal
Mulit Vitamin

Dinner during meal
Fish Oil/Flameout
Vitamin D3

30 minutes before Bed


My wife has issues with the Nausea with taking multi vitamins. She has to take them before she goes to bed with a snack. This is the only way to keep the nausea at a minimum.


Taking many vitamins and minerals can be a bit tricky. IMO it's always better to have as many whole food vitamin/mineral sources (greens, reds, fruits) as possible than swallwing vitamin/mineral pills.
Personally, I eat more than 2 pounds of vegetables and fruits every day...

BUT: supplementation of some minerals and/or vitamins does make sense for, e.g., athletes or is even indicated by acute deficiencies. Most athlets (most people in general) can profit from vitamin D, zinc, vitamin C and very often magnesium supplementation.
You have to take calcium and iron, as you wrote.

I wouldn't take all minerals/vitamins at once, since some of them compete for absorption and some even "help each other" with absorption.

I don't want to make it more complicated than it is. But if you decide to take a lot of supps, I'd recommend to at least consider these "basics":

  • Don't take Iron and Calcium at the same time.
  • Iron can be taken with vitamin C for better absorption. E.g., 30 minutes prior to a meal. Before breakfast in your case.
  • Magnesium should be taken with vitamin D as well as sume purifies lactose (if you are not intolerant!), since both increase absorption. Don't take it with alcohol, protein, phosphates and fats. These substances hinder magnesium absoption. Don't take it with your calcium.
  • Magnesium can be taken in the evening or at night for its relaxing properties.
  • Potassium/calcium with meals. In your case with lunch or any snacks throughout the day.
  • Vitamin C seems to disrupt sleep patterns in some people. Id take it pre- and post-workout as well as with your iron in the morning.



Thanks for the breakdown. It is a good way to look at how to take which things together.


I am going to steal some of your pill supp scheduling. I will shift the iron to the evenings.