Vitamins are often a staple of a healthy diet. After all, they provide the nutrients your body needs that are sometimes lacking from the foods you consume. Even so, when you take vitamins it is important for how your body absorbs them and for preventing unpleasant side effects like stomach upset. While taking vitamins at night isn't inherently harmful, there may be some inadvertent consequences of the timing.
Vitamins come in a variety of types, from capsules to tablets. If swallowing pills is difficult for you, you should choose capsules, which are slippery and go down easier, says the University of Michigan Health Systems. Though other forms of vitamins exist, such as chewables and liquid, the former does not deliver as many nutrients and the latter is generally only used in those who are ill.
Though taking vitamins at the best times and under the best circumstances is advised, you still need to eat a healthy diet if you are to remain healthy. Vitamins are meant to be used as supplements, not replacements.
When you take vitamins affects how they work in your body. While it is not harmful to take vitamins at night, it is recommended that you take them with food. Taking vitamins right before bed will likely mean you take them on an empty stomach, which could cause stomach upset and acidity. Likewise, taking vitamins without food can reduce your body's absorption of them by up to 10 percent, says North Dakota State University.
Taking vitamins at night along with other medications could cause side effects. In fact, some drugs have negative interactions with vitamins. For instance, if you are currently taking high blood pressure medication or antibiotics, you shouldn't take a multivitamin that contains a calcium supplement a few hours before or a few hours after, according to MayoClinic.com.
While the timing of when you take your vitamins is important, the type of vitamin determines the best schedule. For instance, you must take fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E with food because they require fat to be absorbed properly. Space out your vitamin intake, don't take them on an empty stomach and avoid drug interactions to prevent any vitamin-related harm.