Vitamins aren't all equal. B complex vitamins provide certain essential nutrients, while vitamin C provides others. Vitamins are found in food and supplements and perform functions necessary to a variety of systems in the body — and they're vital to maintaining good health.
B complex vitamins should be taken first thing in the morning, and taking your vitamin C along with them is fine. It's better, however, to take vitamin C in smaller doses throughout the day.
Taking Them Together
You can take these two together. The B complex vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble, which means they're not stored but leave the body through urination and need to be replenished every day. They can be replenished at the same time, but with a caveat.
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Although there's nothing wrong with taking these two vitamins together, the B vitamins should be taken first thing in the morning, while, ideally, vitamin C should be taken in small amounts throughout the day. If you don't have time to do that or think you probably won't do that, then take them at the same time.
Taking B vitamins is pretty easy with B vitamin combinations available. Many supplements combine B complex forte, which contains all eight essential B-group vitamins, with vitamin C capsules and are usually used to treat a vitamin deficiency. You should always check with your doctor, however, before taking supplements regularly.
Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin B is more than one vitamin. The B complex includes thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, niacin, biotin, vitamin B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid.
B complex vitamins tend to increase your energy level, so taking them in the morning is ideal — especially since an empty stomach helps with absorption of the vitamin. Taking them in the evening may actually inhibit your ability to fall asleep. And keep in mind that taking large doses can affect your liver.
When to Take Vitamin C
Taking vitamin C in the morning is fine, because this ensures you've gotten this important nutrient at least once during the day. Vitamin C also boosts levels of noradrenaline, a brain chemical that makes you feel more alert and helps with concentration.
One advantage of taking vitamins B and C together is that vitamin C helps the body absorb folic acid, one of the B vitamins. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C can help heal wounds and aid the body in making red blood cells, according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's often taken to ward off colds, although there's no proof of its effectiveness. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, however, it's been determined that vitamin C can shorten the duration of a cold.
If you are taking an iron supplement, take it along with your vitamin C. That's because vitamin C helps your body absorb the iron.
B and C in Food
Because both of these vitamins need to be replenished daily, it doesn't hurt to make sure your diet includes plenty of food sources that provide them. Supplements are good, however, especially if you're pregnant, stressed, getting older or simply tend to reject a number of B-rich foods out of preference or as the result of a vegan lifestyle.
Good food sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, kiwi, peppers, potatoes, strawberries and tomatoes.
Vitamin B6 is found in fish, potatoes, chickpeas, avocados, bananas, beans, cereals, meats, oatmeal and poultry. Vitamin B12, important for metabolism, is present in cheese, eggs, fish, meat, milk and yogurt.
- National Institutes of Health: Folic Acid in Diet: Function
- Medical News Today: When Is the Best Time to Take Vitamins?
- NatureMade: Timing Your Vitamins
- WebMD: Vitamins Women Need
- WebMD: Vitamin C for the Common Cold
- National Institutes of Health: Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Consumers
- Science Daily: Scientists Say Vitamin C May Alleviate The Body's Response to Stress