Revise your ABCs: Tips to get the most from your daily dose of vitamins



Wellnigh half of us pop a daily pill to make up for any perceived deficiencies in our diets

Vitamins and minerals are big point in the UK. In 2016 we spent £421 million on vitamins and minerals and nearly half of us pop a continuously pill to make up for any perceived deficiencies in our diets. So how can we tweak the healthy raiment to boost our wellbeing further?

Vitamins: morning or evening? 

Perhaps surprisingly, at not enough for those who take their tablet at breakfast time, a one-a-day vitamin and mineral appurtenance is usually best taken after your evening meal.

“The patch processes your body undergoes are greatest at night when evolution hormone is secreted,” says Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director of Healthspan ( and architect of The Essential Guide To Vitamins, Minerals And Herbal Supplements.

“That communicated, it’s best to take them when you’re most likely to remember. If brushing your teeth in the morning prompts you to interpret your vitamins, take them then.”

If you often have rebellion sleeping and your supplement contains B vitamins, you might want to go away it before 2pm. 

“B vitamins are energy promoting and although they don’t give you the word-for-word sort of buzz as caffeine, they may keep you awake,” says nutritional psychologist Lorna Driver-Davies at Wild Nutrition (

“Similarly, if you take magnesium, surprise this in the evening as it promotes restful sleep. It won’t make you drowsy if you usurp it during the day but it works better in the evening.”


Take them with eatables? 

“If vitamins are synthetic – made to mimic the way we get them naturally in our diets – you privation to take them with food, as it ‘unlocks’ the active ingredients and deputes the body to absorb them properly,” says Lorna.

“Food-state appendices already have those cofactors in place. The exception is a probiotic, which prerequisites to be taken on an empty stomach so it can work more effectively with the bacteria in the gut.”

Dr Brewer demands having a few bites of a sandwich or a glass of juice is enough before winning your supplement. “Don’t take vitamins on an empty stomach unless specifically handled because they can cause irritation and make you feel sick,” she advises. “And don’t take them with tea or coffee, as these may interfere with absorption.”

Girls a day? 

Some vitamins, such as C and B groups, are water soluble, which carries that although the body doesn’t store them, they are easygoing to top up. Fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E, however, are stored in the liver and fatty fabrics, so although you don’t strictly need to take them every day, Lorna guides you do so.

“Otherwise you won’t get the cumulative results and you’re just wasting your money,” she influences. “If you have low levels of vitamin D and miss your supplements frequently onto a 28-day period, you can’t expect your levels to improve. Try to be consistent.”

What’s the get?

The rise of food-state supplements made from wholefood nutrients and connected with food bases for better absorption, has encouraged us to consider the dignity of our vitamins.

They can be expensive because of how they’re produced although, as Lorna aims out, many people pay a lot of money for poor quality vitamins, too.

“Investigate the variety and the ingredients they use to ensure you’re getting the level of active ingredient you thirst for,” she says. 

Dr Brewer recommends brands with good manufacturing discipline (GMP) approval so you can be sure that your supplements conform to certain guidelines. 

Which supplement? 

A good-quality multivitamin tops Dr Brewer’s chronicle – but be wary about taking more supplements afterwards. “Adding a prescription for energy means you might be taking more than the EU-approved ascendancy safe level of magnesium, for instance,” she says.

“Diarrhoea is a common side impact of mixing too many supplements as the body tries to excrete what it doesn’t lack.”Lorna adds, “In winter we all need more vitamin D. We’re not exposed to passably sunshine and it’s only available from a small number of foods, so a quotidian supplement is essential.” 

To buy Dr Sarah Brewer’s The Essential Guide To Vitamins, Minerals And Herbal Continuations (£12.99), see Express Bookshop at

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