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The Best Time to Take Your Supplements

While strategically timing your supplements isn’t something you should stress over, there are specific times of the day that may yield better results. For example, taking L-tryptophan or 5-HTP two hours before bedtime can aid in sleep. Additionally, some supplements need fat and other nutrients to be absorbed by the body, and thus are more effective when taken with food.

Though some debate exists over the best time to take supplements, this chart outlines the most widely accepted theories on supplement timing. While some scientists, for example, believe that amino acids should be taken on an empty stomach because they may compete with dietary proteins for absorption, our own Dr. Rodier hasn’t seen any evidence that amino acids are better absorbed when taken between meals.

So if you’re the technical type that prefers to go “by the book” and set a routine, we hope you make use of our “Best Time to Take Supplements” chart! Be sure to share with your family and friend circles!

Supplement Category Cell Nutritionals Products Time of Day To eat or not to eat?
Amino Acids Acetyl L-Carnitine, Amino Enhancer, Glucosamine Sulfate, 5-HTP, Hyaluronic Acid, Immune Health, L-Arginine, L-Carnitine, L-Glutamine, L-Tryptophan Any time, but take L-Tryptophan & 5-HTP 2 hours before bedtime to aid in sleep No preference; Some scientists recommend taking in between meals
Beta Glucans Beta Glucan Early Morning No; Take on an empty stomach at least one hour prior to eating
Botanicals

 

Antioxidants

Carotenoids

Phenols

Apple Cider Vinegar,* Ashwagandha, Astxanthin, Beta Sitosterol, B12 Drops, Chlorophyll Concentrate, Cinnamon, Cranberry Concentrate, Digest-Aid, Echinacea, Eye Protection, Fiber Fit, Garlic & Cayenne, Grape Seed Extract, Green Coffee Bean Extract, Green Tea Extract, Ginger Root, Gingko Biloba, Immune Health, Milk Thistle, Multi-Veggies, Oil of Oregano, Olive Leaf Extract, Policosanol, Pomi-T, Resveratrol, Raspberry Ketones, Saw Palmetto, Turmeric Late morning or mid-afternoon No; Take 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal*Exception: Take Apple Cider Vinegar after a meal
Enzymes Pancreatic Enzymes Before each big meal Take 15-30 minutes before a meal
Fatty Acids Alpha Lipoic Acid, Conjugated Linoleic Acid, Fish Oil, High Lignan Flaxseed Oil, Krill Oil Stagger intake with meals Yes; Take with healthy fats and proteins
Hormones DHEA, Melatonin Any; Take at the same time each day Melatonin works best when taken 9-11 hours before the midpoint of your sleep cycle. (Ex: If you sleep from 10pm-7am; take melatonin between 3:30-5:30pm)
Minerals Calcium & Magnesium, Liquid Calcium, Chromium Picolinate, Iodine, Joint Complex, Colloidal Silver Plus, Magnesium Citrate, MSM, Potassium Gluconate, Chelated Zinc, Selenium Stagger intake with meals. Take a dose with your dinner meal to promote sleep Yes; Take with healthy fats and proteins*Our bodies can only absorb 500mg of calcium at a time; spread doses throughout the day
Phospholipids Phosphatidylserine Morning or early afternoon Take 15-30 minutes before a meal
Probiotics Probiotics AR, Probiotics 16 Upon rising in the morning or right before bed No; Take 30 minutes before or 2 hours after a meal
Vitamins & Vitamin-Like Compounds B-100 Plus, B Trio, Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids, Vitamin D3, Liquid D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin K2, Folic Acid, Co-Q10 (vitamin-like), Heart Plus, Liposomal Vitamin C, Menopause Formula, Multi-Vites, Sam’s Advanced Antioxidant, Ubiquinol Stagger intake with meals. No more than 1,000 mg at one time Yes; Take with healthy fats and proteins