Sometimes, life gets busy, and before you know it, you’ve accidentally skipped a meal here or there. It’s happened to all of us. Maybe you have an early meeting at work, need to run an errand, or have to take the kids to school, and breakfast doesn’t seem like it will make the cut today.
You’re on the way out the door when you realize you have a few seconds to spare, so you grab your multivitamins and pop one into your mouth. Perhaps it’s a small gummy, tablet, or pill. You wonder if it’s okay to take a multivitamin on an empty stomach.
This is a common question, and we’ve all been there. If you’re interested in learning more about taking vitamins on an empty stomach, any tips or tricks you need to know, and the best way to take them, then keep reading.
Can You Take Vitamins on an Empty Stomach?
The short answer is this: it depends.
First, let's clarify what we're talking about. Many shoppers use the word "vitamins" as a universal term to cover all of their supplements, whether the ingredients inside are truly vitamins like A, B-complex, and C, or totally different nutritional compounds like digestive enzymes, probiotics, or herbal supplements.
Most supplements can be taken with a meal, and some recommend it--either to enhance absorption, or to help you avoid an upset stomach.
Some nutrients should be taken on an empty stomach and will always indicate this on the label. Read on to learn more!
What Vitamins Should You Take on an Empty Stomach?
As we said earlier, many people use the word "vitamins" to mean "supplements." We'll give you the low-down on which supplements are best taken on an empty stomach.
Systemic (Proteolytic) Enzymes
Proteolytic enzymes, often called systemic enzymes, are taken to help with repair work in the body — often to help support a balanced inflammatory response after a sports injury, or to address scar tissue build-up at the sight of an old injury.
Because these enzymes would go to work digesting the food in your stomach if they were taken with a meal, it is recommended that enzymes being taken for non-digestive purposes be taken on an empty stomach.
Gut health is a trending topic, and for good reason! The digestive system is home to our microbiome which governs immune response and mood: your amazing gut produces as much as 95% of your body's total serotonin!
Since some probiotics are sensitive to digestive acids, many probiotics are indicated to be taken on an empty stomach.
Why Should You Take These Vitamins on an Empty Stomach?
As we mentioned earlier, both of these categories of supplements will perform better on an empty stomach, without competition from food.
You can take them with a full glass of water to help break them down for absorption.
Which Vitamins Should You Take With a Meal?
On the flip side, there are certain vitamins you want to take with a meal. You should take fat-soluble vitamins with a snack or a balanced meal. Read below to see some examples of these vitamins.
The following vitamins are fat-soluble, and can support your vision, bone health, and immune function:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
Why Should You Take These Vitamins With a Meal?
That means you want to take fat-soluble vitamins with a meal or snack to allow for better absorption. Since they are fat-soluble, the food you eat will help ensure the release of bile and pancreatic enzymes it needs to break down.
What Are the Benefits of Taking Vitamins on an Empty Stomach?
Depending on your health journey and wellness goals, you want to consider what kind of supplement you're taking, for what purpose, and what the label recommendations are.
If you don't typically eat breakfast, taking the supplements which need to be taken on an empty stomach can be a first-thing-in-the-morning habit, along with a glass of water. Many supplement takers get into the habit of taking their probiotics this way for optimum results.
On the other hand, if you're someone who wakes up feeling famished and needs to eat right away, you may need to create a habit to take your "empty stomach" supplements 4 hours after a meal. The rewards for this new habit will be great, as the supplement will have the best possible chance of giving you the results you're seeking.
What Are the Cons of Taking Vitamins on an Empty Stomach?
If you've taken vitamins in the past on an empty stomach, chances are you may have experienced the most common side effect.
If you take vitamins often on an empty stomach, the biggest side effect you’ll notice is nausea and an upset stomach. This happens most commonly with B-vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and iron.
The best way to resolve this is to eat something as soon as you're able. Many people find that something mild, like a banana or some crackers, often curbs the nausea that can come from taking certain vitamins with an empty stomach.
What Is the Proper Way To Take Multivitamins?
One of the most common question asked in supplement departments at health food stores is: do I need to take my multivitamin with a meal?
As this article has discussed, the most common symptom of taking certain vitamins and minerals, especially at higher doses, on an empty stomach is nausea.
Some people have no trouble with this and are able to take their daily multivitamin without food, although as we have seen, the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K would benefit from being taken with a meal that contains some fat.
For that reason, the common wisdom (and this is usually indicated on the supplement label) is to take a daily multivitamin with a meal or, at the very least, a good-sized snack.
The other consideration is timing. Taking multivitamins is best in the morning when you first wake up. Not only does it make it easier to stick with your daily supplement routine, but you benefit from all of the energy production that a complete multivitamin supports.
How To Take iwi life Multivitamins
iwi life multivitamins are made with you in mind. That means no matter who you are and how far along you are in your wellness journey, we have supplements that can help support your health goals.
We recommend taking our vitamins with food since our multivitamins contain a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids. This will give our vitamins the best chance to be absorbed properly into your system and help support your health.
Why Choose iwi life Multivitamins?
Here’s why we think our multivitamins stand out among the sea of others:
We Make Them With Everyone in Mind
No matter your gender, your health journey, or even if you’re pregnant, we make our multivitamins for everyone.
We chose to use algae oil over fish oil because we wanted to make our multivitamins accessible to everyone. We wanted to eliminate the fishy aftertaste for those who aren’t a fan of fish, keep in mind those who are vegan and don’t have fish in their diet, and help out the environment by using sustainable farming methods.
Chock Full of Nutrients You Need
Here are some of the different vitamins we put in our multivitamins:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin C3
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
And that’s not all. Interested in learning more? Check out the nutrition label on our vegan women's multivitamin.
Combining Vitamins and Omega-3s
As you can see, we included all of the vitamins and minerals your body requires to aid your overall wellness. At iwi life, we recognize and value the power of omega-3s, and chances are, you do too.
The benefits of omega-3s made it easy for us to know we had to include them in our supplement to help your wellness journey. One serving of our algal oil contains 334 milligrams of total omega-3 fatty acids to help you achieve your wellness goals.
Making the Most of iwi life Multivitamins
At iwi life, we believe in omega-3s, our multivitamins, and our other supplements. But most of all, we believe in our global community and you. We know you want the best for yourself and are committed to helping you achieve that.
We want you to feel your best. That means creating multivitamins that will get the job done in helping you feel your best and support your overall wellness.
Our multivitamins offer you the wide range you need regarding your body’s health. We want to give you the best of both worlds and pack it with water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins, so you can make the most out of your health journey.
Ready to get started and supported at every level? Shop with us today and see how we can elevate your lifestyle.
Biochemistry, Water Soluble Vitamins - StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf
Fat-Soluble Vitamins - Diet and Health | NCBI Bookshelf
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Foods & Benefits | Cleveland Clinic