There are a ton of supplement options out there, but the question is, which one(s) is right for you? Believe it or not, there are some supplements that are most effective when taken at specific times of the day.
Matt Mazzino, a registered dietitian for the personalized protein powder company Gainful, says that for some supplements, it doesn’t matter what time of the day you take them, with regard to how well they will be absorbed by the body.
“However, in certain cases, using them at more specific times of the day can maximize benefits,” he adds. “Some supplements are also going to be intended to be used every day over time, while others can be taken intermittently or as needed.”
But before you start taking any supplements, be sure to read the label and instructions, and as an extra precaution, clear it with your doctor. Now, here is the best supplement to take in the morning, afternoon, and at night every day (if you so please!).
What is the number one supplement you should take in the morning?
Mazzino recommends starting your day off with B-complex vitamins as B vitamins are water-soluble and absorb best first thing in the morning with a glass of water—not food. (Protip: Make sure to take this supplement about 30 minutes before you eat breakfast).
“They are needed in the body for many reasons, such as natural energy production, cell and organ health, and nerve function. You can use a daily multivitamin if you want, which should contain all or most B vitamins in it along with many other nutrients,” he adds.
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What would be a good supplement to take midday?
After lunch, it’s common to feel a little wiped out, which is why Mazzino suggests taking an energy supplement to combat midday fatigue.
“This could be pre-workout or a hydration product if you workout midday, or another energy promoting supplement,” he says. “Look for ingredients such as ashwagandha, caffeine, and L-theanine, green tea extract, citrulline, and BCAAs.”
For context, BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids, which is a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They’re often taken to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance.
“Especially for folks who enjoy caffeine, you want to be careful with using these types of supplements later in the day as they may affect your sleep,” he adds. “Typically, caffeine will stay in your body at significant levels for about six hours after consumption, but it can depend on your own caffeine tolerance.”
What supplement may be best to take after dinner or before bed?
To top off the night, Mazzino suggests taking a protein powder that contains protein that digests slowly, such as casein.
“Casein protein is great to consume close to bedtime because it can help give a more sustained release of amino acids to your muscles and body while you sleep,” he says. “Rest and recovery mainly occur during sleep, and having sufficient protein intake spaced out correctly can help optimize that.”
So, if you need a little snack before bed, consider whipping up a light protein shake to help keep you full throughout the night and promote recovery.
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