A healthy person who consumes a well balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, low-fat dairy products, lean meats and fish will most likely not need any supplements. However, dietary guidelines recommend supplements — or fortified foods — in some situations. If you have been asked to take supplements, have it at the right time. This will enable your body to fully absorb the supplement, thereby gaining maximum benefit.
Vitamins A, D and E (fat soluble): Take these regularly with food.
Iron: Take it on an empty stomach. (This may cause nausea in certain people. If you suffer from nausea, take it with food.)
Calcium: High doses alone could be taken at night or between meals. However, taking it with meals may be far more effective as the absorption of calcium is enhanced by other nutrients.
Vitamin B complex: Consume first thing in the morning for greater efficiency - though it is still effective at other times.
Vitamin C: Most effective with meals and the safest if you have an acid sensitive stomach. Some people report an increase in energy levels when it is taken in the morning.
Magnesium: It is best taken at night as it promotes sleep.
Multivitamins, antioxidants and minerals: These can be taken safely and effectively at any time.