Can I take Vitamin C at night? Vitamins are essential nutrients that play an important role in our body. Each human being requires vitamins in varied proportions as they play different roles in the body. To meet the nutritional requirements, we must supplement our bodies with vitamins. We get certain vitamins from foods, while specific vitamins are in supplement form.
Vitamin C is an essential mineral, water-soluble vitamin, and superb antioxidant that plays a fundamental role in skin health. It protects the cells and keeps the skin, blood vessels, and tissues healthy. Now the question arises: when to take this vitamin? Is it right in the morning or at night?
The right time to take the vitamin is usually morning with meals. A few supplements taken during the night can induce better sleep. It also depends on which vitamins you must take and their health effects and benefits.
Before discussing this topic, let us understand the significance and types of vitamins in our bodies and the nutrition they provide.
1. What Are Vitamins and Their Health Benefits?
Vitamins are organic compounds and micronutrients that help build the body’s cardiovascular health and immune system. It assists with the proper functioning of the body to keep us active and working condition.
Our body absorbs these vitamins and stores them in different ways. Consumption of fewer vitamins in the diet can lead to the risk of several health effects.
An article from The BioStation reports that 92% of the population in the USA has a vitamin deficiency. It also explains the reason and the necessary solution for the same. Hence, including a Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) of vitamins in our diet is vital.
So, let us now look at the health benefits of vitamins in our bodies.
1.1. Benefits of Vitamins
It helps promote healthy ageing.
It significantly reduces stress and anxiety.
It helps boost a healthy cardiovascular system.
It supports immune system function.
It supports proper body functioning.
It protects and maintains good eyesight.
It maintains healthy and strong bones.
It helps in brain functioning.
It supports a healthy metabolism.
It promotes healthy hair and skin health.
2. Types of Vitamins
Biological systems require 13 fundamental vitamins, 9 of which are water-soluble and 4 of which are fat-soluble, for optimal functioning.
2.1. Fat-soluble Vitamins
Vitamins A, E, K, and D are fat-soluble. Our body requires the absorption of these vitamins through a fat-containing meal which stores them in the fatty tissues.
Vitamin A (Retinol) helps with a clear vision, cellular growth, and cell division. It is rich in fish liver oil, meat, milk, eggs, and green veggies like spinach. Another excellent source of Vitamin A is carrots providing 184% of the Daily Value (DV) and helping protect from night blindness.
Vitamin D (Calciferol) is essential for maintaining healthy bones in conjunction with Calcium (a mineral for bones and teeth). The natural source of Vitamin D is exposure to sunlight that produces it. Also, to maintain Vitamin D levels, you must have enough magnesium for metabolism. Other sources of this vitamin are beef liver, fatty fish, eggs, and more.
A randomized controlled trial from the National Library of Medicine (NIH) in 50% of older adults shows that Vitamin D absorption was 32% greater in dietary fat-meal with its supplements than in fat-free meals.
Vitamin E (Tocopherol/Tocotrienol) is a powerful antioxidant for blood flow and the immune system. It protects the body’s cells from free radicals that damage the cells and lessens the production of free radicals.
Vitamin E is rich in vegetable oils, green leafy, poultry, meat, and fruits like kiwis, almonds, and nuts. Healthcare providers advise taking Vitamin E supplements with a meal for health benefits.
Vitamin K (Phylloquinone/Menaquinone) is a requisite vitamin for blood clotting that aids in the healing of wounds and prevents bleeding. It also helps in bone building and may help fight cancer and diabetes. Vitamin K-rich foods are leafy greens like spinach and broccoli, pumpkins, figs, vegetable oils, and cereal grains.
Vitamin K supplements may react with certain medications like Anticoagulants. So, it is preferable to consult a healthcare provider to check the dosage before consumption.
2.2. Water-soluble Vitamins
As the name suggests, water-soluble vitamins are soluble or dissolve in water. Unlike fat-soluble ones, their intake doesn’t require a meal. They get excreted through urine, and hence their regular consumption is imperative.
2.3. B Vitamins
B Vitamins are those that belong to the B-Complex Group. The 8 B vitamins are B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), B3 (Niacin/Nicotinic Acid), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 (Pyridoxine), B7 (Biotin), B9 (Folate/Folic Acid) and B12 (Cobalamin).
They play a significant role in metabolism, cell growth and development, hormone production, DNA, blood cells, and the nervous system. If certain B vitamin levels are low, you may feel more tired than usual and anaemic.
The healthy sources of Vitamin B are salmon, green leafy veggies, meat, milk, eggs, beef, legumes, yogurt, pork, yeast, and sunflower seeds.
3. Vitamin C
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble antioxidant that plays a notable role in the growth and development of the immune system, body tissue repair, iron production, and healing wounds.
Vitamin C is rich in many foods, from Citrus fruits like lemon and orange and other fruits like kiwis, berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries), mango, watermelon, papaya, and pineapple. The vegetables rich in Vitamin C are broccoli, green veggies, cabbage, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and Brussels sprouts.
3.1. Benefits of Vitamin C
It helps protect cells and prevent damage from free radicals.
It reduces dark spots and the appearance of wrinkles by enhancing collagen production and improving overall skin health.
It helps boost the skin tone and makes the skin look brighter.
It hydrates the skin and improves the elasticity of the skin.
It helps prevent early ageing.
It eliminates of risk of skin cancer.
It protects from sun damage and dry skin.
4. Best Options to take Vitamin C – Supplements and Serum
4.1. When to take Vitamin C Supplements?
Since Vitamin C is water-soluble, taking it with a meal is unnecessary. As our body does not store Vitamin C, the intake should be regular. The recommended daily consumption of Vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.
It is safe to take vitamin C supplements any time of the day, with or without food. Some healthcare professionals recommend taking ascorbic acid supplements on an empty stomach unless it doesn’t create acid reflux or gastric problems.
Being water-soluble, it gets absorbed on an empty stomach if taken 30-45 minutes before meals in the morning.
A study from PubMed Central (PMC) of the National Library of Medicine (NIH) states that taking ascorbic acid (Calcium Ascorbate) alleviates the potential gastrointestinal side effects due to high acidity.
Another prevalent chronic disorder amongst adults is Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), where they experience restlessness and discomfort in the legs in an urge to move them that makes them unable to fall asleep.
A randomized controlled trial study from PubMed of the National Library of Medicine (NIH) proves effective Vitamin C and E combination in reducing RLS in hemodialysis patients.
Vitamin C also helps to uplift sleep health by increasing the length of sleep hours. Some research studies reveal that people taking greater concentrations of Vitamin C had better sleep than reduced concentrations. On the other hand, they were also adaptable to the effects of occasional sleepless evenings.
A study at the University of Colorado Boulder states that Vitamin C nurtures metabolism in older adults. It eliminates oxidative stress, boosts metabolism, strengthens the immune system, and helps lose weight.
Vitamin C absorbs iron better. Hence doctors prescribe taking this vitamin and iron regardless of morning or sleep time. At the same time, taking large amounts of Vitamin C may produce side effects like stomach pain, heartburn, diarrhoea, fatigue, headache, stomach cramps, nausea, skin flushing, kidney stones, and constipation.
It may also interfere with sleep. So, take a vitamin C supplement separately while taking a multivitamin containing Vitamin C.
4.2. When to Apply Vitamin C Serum?
Vitamin C serum is one of the best antioxidants that protect skin from pigmentation, dryness, and wrinkles. Now, when is the right time to apply the serum? Morning or Night?
Applying Vitamin C serum in the morning with sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher will protect against UV rays. In case of sensitive skin, you may use it at night as it may lead to skin irritations and sunburns. Using Vitamin C as a part of the nighttime routine can assist well with your skin tone and reduce wrinkles.
4.2.1. Skincare Routine with Vitamin C Serum
Cleanse your skin well with a face wash cleanser based on your skin type (dry skin, sensitive skin, acne-prone skin, oily skin).
For sensitive skin, aloe vera cleanser works best. For wrinkle-free and hydrated skin, choose Vitamin A and Glycolic Acid cleanser. For acne-prone skin, an acne facial cleanser containing Salicylic Acid with tea tree oil is the choice.
Apply the Vitamin C Serum evenly on the face in upward circles, followed by sunscreen. You can also apply Vitamin C Serum at night to gain maximum effects of skin nourishment while sleeping.
Suggested Reading: Vitamin C Serum Benefits for Skin
5. So, Can I Take Vitamin C at Night?
Each vitamin has its unique role in our bodies. As discussed above, Vitamin C is an indispensable nutrient for our body. Ingestion of Vitamin C either by taking supplements or using a serum for skin care depends on the individual.
It is always advisable to have food containing veggies and fruits rich in Vitamin C. Before taking supplements, a multivitamin or Vitamin C serum, consult a healthcare provider for dosage.
Q1. Can Vitamin C Be Taken Before Bed?
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that does not have a stimulating or stimulating effect on energy levels in the body. This means that you can literally take vitamin C at any time of the day without worrying about it disrupting your sleep.
Q2. Is It Better to Take Vitamin C in the Morning or at Night?
If you’re looking for a healthy night’s sleep and to maximize growth and recovery, it’s important to know the right supplements and when to take them. Magnesium, tryptophan, omega-3s and vitamin B6 are great additions to your nighttime routine to help your body relax and help you get the best sleep of your life.
Q3. What Vitamins Make You Sleepy?
While this may be true, it should be noted that too much of certain vitamins can cause fatigue. For example, vitamins B6 and B12 play an important role in energy metabolism. However, taking large amounts of this vitamin can cause fatigue and other symptoms such as headaches, diarrhoea, and nausea.