You already know the basics—you need essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in your daily diet to maintain peak health. You already know that optimal wellness begins from within, but keeping your mind and body feeling their best can be difficult in today’s fast-paced world.
We really don’t think that taking care of yourself should be so hard; it should be as easy as it is natural. If you’re curious as to where you can get started on your health journey, read on to learn the basics of supplementation and when the best time is to take your supplements for the best results.
What kinds of supplements are there?
When it comes to the world of supplementation and all the options out there, it can get pretty overwhelming fairly quickly. We broke down the basics so you’re not jumping headlong into a brand-new dietary regimen blind. Here’s what you need to know first…
What the FDA has to say about it:
The FDA defines dietary supplements as something intended to add to or supplement a typical diet and are different from conventional food—they can help an individual to improve or maintain overall health, and also meet daily requirements of essential nutrients. 
Supplements can come in all shapes and sizes—capsules, soft gels, tablets, edible bars, gummies, powders, nutrition beverages, and more. According to the FDA, the most common supplements include: 
- Vitamins (such as multivitamins or individual vitamins like vitamin D and biotin).
- Minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and iron).
- Botanicals or herbs (such as echinacea and ginger).
- Botanical compounds (such as caffeine and curcumin).
- Amino acids (such as tryptophan and glutamine).
- Live microbials (commonly referred to as “probiotics”).
There are two main types of vitamins:
These supplements are exactly what you think—vitamins that dissolve in water. In total, there are nine water-soluble vitamins: Vitamin C and eight B Vitamins which include vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. These kinds of vitamins are not readily stored in the body. When there is an excess, water-soluble vitamins are excreted through urine.
Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, rely on fat for absorption. These vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K. These kinds of vitamins are stored in the body's liver, fatty tissue, and muscles for long periods of time.
Do you need a supplement?
Food is the best way to get your daily source of vitamins and minerals. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, your nutritional needs should be met primarily through your diet. 
You might be wondering now if you even need to be including supplements in your routine. For people who struggle with nutritional gaps (eating unhealthily or having difficulty keeping up with a healthy dietary pattern) or who have deficiencies, supplementation is super beneficial.
Supplements can be helpful for :
- Children and teens
- People following restrictive diets
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- Older adults
- People with certain medical conditions
- Those who don’t have access to fresh and healthy foods
Always consult with a physician if you are considering supplementation, before adding any new supplements to your diet.
When should I be taking my supplements?
Once you’ve figured out whether or not you need to add supplements to your diet, you’ll then have to determine the right time of day to take them according to your needs and schedule.
We did some research on what the experts had to say so you can make the best decision for yourself.
Early Risers vs. Night Owls
You’ve most likely seen the heated debates around taking supplements in the morning or at night. However, according to nutritional guides and dietitians, opting for a morning supplementary routine is best.
Why? Here’s the science behind it:
- At night, your digestion slows down, resulting in insufficient absorption. Additionally, multivitamins and B vitamins tend to stimulate brain function and metabolism too much, so taking them before bed is not ideal. It might make it difficult to wind down and relax.[5,6]
However, it truly depends on when works best for you and when you’ll remember. To kick-start your new routine, we have a few suggestions:
- Check out our subscription service with Pattern Wellness. Not only will our Subscribe and Save program help to keep you accountable in your supplement routine, but a quality subscription service like ours can help to save you both time and money, too.
- Keep your supplements where you can easily see them. Store them somewhere safe and visible, like the kitchen counter, but be sure to avoid placing them in humid places or areas of direct sunlight as these things can affect potency.
- Set an alarm on your phone to remind you every day at the same time to take your supplements.
With a Meal vs. On an Empty Stomach
We always recommend taking our supplements alongside a meal—which is a general rule of thumb in the supplement community—to avoid chances of stomach discomfort or upset and to increase absorption rates. 
However, you should also always consider the following, too:
Doesn’t Require a Meal
Take With a Meal
Water is Your Best Friend!
You always need water to maintain health and wellness, and that doesn’t change for taking supplements either. No matter where or when you take your supplements, meal or no meal, you should take them with a glass of water. Fluid intake is a critical part of the breaking down of your supplements and ensuring that all of their ingredients are dispersed.
Don't knock it—drink water with your supplements!
The True Key: Listening to Your Gut
While timing can play a role in taking your supplements, the true key is consistency and mindfulness. To be a safe and informed consumer, you should practice the following: 
- Take only as described on the label. Some ingredients and products can be harmful when consumed in high amounts, when taken for a long time, or when used in combination with certain drugs or foods. At Pattern Wellness, we made sure to include clear, concise nutritional labeling on our packaging so you know exactly what you’re taking.
- Do not substitute a dietary supplement for prescription medicine or for the variety of foods important to a healthy diet. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your healthcare provider.
- Make sure you’re checking your facts. Sound health advice should be based on evidence-based research over time, not just a single study. Many big supplement brands will try to dupe you with false claims. Your wellness is our priority, which is why each ingredient in every one of our formulas is heavily researched for safety and efficacy.
Have you started your health supplement regimen yet? Click here to browse our line of premium feel-good supplements that have clinically proven ingredients to transform your health.
- FDA. (2022, June 2). FDA 101: Dietary supplements. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/fda-101-dietary-supplements
- Lykstad J, Sharma S. Biochemistry, Water Soluble Vitamins. [Updated 2022 Mar 9]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK538510/
- Shibata, K., Hirose, J., & Fukuwatari, T. (2014). Relationship Between Urinary Concentrations of Nine Water-soluble Vitamins and their Vitamin Intakes in Japanese Adult Males. Nutrition and metabolic insights, 7, 61–75. https://doi.org/10.4137/NMI.S17245
- Dantas, R. O., & Aben-Athar, C. G. (2002). Aspectos dos efeitos do sono no aparelho digestório [Aspects of sleep effects on the digestive tract]. Arquivos de gastroenterologia, 39(1), 55–59. https://doi.org/10.1590/s0004-28032002000100010
- Kennedy D. O. (2016). B Vitamins and the Brain: Mechanisms, Dose and Efficacy--A Review. Nutrients, 8(2), 68. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8020068
- Zheng, Y., Ma, A. G., Zheng, M. C., Wang, Q. Z., Liang, H., Han, X. X., & Schouten, E. G. (2018). B Vitamins Can Reduce Body Weight Gain by Increasing Metabolism-related Enzyme Activities in Rats Fed on a High-Fat Diet. Current medical science, 38(1), 174–183. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11596-018-1862-9
- The team, D. H. (2021, December 29). 6 tips to avoid nausea after taking vitamins. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/get-nauseous-after-taking-vitamins-6-tips-to-make-them-easier-to-stomach/
- Tompkins, T. A., Mainville, I., & Arcand, Y. (2011). The impact of meals on a probiotic during transit through a model of the human upper gastrointestinal tract. Beneficial microbes, 2(4), 295–303. https://doi.org/10.3920/BM2011.0022
- Current dietary guidelines. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 and Online Materials | Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (2022). Retrieved from https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/resources/2020-2025-dietary-guidelines-online-materials
- Kubala, J. (2021, May 26). Synthetic vs. natural nutrients: What's the difference? Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/synthetic-vs-natural-nutrients-whats-the-difference#what-they-are