Q: What supplements should be taken before, after or during dinner?
MD: Calcium supplements can be taken with dinner, or hours after dinner before bed. Supplemental calcium is best in smaller, more frequent doses to support absorption. The form of calcium you are taking determines if you should take it with a meal or snack, or on an empty stomach. Calcium carbonate requires the presence of food for better absorption. Your calcium carbonate supplement may be taken with dinner, as well as earlier in the day with another meal such as lunch. On the other hand, calcium citrate can be taken with or without food, and does not require food or stomach acid for absorption. Therefore, you can take calcium citrate at bedtime on an empty stomach, and also in between meals during the day. We would hope that you would have taken your other vitamins and supplements earlier in the day, rather than waiting for your dinner meal. You should enjoy the benefits of the vitamins and supplements during your waking hours!