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Can You Drink Water When Taking Multivitamins?

Isaac Robertson
Published by Isaac Robertson
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 8, 2021

Proper nutrition and hydration are vitally important. So, you can take water with multivitamins.

BUT: 

Both high doses of water and multivitamins can be harmful.

Different vitamins act differently in your body and in combination with water and foods. Plus, not all multivitamin brands contain the same ingredients.

That’s why we’ve consulted nutritionists to provide reliable, high-quality expert information you need to know to stay on the safe side before you pop your next multivitamin pill.

How Much Water Should You Drink With Vitamins?

close up image of a woman drinking water from a glass

Eight full eight-ounce glasses of fluids per day are the minimum amount experts generally recommend, although it depends on your lifestyle and many other factors.

You should increase the intake if you’re pregnant, nursing, sick, outside on a hot day, exercising or losing fluids faster than usual for any other reason.

Also, not all vitamins are equally effective with and without water and food.

So, read on to learn when to increase and reduce your daily amount of water to prevent adverse reactions.

Water-Soluble Vitamins

green vegetables on the table, and citrus fruits in a yellow background

Water-soluble vitamins are:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B complex - B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folic acid), and B12 (cobalamin).

These vitamins get dissolved in liquid and don’t get stored in your liver (unlike fat-soluble vitamins).

If unused, your body eliminates them through urine, so you must take them daily, best through a balanced diet.

Orange juice, citrus fruits, and sweet peppers are rich in vitamin C. Main food sources of B vitamins include:

  • Legumes
  • Dark leafy greens,
  • Whole grains,
  • Fortified cereals,
  • Grain products, and
  • Many other plant foods and animal products.

You can take these vitamins with a glass of water without food. Only vitamin B12 gets better absorbed with food, and vitamin C can block its usage.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

glasses filled of yogurt and avocado slices

Fat-soluble vitamins - A, D, E, and K - get stored in your body (liver), and water doesn’t affect their absorption.

Although vitamin E and A might be more readily available for use if taken on an empty stomach, most experts claim that the absorption of all fat-soluble vitamins is much higher with food containing fat (not necessarily unhealthy saturated fat).

“And the morning would make sense if you drink milk, eat yogurt, or put avocado in your AM smoothie.” -Dr. Michael J. Breus, Psychologist, and Sleep Expert

If you’re getting enough of these vitamins through a healthy diet, plus use multivitamin supplements every day, you risk overdosing.

Unlike their water-soluble counterparts, these vitamins can quickly build up to toxic levels because the excess amount can’t get removed from the system through urination.

Accumulation of these vitamins may result in organ damage and do other harm to your health.

Minerals

mineral sources in food image

Multivitamin supplements often contain essential minerals like Iron you shouldn’t take with certain foods and beverages.

Some minerals get stored in your liver and can also build up to toxic levels.

Moreover, certain minerals and vitamins work together, whereas others fight for absorption, so be careful with the ingredients combined in your multivitamin supplement.

For example, Iron gets best absorbed when taken with water or citrus juice on an empty stomach because vitamin C enhances its absorption, whereas Calcium blocks it.

Additionally, Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc get better absorbed when taken with food (but not at the same time) as they’re easier on your stomach.

FAQs

Should You Drink More Water When Taking Vitamins?

No, you shouldn’t consume much more water than typically recommended daily (9-13 cups for adult men and women) and needed to stay hydrated when taking vitamins because increased water intake can flush out some vitamins and minerals and minimize their benefits [1].

Can Drinking Too Much Water Wash Out Vitamins?

Yes, drinking excess water amounts can wash out water-soluble vitamins like B vitamins, vitamin C, and some other important nutrients from your body, and they’ll get excreted before getting absorbed, which may lead to their deficiency.

Can Drinking Too Much Water Deplete Minerals

Yes, drinking water excessively can deplete some essential minerals such as Magnesium and Sodium, causing water intoxication, i.e., Hyponatremia, an electrolyte disorder that can lead to mild or more severe side effects, including cerebral edema, seizures, coronary spasms, anxiety, coma, even death [2].

Does Drinking Water Help with Nutrient Absorption?

Yes, drinking water helps with nutrient absorption. Experts have found that it helps your body break down food and easily move it through your digestive tract. Also, it won’t dilute your stomach acid and interfere with the digestion as it was previously thought.

Can Drinking Too Much Water Dilute Nutrients?

Yes, water consumption in high doses can dilute nutrients like Sodium, Potassium, and other electrolytes in the body, causing some serious side effects detrimental to your health due to potentially fatal water intoxication and dangerously low salt levels. [3]

Should I Take Multivitamins With Water?

You should take some multivitamins with water and others with specific foods for maximum absorption and to support good health.

Take vitamins such as C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and most other B vitamins with a glass of water because water-soluble vitamins dissolve in liquid, enabling your body to absorb and use them.

They also get absorbed best on an empty stomach.

Fat-soluble vitamins like A, C, E, and K are independent of water intake as they get differently absorbed from the water-soluble vitamins.

So, the best way to consume them for adequate absorption from the intestine into the bloodstream is with a meal containing high-fat foods.

For your safety, ensure you avoid excessive overhydration and be aware of how a mix of certain vitamins, minerals, and prescription medications may interact to prevent potential side effects and the risk of overdose.

That’s why I always recommend consulting your family health care practitioner before you plan to take vitamins or add another supplement to your daily diet.

So, after getting all this safety information about taking multivitamin pills and water, feel free to share with us your experience with multivitamin products.


References:

  1. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/water/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4470176/
  3. https://jcp.bmj.com/content/56/10/803.2

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