Can I Take Vitamin C at Night? Your Questions Answered

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    Let’s take a look at vitamin C, how it works, and if the time of day you decide to take your vitamin really makes a difference.

    How does Vitamin C work?

    Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful antioxidant. Most commonly you might think of vitamin C when you think of citrus fruits like oranges but you can find vitamin C in a large number of foods you consume daily. Think peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and even broccoli. Some fruits like acerola cherries and guavas have the title for the highest amount of vitamin C per serving. You can also find vitamin C in fortified foods and beverages.

    Vitamin C is most commonly known for its ability to support the immune system and its immune health benefits have long been studied by researchers and scientists. Most of this research on vitamin C points to positive benefits on the immune system. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant meaning it can help combat oxidative stress in the body. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of vitamin C is 75-90 mg. So if you are not getting the recommended amount in your diet, adding in some fruits and veggies or supplements may be helpful.

    Vitamin C is also well known as a “helper vitamin” for absorbing certain types of iron. Research has shown that taking vitamin C can help our bodies better absorb non heme iron found in plant based foods. Vitamin C is also important for collagen production. "collagen production"). It serves as a cofactor for two enzymes involved in the production of collagen called prolyl and lysyl hydroxylase. Both of those enzymes are crucial for collagen stabilization and cross linking.

    Vitamin C and Sleep

    We spend about ⅓ of our lives asleep. Although it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, there is a correlation between vitamin C and sleep. Vitamin C is not only for those that are looking to promote a healthy immune system. In fact it is important for everyone due to the simple fact that it plays a role in so many essential bodily functions.

    Sleep is one of the basic requirements for health and development and an adequate length is needed for proper restorative effects. Sleep is a pillar of any healthy regimen, but it may not come all that easily for some. Some research has shown a correlation between poor sleep quality and low vitamin C levels. Shorter sleep duration is associated with an increase in oxidative stress. And since vitamin C is an antioxidant, some scientists are conducting research to see if there is any benefit of supplementing to vitamin C to support those with increased oxidative stress from occasional lack of sleep or shorter periods of sleep. In an animal study, vitamin C demonstrated positive potential in boosting stress tolerance and managing healthy cortisol levels after a period of intentional sleep deprivation. This is promising since both stress and cortisol levels can temporarily impact sleep however additional research is needed for conclusive results.

    Another study also linked vitamin C’s role in sleep by luminating the role vitamin C plays in the process of converting amino acid tryptophan to neurotransmitter serotonin. This is a pivotal role because serotonin is then converted to melatonin (the main hormone associated with sleep).

    For more direct targeted sleep support, trying something that contains melatonin may be helpful. Melatonin has been clinically studied and research indicates that it can decrease the time it takes to fall asleep. Care/of makes a sleep blend formula that contains melatonin along with passionflower, valerian, and ashwagandha. This Sleep Blend formula was specifically formulated to promote a calm mind and body to help promote a healthy sleep cycle. One mint infused capsule taken 30 minutes before bed can help you ease your mind and temporary sleep disruptions from jet lag.

    If you experience long term difficulty with sleep, talk to your doctor to discover any underlying issues and figure out the best plan moving forward.

    Is it okay to take vitamin C at night?

    For most people, taking vitamin C at night won’t be an issue. Supplement manufacturers provide recommended instructions on the product label, so you should aim to follow those instructions (unless your physician says otherwise). Most dosing instructions are not specific to a certain time of day, so you can simply apply those instructions during the most convenient time for your routine.

    Overall, vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin that does not have sedating or stimulating effects on energy levels in the body. So that means you can truly take vitamin C any time of day without worrying about disrupting your sleep. The best time to take vitamin C truly depends on the person and the answer varies case by case. The key is making sure you take your vitamin C consistently in order to reap the benefits. So for some people that may be first thing in the morning and for others it may be with dinner or right before bed.

    Choosing the right Vitamin C supplement for you

    Vitamin C offers many great benefits. What sets the Vitamin C formula at Care/of apart from others is that it contains vitamin C naturally derived from acerola cherries while using an extraction method that preserves active phytonutrients in order to boost absorption. If you are considering adding a vitamin C supplement to your regimen, you should aim to purchase a high quality product from a reputable source. Ideally, the ingredients will be sourced responsibly and the company will provide clear labeling information (e.g. dosing instructions and quantity in one dose), in addition to third party testing. High quality vitamin C can offer many benefits beyond its well known immune boosting benefits. Consider giving vitamin C a try!

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Our Editorial Staff
    Freelance Contributor
    The Care/of Editorial Team is made up of writers, experts, and health enthusiasts, all dedicated to giving you the information you need today. Our team is here to answer your biggest wellness questions, read the studies for you, and introduce you to your new favorite product, staying up to date on the latest research, trends, and science. Each article is written by one of our experts, reviewed both for editorial standards by an editor and medical standards by one of our naturopathic doctors, and updated regularly as new information becomes available.