Caffeine and vitamin D absorption

morning coffee can reduce vitamin d absorption

Caffeine and vitamin D absorption

Who knew that vitamin D could make you feel sooooo good?! It really is a sunshine vitamin. If you are deficient I would suggest supplementing, because the results can be DELIGHTFUL!!

This post is about how to get the best bang for your buck in terms of supplements, in this case, vitamin D. A friend alerted me to the fact that vitamin D shouldn’t be taken with or around coffee, and not even tea! As this was news to me, I did some research and found that yes, in fact, the caffeine in coffee and tea blocks your vitamin D receptors, allowing less of it to be absorbed. [1]

Get the most out of your vitamins

Now, to be true you will get some benefit, but to really get the most out of your vitamin D supplement, you might want to consider taking it outside of an hour before or after consuming coffee or tea.

My research suggests that night time is not the best time for vitamin D supplementation, even if it can make you feel tired (in the beginning), because vitamin D can affect your sleep. It made sense to me to drink it in the morning, first thing, like a burst of sunshine through the windows when you get up. And that seems to be what people advise as well, due to the natural melatonin that is created by your body at that time.

But what about your morning brew of coffee? If you are like me, you have tamed your coffee addiction and don’t drink coffee until an hour or two after waking up. For reasons previously outlined in the post the is ‘coffee causing adrenal fatigue?’ this is better for your body and for your overall psychology. If you wait an hour or two after waking up to drink coffee, then your body has a chance to naturally produce the hormone cortisol, and you will be able to wake up more easily naturally.

I know that this can be easier said than done, and I will endeavour to write a post about how to curb your coffee addiction soon and link it here. For now, I would say that it definitely can be done. Even if your caffeine addiction is like what my nicotine addiction was like (extreme!).

bioceuticals vitamin d supplement

A morning routine

My morning routine for as long as a couple of years now has been – get up, drink a big glass of water (now with a drop of vitamin D in), then drink a cup of tea, then eat breakfast (was muesli and yoghurt, but now half a green smoothie), shower, and now muesli, milk, and yoghurt, then a cup or two of coffee.

This was working well, until today, when I found the evidence above about the caffeine receptors and decided to change it up. This morning I had a big glass of water with vitamin D, then two glasses of green smoothie, then a shower, then muesli, yoghurt and milk, and then coffee (skipping the tea altogether). This gave me more than hour between the time I drank the vitamin D and the time I had caffeine which is about right. [2]

It is a bit of shame to miss the gentle awakening of a cup of Earl Grey, but it does give one’s body more of a chance to excrete our own waking up chemicals. And to be honest, I REALLY noticed the effect of the increased absorption. I have been in a very sunshiny mood all day 🙂 And my brain is working at 185 %. I feel great!

To get the best effect, avoid caffeine within an hour of vitamin D supplementation

To sum up I would say that supplementation with vitamin D can provide a lot of positive health benefits, both physically and psychologically. If you are going to do it, you will get the best results if you supplement with vitamin D outside of an hour between drinking coffee or tea.

What is your current morning routine? Are you a slave to caffeine? Or have you started supplementing vitamin D?


  1. Fitday, 2020, ‘The Effect of Caffeine on Vitamin Absorption’ in Fitday, viewed 13th May, 2020, < >
  2. Bacchus, T and Macdonald, E, 2017, When is the Best Time to Take my Vitamins?’ in Clean Eating Mag, viewed 13th May 2020, < >
  • Joy Barski
    Posted at 07:40h, 18 February Reply

    I deeply appreciate this well researched with references article & my soon to be “healthy bones!” I had no idea how caffeine can effect vitamin D is why I would take it just before my cup of java at times, or directly after!! I knew it effects a bit of calcium & magnesium with a cup or two… I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis & need to make some important changes that you have mentioned to prevent osteoporosis. I had stopped drinking coffee for 2-3 months many times when I had (quit smoking one of ??? times) which I actually replaced with dark chocolate, thinking that it is the healthier choice!? That darn caffeine monster! I shall make the necessary little changes that will make a large positive impact… Thank you so much for this “Bless’d article Sarah 🙂

  • Sarah
    Posted at 11:26h, 18 February Reply

    Hi Joy,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I am sorry about your osteoarthritis diagnosis but so happy that you are researching and taking steps to prevent osteoporosis. I take a medication that increases prolactin and some doctors think this is related to osteoporosis in later life, so I can relate to the need to do everything we can do to improve bone strength and density.

    I am sure you are across the need to do weight-bearing exercises at least twice a week?

    It is my understanding that caffeine can result in some calcium loss but I have read that it is only in higher quantities like 4 – 6 cups a day. Do you find that you crave coffee as soon as you wake up?

    Good luck separating it out. If you can take your vitamin D first thing and then drink coffee once something like breakfast is in your tummy, you might be able to get avoid the effect of caffeine on vitamin D.

    Best of luck!!

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