Vitamins & supplements: when will I notice a difference?

The VITL Nutrition Team / Jul 4, 2017

We often get asked "if I start taking vitamins, how long before I notice a difference" and the answer depends. Which areas of your health are you hoping to improve? What does your current diet and lifestyle look like? Do you have any existing conditions? Taking all these factors into account, what can you expect to notice once you start taking supplements?


Unlike medications, which are designed to treat an existing problem, vitamins are designed to proactively support your health. (On a side note, if you are taking medications, make sure you check with your doctor about any potential drug-nutrient interactions). Everybody’s biochemistry is different and the length of time before you feel a tangible benefit will depend on your body and what it needs to feel at it’s best.

Having said all of that, what can you expect when you’re embarking on a supplement programme?

Energy Levels

Several vitamins and minerals are involved in energy production, most notably B vitamins, which are heavily involved in producing ATP, the biological unit of energy. The effects of B vitamins anecdotally can be fairly instantaneous whilst research has found B vitamins (alongside vitamin C and minerals) help participants feel more alert within about 2 weeks1.  


Not only are B vitamins important for energy, but also vital in producing the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin. In addition, magnesium also helps to produce serotonin and is involved in at least 300 other functions in your body. Research has found that magnesium, together with some other key nutrients such as zinc can help people sleep better within around 8 weeks2. Several studies have shown that magnesium can help with anxiety3 and perceived stress within about 28 days4.  

Radiant Skin

If your skin is an area of concern, research has found that supplementing with antioxidants, vitamin C, and zinc improves skin radiance by increasing skin luminosity and reducing imperfections such as dark circles and redness as well as improving skin firmness within around 8 weeks of supplementation5.  

You might experience transient digestive upset when you first start out

It’s very common to experience this side effect when you start a supplement regime and typically it happens when you take your vitamins on an empty stomach. It is quickly remedied by taking your supplements on a full stomach - if you experience nausea when you take your supplements with breakfast, it could be because your breakfast is quite light and your digestive system hasn't "woken up" yet so we suggest tearing off your handy daily strip and taking it with you to have later with lunch. If nausea persists, you might want to try taking one supplement a day to identify which one in particular is causing the upset. Alternatively, you might want to switch to a personalised supplement plan instead. 

You’re more engaged in your own health

When you choose to start a supplement regime, you’re in a subset of the general population who is, by virtue, more proactive when it comes to looking after their own health. Moreover, recent research has found that long-term intake of a multivitamin can contribute to a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease6

As with most things in life, it’s important to find a balance: this includes a lifestyle, diet and supplement plan to suit you. We’ve developed our range of high-quality nutrition packs with you in mind so head over to the product pages to discover a supplement plan to suit you.

Find out the latest news in nutrition: The 5 Things You Need To Know This Week