Can you take vitamins with coffee?

In this brief text we will provide the answer to the query: “Can you take vitamins with coffee?”. In addition, we will discuss the benefits of coffee consumption, what is coffee intoxication, the maximum dose of caffeine you should take and the best time to drink coffee.

Can you take vitamins with coffee?

It is not recommended to take vitamins with coffee. Caffeine can hinder the absorption of some vitamins and minerals from some supplements, such as calcium, iron and vitamins B and D. Therefore, it is recommended that vitamin supplements be taken with water and preferably before or after drinking beverages with caffeine, such as coffee, tea or cola.

Coffee should be consumed pure so as not to affect vitamin absorption. The drink should be consumed two hours after meals and coffee with milk should be avoided by children, the elderly and menopausal women.

Coffee has substances, such as tannins and caffeine, that hinder the absorption of nutrients. If consumed after lunch, it can compromise the absorption of iron present in meats, vegetables and beans. The combination with milk can interfere with the amount of calcium absorbed by the body.

Coffee mixed with milk should be avoided. It is also bad for the elderly, children and menopausal women. These women already have a tendency to decrease calcium in the bones because of the decreased amount of hormones.

Coffee also compromises the absorption of vitamin C and should not be taken with orange juice.

What are the benefits of coffee consumption?

Coffee consumption has been associated with a set of potential benefits for health and well-being, of which the reduction the feeling of fatigue, increased levels of alertness and attention, improvement of reasoning and memory, and may even protect against diseases such as colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma and depression.

Coffee also seems to help maintain cognitive functions in aging, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. These benefits are attributed to the presence of caffeine and antioxidant compounds in coffee, despite More scientific research is needed in this area to understand the mechanisms underlying these protective effects of coffee.

What is coffee intoxication?

Coffee intoxication refers to intoxication due to overuse and prolonged use of coffee or other caffeinated substances (e.g. colas, tea, chocolate). Caffeine doses above 400 mg/day represent a high consumption, which can cause health risks. 

As such, continuous consumption (usually more than 5 days) of high doses of caffeine can lead to intoxication or caffeine. Some related symptoms with high consumption are, for example, anxiety,  nervousness, insomnia, tachycardia and nausea.

The lethal dose of caffeine in the normal adult appears to be above 10g, according to the scientific literature. 

However, most cases of death due to abusive consumption of caffeine is due to the introduction of food supplements based on stimulant substances (e.g. caffeine, taurine) that can interact with each other or with the association of these substances stimulants with alcohol.

What’s the best time to drink coffee?

The best times to drink coffee are after the peaks of production of cortisol, a hormone related to the regulation of the circadian cycle and with the maintenance of the alert state. In fact, the interaction between caffeine consumption and hormone production may induce caffeine tolerance. 

Bearing this in mind, the best time to consume coffee (caffeine) is between 9:30 – 11:30 am and 01:30 – 05:00 pm.

What is the recommended dose of caffeine?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), in 2015, states that doses up to 400mg of caffeine per day are safe in healthy adults, except for pregnant women. The total daily value of 400mg includes all sources of caffeine (e.g. coffee, energy drinks, soft drinks, chocolate). 

Given this recommendation and the average caffeine content present in coffee in Portugal, as well as the different foods where it may be present, an average consumption of 2 to 3 coffees per day in healthy adult coffee consumers.

However, it must be always respecting individual susceptibility to caffeine. For women who intend to become pregnant, pregnant or women who are breast-feeding the  recommendations point to a total amount of 200mg of caffeine per day. Since caffeine is a substance that crosses the placental barrier and may affect the fetus.

Regarding the intake of caffeine and other stimulants in children and adolescents, its consumption is discouraged, since it is not yet clear what the acceptable levels will be. 

In addition, parents should pay attention to the presence of stimulants in other foods, in addition to coffee, which are within reach of this target Audience. Examples of these foods are chocolate, soft drinks, ice cream and tea.


In this brief text we provided the answer to the query: “Can you take vitamins with coffee?”. In addition, we discussed the benefits of coffee consumption, what is coffee intoxication, the maximum dose of caffeine you should take and the best time to drink coffee.