What is the best time of day to take DHA fish oil?

13 December 2017

If you are already taking or are planning on taking DHA supplements, then you are most likely aware of the many health benefits of DHA, also known as Docosahexaenoic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid. We understand that you want to do things right for you and your child’s health, and that includes knowing the best time of day to take your DHA supplement.

There is no specific time of day that has been proven to be better for DHA absorption. What is most important for optimal absorption of DHA is that it be taken with a meal. The fat in a meal will help the DHA supplement get absorbed into your system. A study showed that absorption of DHA from fish oil was increased three-fold when taken with a high-fat meal compared to a low-fat meal.[i] This demonstrates the importance of taking DHA supplements with a meal containing fats.

Each person is unique and so is your choice of when to take DHA. Here are a few considerations that might be useful for you.

Benefits of taking DHA in the morning

Some people just seem to do everything better in the morning. If that sounds like you, or if your family has an established morning routine, then this timing might make be easier for your family to remember healthy habits, including taking DHA.

If eggs, smoothies, or avocados are typical breakfast foods in your house, this would also make mornings an ideal time to optimize the absorption of DHA. If your breakfast consists mostly of fruit, then you might want to wait until you eat a heartier meal which contains some fats.

Benefits of taking DHA in the evening

If dinners usually consist of fish or meat, or if nuts are an evening snack, then this might be an ideal time of day for your family to take your DHA. Plus, the evening if often a more relaxed moment during the day, therefore you might be more apt to remember taking it at that time.

Liquids vs capsules or tablets

If your DHA supplement is not optimally absorbed, then you might not get all the potential DHA that you could get in your system. Knowing the benefits of DHA, you will want to be certain to take your DHA with a meal that contains fat.

The format of the supplement is also important. If your family does not like swallowing pills or capsules, then a liquid may be a good option for your household. Fish oil liquids are naturally an oil, so this means that there is already some fat incorporated into the dosing. ThinkmistTM provides a unique and easy DHA in a spray! Simply spray onto a food and eat your meal. The fine mist is taste-neutral and your family may have a difficult time noticing that they are taking a DHA product.

The bottom line

Choosing when to take your DHA supplement based on the meals may help ensure that your family benefits the most from DHA. If you take medications in the evening, then this might be the best time for you to take DHA also. Pay attention to the format that works well for your family. Whatever you decide is best for you, the important thing is to remain consistent. Creating a routine for taking supplements and medications reduces your risk of forgetting to take them altogether. You are better off taking them than not at all.

  1. [1] Lawson LD1, Hughes BG. Absorption of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid from fish oil triacylglycerols or fish oil ethyl esters co-ingested with a high-fat meal. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1988 Oct 31;156(2):960-3
Tags: administration, brain, DHA, oily fish, omega-3, omega-3 fatty acids, recommendations, seafood


Natalie Bourré

Natalie works as a consultant for various medical organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Her goal is to help them communicate accurate medical information in patient-friendly language via traditional and digital marketing methods.

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