How to take iron supplements?

This question is about Nutrition

Elle Penner, MPH, RD

Here’s how to take iron supplements for maximum effectiveness: 

  • Take iron supplements on an empty stomach, paired with 200 mg of vitamin C or an 8-ounce glass of orange juice. When taken together, vitamin C can enhance iron absorption by binding to non-heme iron and storing it in a form that’s more easily absorbed by your body


  • Avoid milk, yogurt, caffeine, and high-fiber foods for at least one hour before and after taking your iron supplement as these can interfere with iron absorption. Additionally, wait at least one hour before taking antacids or calcium supplements [




  • Take your iron supplement as prescribed by your doctor or dietitian since iron type and dosing can differ from person to person.

red pills in foil package


  1. Hurrell, R., & Egli, I. (2010). Iron bioavailability and dietary reference values. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(5), 1461S–1467S.

  2. Office of Dietary Supplements - Iron. (2021, March 30). National Institutes of Health. Retrieved November 23, 2021, from