The basic multivitamin is one of the simplest supplements available on the market these days. That’s probably why multivitamins are one of the most popular.
The problem with this simplicity is that it often leads to people just taking them without ever really thinking why. With other supplements, people research and dig deeper into whether they truly should take them, what their benefits and side effects are, and figuring out what brand provides the best quality and value for money. With multivitamins it seems these questions are overlooked and people just take them because they’re good for you, or avoid them because they’re pointless.
While most of it is obvious, there are still certain factors that you need to consider which we’ll discuss now.
What Is A Multivitamin?
A multivitamin comprises of all the vitamins and minerals that we’re supposed to be providing our bodies on a daily basis in the form of a supplement.
What Are The Benefits of Multivitamins?
The human body requires a number of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis to keep you alive, healthy and functioning.
Each of those vitamins and minerals have their own benefit and play their own role in your body. As a multivitamin provides them, it’s benefits are that of pretty much every vitamin and mineral it contains.
We’re meant to be get all these essential nutrients through our daily diet. The problem is, the typical daily diet doesn’t always do that. With a multivitamin, you just take a single tablet and you get a daily serving of the vitamins and minerals that your diet may be missing. This is basically the only benefit.
However, as mentioned in Part I, the supplement industry can be deceitful and false claims are often made. You know, like they help you lose body fat, lose weight, build muscle, improve your performance or anything similar. Never listen to their lies. It’s a load of marketing rubbish used to get you to overpay for their product that won’t provide you with any other benefits beyond what a normal multivitamin supplement would.
Now I’m not saying the vitamins and minerals contained in a multivitamin don’t play a role in fat loss, muscle growth and other fitness related goals – they do. However, they still won’t directly help you achieve those types of goals no matter what the supplement company claims. Only a proper diet and workout plan are capable of doing that. A multivitamin is just one of many things that help complete the process.
Do Multivitamins Work?
Yes, by providing your body with all the essential vitamins and minerals in a convenient form. However in terms of all the false claims that some multivitamin brands like to suggest, then no.
Is It Safe? Are There Any Side Effects?
Assuming that you are a typical healthy adult, if you’re taking a brand that supplies your body with the ideal amount of the various vitamins and minerals, and it contains the right vitamins and minerals for your specific needs; then it’s absolutely safe.
When And How Should I Take Them?
You should always take multivitamins with a meal to allow for maximum absorption. If the brand you’re taking requires you to take more than one tablet a day, you should take each tablet at a different time of the day, for example, one in the morning and one in the evening.
Do I Need To Take Multivitamin Supplements?
Well, there are only really two answers to this question:
- If your diet isn’t as good as it should be then the answer is yes. However you should really aim to improve your overall diet first as a multivitamin alone won’t magically fix it.
- If your diet is really good then the answer is no, you probably don’t need to take multivitamins. However you could still benefit from taking one anyway.
Along with fish oil supplements, multivitamins are probably the next most often recommended that pretty much everyone could be taking whether they workout or not.
It’s useful as it ensures that your body gets everything it needs on a daily basis. It prevents the possibility of any nutrient deficiencies and that is why I take multivitamins.
I have a pretty good diet compared to most people. It’s full of foods that are high in nutritional value, and very low in processed foods. However, I still take a daily multivitamin just to ensure that my body is getting sufficient amounts of all the important vitamins and minerals it requires for optimal health and function, without introducing potentially high toxic dosages.
So to recap… if your diet isn’t as good as it should be and you’re deficient in certain vitamins/minerals, a multivitamin should definitely be considered along with improving your overall diet. But if your diet is a good as it should be, then the need for taking one is likely eradicated, but there may still be a beneficial purpose of taking them.
What Brand Is Best?
There are hundreds of different multivitamin supplements available on the market and each one contains different amounts and types of vitamins and minerals. And each and every one claims to be the best.
Some are specially made for men, some are made just for women. Others are for people that need more energy or have specific health benefits in mind. The list is endless!
So, how do you figure out which multivitamin is best for you?
Consider the following factors:
The amounts of vitamins and minerals – Does each tablet provide too little, too much, or a perfect amount of the various vitamins and minerals it contains? If it contains too little then it’s a waste of time and money. If it contains too much then it’s a waste as you’ll literally be flushing it down the toilet. It can also be dangerous if it’s well above what it should be.
The type of vitamins and minerals – Every multivitamin may contain calcium but in what form? For example, calcium citrate or calcium carbonate?
Quality – Basically does the multivitamin actually contain all of what it should and none of what it shouldn’t? The only way to establish this is through independent lab testing, and studying the results.
Your specific needs – Your body will require different vitamins and minerals based on certain factors such as your gender, age, diet and lifestyle. The multivitamin you take needs to suit those needs.
The price – As I mentioned above, there are hundreds of multivitamin brands that claim to perform all types of miracles. These false claims often increase the price. Do you want to pay extra for these false claims? I know I don’t. At the same time I don’t want to underpay for quality. So in general it’s probably best to avoid the highest priced products and the cheapest.
My Recommendation for the Best Multivitamin Supplement
As there are so many different products available it’s hard to recommend and pin down an absolutely perfect multivitamin that gets all of the five above factors just right.
So rather than just a single recommendation that I’ve done with the previous supplement guides, I’m going to list a few multivitamin brands that I feel fit the above factors best:
- Rainbow light
- Optimum Nutrition’s Opti-Men
- New Chapter
If I can ever single this list to one ultimate multivitamin, I’ll update this recommendation section. But for now these are the brands that I’d most likely use or recommend.
Where To Buy It
As for where to buy it, the link above will take you to Amazons website, which is where I’ve been ordering all of my supplements for years. I highly recommend getting your supplements from there too.
What to Look Forward to in Part V
Now that you know everything you need to know about multivitamins, in part V we will discuss the next supplement that may be beneficial to you…Creatine.