Should You Be Taking Multivitamins?
Vitamins and minerals are important for the human body, helping you grow and stay healthy.
Different vitamins do different things, from helping with heart health to keeping your skin healthy.
For some people, the best way to get multiple vitamins and minerals is through multivitamins.
Tips on Taking Multivitamins
First of all, it’s always better to get your vitamins and nutrients through natural means – meaning you get them through a healthy and well-rounded diet.
Raw and whole foods pack the most punch when it comes to vitamins and nutrients. However, not all people can get the foods needed to get what they need in vitamins.
This is where multivitamins come in.
If you’re not getting enough of one specific nutrient, you can take a multivitamin that contains that ingredient. Low on iron? Take multivitamins with iron.
Multivitamins may have been part of your breakfast every day when you were a kid (which can often make them a turn-off for adults – unless you were lucky enough to get Flintstones vitamins).
Speaking of children’s vitamins, make sure to buy those that don’t contain artificial food coloring (some people have allergies to red dyes).
Many people take a multivitamin when they can’t eat certain foods, like dairy. Taking a multi with calcium and vitamin D can help ensure you get the healthy nutrients needed in order to keep your bones healthy. If you can’t spend time outside, because of a sun allergy or certain meds, you need to get a boost of vitamin D each day in some form.
1. When to Take Them
The best time to take multivitamins depends on the vitamin itself. Some will need to be taken on an empty stomach, while others need to be taken with food. Some you should take in the morning, and some you may not want to take with different foods.
Prenatal vitamins are a multivitamin you don’t want to skip any days on – it’s important for your own health, as well as the health of your baby. Because some of the ingredients, including folic acid, can cause nausea, you may want to consider taking them later in the day instead of early in the morning.
Fat-soluble vitamins use fat to dissolve, so you want to take them with a fatty meal – like dinner. You’ll get the most benefits from them when you take them with healthy oils (like avocados or olive oil). Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and should be taken on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning in the best time).
2. How Often to Take Them
There are two things that factor into how often you take your multivitamins. It’s as easy as reading the label on the bottle or following the instructions given to you by your medical professional. By taking them by these recommendations, you ensure you get the right amount of vitamins, and not too much.
It’s possible that your vitamins could have some effects on other medications, so talking to a professional (even the pharmacist) before making a purchase could save you money and a visit to your doctor’s office.
You can take too many vitamins. While you may think that a deficiency in vitamins, which is having too little, is the only negative surrounding vitamin intake – you can take too much. According to WebMD, vitamin overdoses have some particular symptoms (which depend on which vitamins you’ve taken too much of), including – diarrhea, cramps, hair loss, fatigue, and more.
3. Picking the Right Ones
When it comes to picking the best multivitamins for your health, you can go by your doctor’s recommendations, or you can look into what other people are rating as the best. Start by looking for companies that offer natural multivitamins. Here are a few of the brands you may want to look into when it comes to purchasing quality multivitamins.
- Kirkland – Costco’s “generic” brand is an excellent choice when it comes to food, vitamins, and more. Their signature daily multivitamin is an affordable option that absorbs properly. They have adult and children’s multivitamins.
- Centrum – Centrum is a well-known name in the world of multivitamins. While they’re not as cost-effective as the Kirkland vitamins, but they are a smart choice (especially if you don’t want to pay a yearly membership fee at Costco.
- One-a-Day – This is another common vitamin name in homes all over. They are a great choice if you want a multivitamin that covers everything and you aren’t worried about cost (these run higher than Centrum even).
Different stores, like Walmart and Rite-Aid, carry their own “generic” brands of multivitamins. You don’t always need to shop expensive, or for a well-known name, to know you’re getting a vitamin that will do the job.
Check out the ingredients in them and make sure they are as natural as possible – aside from that, the brand name often doesn’t matter at all (after all, Kirkland is a “store brand,” and it’s on the top of many lists for best multivitamins).
Are Multivitamins Effective?
Whether or not multivitamins are effective depends on whether or not you’re taking them as directed. If you’re taking your vitamins daily, at the right times, and with the right foods, you will be getting the benefits intended by them.
Taking more than you need does not make them more effective though, so be careful and take some time to talk with your doctor if you’re unsure of how often and how much you should be taking.