It seems like everyone is taking a multivitamin these days, but how do you know if yours is truly effective? Or perhaps you are not yet taking a multivitamin, yet hoping to find the right choice for your lifestyle and fitness goals? How do you even know where to begin?
To start with, multivitamins provide a wealth of benefits in giving you more bang for your buck in choosing a vitamin supplement. This is something highly important to keep in mind since you can get the vitamins and minerals that you are looking for within one daily supplement of multivitamins. What many people don't realize is that minerals are often depleted through everyday stress and exercise, meaning that you need to focus on complete sources of multivitamins to replenish and repair your body on a daily basis.
9 Tips on How to Buy Multivitamins
1. Ensure it fits your lifestyle goals.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you really delve into it, so many people have different requirements for multivitamins. As an example, you may be hoping to prevent disease, or even correct your own vitamin deficiency. In that case, you would look for multivitamins with specific vitamin ingredients for your overall health.
As another example, you may be fatigued and feel that you don't have balanced nutrition, meaning that you should choose complete multivitamins to balance your diet and give your body the nutrients it is craving. Such as an 22 year old male wanting to increase performance, doesn't have the same lifestyle goals as a 60 year old woman looking for vitamins.
2. Match your multi to your activity level.
If you are just beginning on a fitness routine, you may have different multivitamins and mineral needs than an athlete or bodybuilder in a long-term workout program. Either way, both of these individuals need multivitamins as supplements, but an athlete may need multivitamins with higher levels of zinc since that is often depleted through strenuous exercise.
If you are very active, you may need multivitamins specifically made for athletes to provide high levels of chromium and zinc to promote protein synthesis and muscle recovery. These multivitamins will work to strengthen the immune system and offer greater energy for increased stamina and workouts. The more active you are, the more you need a more premium multivitamin.
3. Ensure your multivitamin is gender specific.
There are general multivitamins on the market, but there are also choices in multivitamins that are gender specific. This may be something suitable so that you can get the correct vitamins and minerals, whether you are a man or a woman. Men and women have different dietary needs, so as an example, women's multivitamins may contain extra calcium to supplement the bones and prevent osteoporosis, while men's multivitamins may not contain such high levels of calcium.
Men's multivitamins may also contain different herbal and vitamin extracts to protect the health of the heart and prevent the risk of heart disease in higher levels than women's multivitamins. This is one to not be flexible on. Please ensure you buy a multivitamin for your gender. Very simple, but very effective.
4. Check the number of daily pills/servings.
It is important to keep in mind that many multivitamins require multiple servings, since all of the daily vitamins and minerals you need will not likely fit into one capsule, unless it is very large. You may be required to take two or more multivitamins on a daily basis to get the servings that are advertised within the multivitamins product.
Please be aware of this when you purchase your multivitamins to ensure you take them properly and get the optimal benefit from them. I can't tell you how often I hear of people taking a single pill, when the product requires for three a day. Not very effective....
5. Have the multi fit your age range.
Multivitamins are recommended for all age groups, including teenagers, young adults, those who are middle aged and they also make kids multivitamins.
As a specific example, there are multivitamins for women over 50 who have different nutrient needs than younger women. These multivitamins will work to reduce stress, improve energy, and boost the immune system as you age. These types of multivitamins for older women are helpful if you have a difficult time absorbing nutrients as you get older. This will work to efficiently balance the diet in a specific age bracket in the form of multivitamins.
While not everyone over 50 needs a 50+ multivitamin, I would highly recommend you purchase a multi based on your age range. Again the more tailored the multivitamin to you, the more benefit it is going to have on your body.
6. Pay attention if you are vegetarian, gluten-free or have other dietary preferences
If you are vegetarian, it may be ideal to take multivitamins since you may not be getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need from your diet that is restricted from meat or animal products.
Many vegetarians are significantly low on iron, which can be further depleted if you are a female due to menstruation. If this sounds like you, then you do need vegetarian multivitamins to supplement your diet and provide balance to prevent illness. What is amazing is these days you can easily buy a vegetarian multivitamin or gluten-free multivitamin.
7. What type of serving (powder/capsule/tablet/liquid) do you prefer in multivitamins?
Many multivitamins are made from vegetarian gel capsules, which makes them easier to swallow and be absorbed by the body. This is something not only important for a vegetarian, but also for people who have difficulty swallowing pills. These soft vegetarian capsules for multivitamins will be much easier to swallow than hard tablets in multivitamins, so that is something to take into consideration with multivitamins if you have a hard time taking pills regularly.
One other benefit to a soft capsule over a hard tablet is simply absorption. Soft capsules are broken down much more easily within the stomach for a smoother absorption, whereas many people may have a difficult time digesting hard tablets. In some cases, the hard tablets may not break down at all, which will completely defeat the purpose of taking them in the first place by robbing you of essential nutrients! The bottom line is that soft vegetarian capsules in multivitamins are the most user-friendly form of multivitamins available on the market!
If pills are an issue there is always a multivitamin powder or liquid multivitamins. You can simply add the multivitamin powder to your favourite drink or smoothie and drink it back or if its a liquid multivitamin it is ready to drink. Liquid multivitamins for kids are quite popular.
8. Make sure to read the ingredient label.
Just because something is labeled as multivitamins does not mean that it is the best choice for you! Be smart as a consumer and make sure to read your ingredient labels in multivitamins carefully. It is important not to overdose on the vitamins minerals within multivitamins, so make sure that your choice in multivitamins does not contain more than the daily recommended value of vitamins or minerals. This is very true if you are on specific medications or supplementing with other vitamins/minerals at the same time. What I find is people will simply grab any multivitamin off the grocery shelf when they should be comparing them to popular health store brands which often are extremely more effective.
9. Go with quality. Proven brands.
Not all multivitamins are made alike and overall many of the best health supplements are only sold in health stores. While grocery stores can have some decent vitamins, they in no way compare to the quality brands that a health store will carry.
While I completely understand money is always a concern, remind yourself the reason you are buying the multivitamin. You want it to have an impact on your health. While cheap vitamins do contain vitamins, often they are either in too small of a supply or in a form that is not absorbable. Much of the time the vitamins in those cheap multi's are synthetic and do very little. If you are going to buy a multivitamin spend your money wisely and go with a proven brand health store brand.
Multivitamin Tips Conclusion
With these tips in mind, you will have an easy time picking the right choice in multivitamins for your lifestyle! Every person is different when it comes to multivitamins, but it is incredibly helpful to narrow down your choices to multivitamins that are ideal for your age range, lifestyle, and gender. This will help you to make a worthwhile investment in multivitamins so that you can trust that they will truly benefit your health. These easy shopping tips for multivitamins will help you to not only save money in the long run, but also make sure that any vitamin deficiencies are treated right away to boost your immune system!
Our favourite brand of multivitamins are Progressive Multivitamins. They are formulated by a Canadian naturopathic doctor in Ontario and all products are researched and proven effective. So check out the selection of Progressive Multivitamins and find the right one for your age, activity level, and gender.