Due to the standard western diet and the growing awareness around health and fitness, multivitamins are steadily growing in popularity. You can get them in powders, tablets, chewable pills and now even in liquid form.
What is a multivitamin?
It might sound straight-forward, but a multi-vitamin is any supplement that aims to provide all of your essential vitamins and minerals for the day. Some contain more micronutrients whilst others contain less, but each multivitamin will contain a large amount of our required daily intake of the majority of essential vitamins.
Why are they a good idea?
If your diet tends to be pretty void of nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, then there’s a high chance that you’re missing out on a lot of nutrients which a multivitamin can provide.
As well as this, those who choose to omit foods from their diet for whatever reason, such as keto-followers, vegans, and vegetarians, will likely be deficient in some way. For instance, plant-based eaters will be missing out on vitamin B12 which is important for cognition and energy production.
Lastly, even if you do have a fairly ‘healthy’ diet, then a multivitamin can help you to cover all of your bases. Frequently eating fruits and vegetables is the majority of the battle, but it’s also important to eat the rainbow. This simply means eating a wide range of colors as the colors in food corresponds to the nutrients inside. Simply eating spinach and tomatoes every day doesn’t give you everything you need, so a multi-vitamin helps to make sure you’ve left no stone unturned.
Why are they a bad idea?
You can think of multivitamins similar to protein powder. There’s nothing inherently special or magical about either, they just help to supplement your diet where you might be missing out. Yet, they should never take precedent over whole, natural foods. A well-rounded meal will always give you more than any multi-vitamin not just in terms of nutrients, but fibre, energy, and protein, too. If you take good care of your diet and aim to eat a variety of foods each and every day, then there’s no need to take a multivitamin.
As well as this, multivitamins can be quite expensive for something that’s not necessary. If you’re struggling to make ends meet, then it’s better to channel your funds into your food than any pills or powders.
Finally, a multivitamin might not actually work for everyone. Various studies have suggested that there are certain responders and non-responders, meaning that even if you take a multi-vitamin, it’s not guaranteed it’s going to give you all of the benefits it claims to.
Which Should I Choose?
If you do want to take a multivitamin, then the liquid form offers the most benefits. Unlike tablets and pills which need to be digested due to their coating, liquid varieties can bypass the digestive system to enter into the blood steam a lot quicker. As well as this, the average absorption rate for liquid vitamins is around 98% whilst standard pills carry only a 5-30% success rating.