Your body needs a wide spectrum of nutrients to keep it healthy. From immune system support to tissue growth and repair, you want to keep an adequate supply of nutrients to support the billions of functions your body carries out every day.
Ideally, we’d all get the nutrients we need from our diet. Unfortunately, the average Western diet is low in many essential vitamins and minerals. But thankfully, there are supplements that can help us get all the nutrition we need and they’re called multivitamins.
The idea of taking a multivitamin supplement is that it can help create a “health buffer” for our bodies. It can provide an extra level of protection in the case of any nutritional deficiencies and helping to ward off harmful health effects. They can also provide even further health benefits, including increasing energy, maintaining muscle strength, and boosting the immune system. All great benefits for anyone, and especially for those that are athletes looking to maintain their strength, energy, and endurance for their exercises and events.
The issue? Most multivitamins are overhyped and oversold. Ads on TV, in magazines, and online shout about their benefits, with claims ranging from preventing disease and improving health to building muscle, losing fat, and improving brain function. But, as with any supplement, not all multivitamins are the same. Some multivitamins are promising, while others may fall short.
As an athlete, you want to make sure any supplement you’re putting in your body is a top choice. The same is true of your multivitamin choice. So, let’s discuss multivitamins for athletes. We’ll dive into what multivitamins are, the benefits they can provide, some common multivitamin ingredients, and more. We’ll also, of course, provide you with our picks for the best multivitamin for athletes. Ready? Let’s get started!
Benefits of Multivitamins for Athletes
The USA is one of the most nutritionally deprived countries in the world. Research conducted by scientists at Colorado State University and published in 2005 shows that at least half of the population, and as much as 33 percent of the population, does not meet the current federal government’s RDA for vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. Studies also show that average vitamin K and D intake levels may be suboptimal as well.
That’s where multivitamins come in to fill the gaps. A multivitamin cany provide vitamins and minerals for your body, that should cover any holes in your diet or make up for missing micronutrients. In addition to this, there are a variety of benefits that come with multivitamins that athletes especially may find useful. Below, we will discuss some of the top benefits multivitamins can provide.
Increases Energy Levels
When a person is deficient in their nutritional requirements, they may experience the symptoms of fatigue and lethargy. Taking a regular course of multivitamins can help bring back the energy levels you need to stay active and healthy. Regular exercise and good nutrition will keep you energetic as well as fit.
Boosts the Immune System
The multivitamin is an excellent way to boost nutrition. It can help prevent deficiencies, especially when there’s concern about nutrient intake in a particular diet. Vitamin C helps protect the body from free-radical damage, and vitamin E helps increase the body’s production of antioxidant enzymes.
Maintains Muscle Strength
Free radicals in the body are harmful molecules as they affect the overall health of the body. They can be destroyed by a variety of antioxidants found in different types and quantities of natural food sources and supplements. Taking multivitamin pills can help neutralize and destroy damaging free radicals.
Improves Brain Function
Some vitamins and fatty acids are important for healthy brain function. They include vitamin B12, herbal supplements such as Ginkgo Biloba, and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients can help protect your memory.
Reduces Stress & Depression
Multivitamins will help you reduce stress and depression levels. Vitamins, minerals, and herbs in your multivitamin can help correct brain chemistry that causes stress and anxiety. When you choose an effective multivitamin, your body will be able to produce the anti-stress hormones (also known as neurotransmitters) that regulate your mood levels and emotions.
When Should You Take Multivitamins?
If you’re planning on taking a multivitamin, what time of day do you take it? Are you better off taking it with food or right after you eat? How long after eating should you wait before taking your supplement? Which is better: taking your multivitamin with food or going on an empty stomach? And which is the best time to take your multivitamin so that you won’t forget?
There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ time to take a multivitamin. However, it is recommended that you take a multivitamin with a meal as this may reduce the likelihood of nausea and stomach discomfort. Although best eaten at the same time of day as the vitamin, our multivitamins can be taken with any meal, including breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even a snack.
However, it is important to take a multivitamin with meals that contain oils or fats. Fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E, and K, and also vitamin C. When taken on an empty stomach, these vitamins may not dissolve or be absorbed effectively, which means they may not be as effective as they could be.
Many people take a multivitamin at breakfast, as it’s easy to eat a balanced meal at that time of day. This could mean that you could be missing out on some valuable vitamins and minerals. But if you tend to eat a fairly low-fat breakfast most of the time, you may not get all of the fat-soluble vitamins in your multivitamin.
The most damaging meal of the day is usually dinner. And many multivitamins are designed to boost energy during the day. But if you take them early in the day, they may not be a good idea as they could interfere with sleep. However, if you take a multivitamin that’s intended to give you extra energy, taking it at night may not be a great idea as it could interfere with your sleeping patterns.
Multivitamin Key Ingredients
While multivitamin ingredients range, most supplements include similar vitamins and minerals. These ingredients work to help your body function properly while making sure you get the sufficient nutrients you need.
Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and B Vitamins
When it comes to the main ingredients in a multivitamin, look for one that includes actual vitamins and minerals. Many of the options on the market can be packed with “filler ingredients” so making sure it has certain vitamins is key.
The best multivitamins also include essential amino acids, folic acid, pantothenic acid, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, and sometimes even digestive enzymes. Some multivitamins also even include things like an herbal matrix, organic fruits and veggies, green tea, and more.
Other Multivitamin Ingredients
Aside from key vitamins and minerals, multivitamins often include filler ingredients or ingredients that help them keep their shape and shelf-life. Even the best multivitamin can include things like artificial sweeteners, fillers, and gums. This is especially common in gummy vitamins.
Make sure that when you are selecting a multivitamin, that the key ingredients are vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.
Best Multivitamins for Athletes
Before choosing a multivitamin, it’s important to determine why you are taking a multivitamin. Is it to help with an iron deficiency? To support bone health? Or, as an athlete, it may be to bridge the gap with key nutrients, promote muscle growth/muscle mass, support a healthy immune system, or support joint health.
We’ve provided our picks for the 4 best multivitamins for athletes. These multivitamins provide a variety of benefits for health. So, check out these top multivitamin options for athletes and find the one that best fits your specific wants and needs.
Legion Triumph (Best Multivitamin for Athletes Overall)
Arguably the best multivitamin for both female athletes and male athletes, Legion Triumph is perfect for those who desire the perfect balance of essential nutrients and support. It provides clinically effective doses of 21 vitamins and minerals and 14 phytonutrients ranging from Vitamin D to zinc to folate.
Legion Triumph also includes 11 other additional herbs (grape seed extract, Nigella sativa, Ashwagandha, CoQ10, etc.) to help potentially enhance your athletic performance, heart health, blood flow, intellectual capacity, mental health, immunity, longevity, mood, and more.
Besides its benefits for your physical health, this supplement is one of the few vitamins that can help improve mental health and reduce feelings of anxiety.
- Its unique blend contains ingredients that are hard to find in other multivitamins for athletes
- Helps users fall asleep faster and longer
- Alleviates feelings of anxiety and depression
- Some users reported getting “garlic burps” from this multivitamin
Performance Lab NutraGenesis Multi (Best Multivitamin For Men and Women)
NutraGenesis Multi is a multivitamin that comes available in two forms: one designed for men and one designed for women.
This multivitamin provides a broad spectrum of nutrients formulated to help keep your body healthy. It contains over 17 essential vitamins and minerals combined to help keep you feeling your best.
NutriGenesis Multi is made using a patented technology that replicates and mimics the nutrient composition of food. This means that nutrients are absorbed into your body structurally, instead of as individual nutrients. Subsequently, the key nutrients in this supplement are encapsulated and enter your bloodstream as nutrient-rich, bioavailable liquid, they will be maximally absorbed and utilized by your body.
- Available in two gender-specific variants that are tailored to fit the specific needs of men and women.
- Additive-free and no common allergens such as soy and gluten
- Has a wide range of highly bioavailable minerals and vitamins
- Filler-free, vegan-friendly, and non-GMO
- Purchasable only on the official website of Performance Lab
Care/Of (Best Personalized Multivitamin)
Put someone in charge of managing your health so that you get the most comprehensive medical data possible. Care/Of offers a vitamin subscription service that can provide cutting-edge information about your personal supplement regimen and deliver it to your doorstep.
To make your life easier, these daily supplements are packed in individual envelopes so you won’t have to open multiple bottles for each day’s combination.
The aim of Care/Of is to make getting supplements easier by eliminating the guesswork of choosing which ones to take. Care/Of vitamin and supplement products range from prenatal vitamins to multivitamins, and also feature a selection of specific health supplements such as calcium and essential fatty acids.
- Letter vitamins – These comprise of B-complex, prenatal vitamins, and multivitamins, as well as single vitamins like vitamins C, D, and B12.
- Minerals – This company presently offers calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.
- Herbs – Several herbal supplements are offered, including elderberry, ashwagandha, garlic, and milk thistle.
- Probiotics – Care/Of offers two options, including a bacterial probiotic blend and yeast-based probiotic made from Saccharomyces boulardii.
- Specialty – These consist of omega-3s, keratin, astaxanthin, and an adaptogenic mushroom blend.
- Personalized supplement recommendations based on your health needs and goals
- Monthly supply shipped straight to your home
- Wide variety of products
- Ingredients and products graded based on the strength of available research
- Products tested for quality and purity
- Wide variability in cost
- Shipping fee for orders less than $20
- Doesn’t offer consultations with a registered dietitian (RD) or another health expert
- Products are not third-party certified
Feel Multivitamins are vitamins in a subscription box, with a price of 60 capsules for £11.95. They are certified vegan, non-GMO, allergen-free, kosher, and certified Halal. They have a mixture of 33 vitamins, minerals, and botanicals.
Feel Multivitamins are designed to aid in supplementing your diet, improve digestive health, boost your immune system, and keep your body in overall good health. The packaging is in 100% paper pouches and boxes, with no plastic used.
- Vegan and gluten-free
- Higher quality ingredients than an average drug store multivitamin
- Fairly Priced
- The formulation is backed by research
- The paper pouch can be tricky to close or seal so you may have to transfer the capsules into a bottle or other container
- Many of the reviews state that it can have a strange flavor
Should you use a Multivitamin for Athletes?
Most athletes already eat relatively healthy and usually maintain their fitness with exercise. Unfortunately, even if you focus on eating whole foods with key nutrients each day, chances are you are not getting all of the nutrients your body needs.
Adding a multivitamin to your diet can help bridge that nutrient gap while simultaneously providing an array of health benefits any athlete can enjoy. Multivitamins can boost immune health, brain health, and even support specific things like your red blood cells. They can also promote muscle growth and bone health, and even give your energy levels a solid boost. So if you’re an athlete wondering if a multivitamin can benefit you, give one of these top choices a chance and see what it can do!