What’s the Best Multivitamin for Me?

By Toria Cornett, ATC, CSCS

multivitamin choiceRecent research from the American Medical Association found that over half our population is currently taking a multivitamin.  Multivitamins are over a $4 billion per year industry!

But the success of the industry doesn’t mean that there isn’t still a debate over multis. Is it necessary for you to take one? Is it a waste? What is the best multivitamin for you? These questions constantly wander through the conversations of nutritionists, naturopaths, chiropractors, and even those not involved in the industry.

A lot of folks agree that those people who are prone to have a deficiency should consider taking a multivitamin. But the general consensus is that you can obtain all the necessary vitamins and nutrients from eating a balanced diet. Ninety percent of Americans think they are eating a ‘healthy diet,’ but 68% of Americans are overweight!

How many of us are actually eating a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet?  There is little debate that the elderly, pregnant women, vegetarians and individuals with certain health conditions should take a multivitamin. But if you don’t fall into one of these categories, what’s the necessity?

What Is The Best Multivitamin For Me?

Once you have decided if you do need/want to choose a multi, the process of picking the right one can still be tricky because you won’t always have the company’s total transparency.

Look for a multivitamin that you will actually take every day. If you have to take 19 pills an hour and you can’t swallow pills, you’re probably not choosing the right supplement.

Finally, do your research. Shopping on a whim is a great way to get something fast, but it may not be the something you want. Look into a company before you purchase. Find a company that appreciates consumer questions and suggestions. If a company is truly what they claim to be, they’ll be transparent and offer to help with your research.

Another thing to add to your research: Studies show that some more expensive vitamins’ label claims could be more inaccurate in the amount of nutrients than those of less expensive multivitamins. This fact is important because sometimes, too much of a good thing is as harmful as too little.

If you are eating a balanced diet and taking a multi to help cover any deficiencies, be aware that you may be taking too much of some nutrients—and be wary of label claims. Any company should be able to verify that their labels are telling the truth.

For the same reasons, you should find out from your doctor if you need more of one nutrient and less of another. Some multivitamin formulas are designed with specific support in mind. Similarly, you can supplement with another vitamin or formula if no multi you choose covers all of your personal biological needs.

How Should I Take My Multivitamin?

Most people will take a vitamin with water or coffee in the morning. However, juice with vitamin C may help with better absorption of all nutrients. Because multis often contain both water- and fat-soluble vitamins, you should take yours with food. This combination is especially important for the elderly whose ability to break down food stuff decreases with age.

The ultimate question, then, is: should you be taking a multivitamin?  Check with your doctor first, especially if you have a health condition or are on any prescription drugs. Then read Consumer Reports, and educate yourself on the overwhelming number of vitamins available to you.  In the end, the decision is yours!

View information about all of our multivitamin formulas here to see what might best fit your supplement needs.