Multivitamins are the best way to full in the nutritional gaps in your diet. Say you’ve declared war on all citrus or would rather climb Mount Everest in a bikini than eat a plate of green veggies – adding a multivitamin supplement can help balance everything out.
Individuals who consume a limited diet or those who live with digestive issues that prevent the body from properly absorbing nutrients from food can benefit greatly from taking a multivitamin. We need different amounts of nutrients at every stage of life, so read labels carefully and speak to your healthcare provider about what to look for. Women who are pregnant, for example, usually need more of certain nutrients. In short, your kid’s gummy vitamins may look and taste great, but they probably won’t do you much good.
There are definite do’s and don’ts for taking multivitamins to make sure they’re adding all the right benefits to your health.
Here are some tips to help you get everything need from your multivitamin supplement:
Split It Up:
While a once-daily supplement is convenient, you may not be keeping a consistent amount of these essential nutrients in your system with just one dose. Aim for one in the morning and one in the late afternoon or evening. Make it easy and take it with breakfast and dinner.
Make It a Meal:
Vitamins are either fat soluble or water soluble. The difference is vitamins that are fat soluble need a form of fat to carry them to the bloodstream to be absorbed and utilized by the body. Since your multivitamin will have a mix of both types, take it with food for the best results.
Count to 12:
There are 12 vitamins and minerals that should be in your multivitamin. You should look for vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) C, D, E, K, zinc and folic acid. Well, technically 13 if you’re a pre-menopausal woman, which would mean you need a multivitamin with iron.
Make It a Lifestyle:
Don’t count on your multivitamin to save your life. Plain and simple. Getting these essential nutrients daily does wonders to assist your body in its natural processes and can keep you healthy, but popping a multi everyday doesn’t give you a pass to skip healthy foods and avoid exercising.
Be sure to drink plenty of water with your multivitamin, aiming for 8 oz. at the minimum. The water not only helps move the multivitamin through your system, it also assists the body in breaking down and absorbing water-soluble vitamins into the bloodstream more effectively.
These are some actions to avoid when taking a multivitamin or any other nutritional supplement:
Look for a multivitamin that has 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for each nutrient. That’s all you need. Anything with a supercharged dose can interact with other medications, cause side effects, or, actually not have any benefit at all.
You’re only human and you’re bound to forget a dose of your multivitamin. If it’s only a couple hours past your normal time, go ahead and take it, but if you’re reaching the next dosage time, just let it go. Taking twice the recommended amount won’t make up for anything you missed and missing one dose won’t sabotage your health.
Leave It Out:
Speak with your doctor, pharmacist or a trained supplement expert about any medical conditions you have and/or medications you’re taking to avoid potential interactions. While we need vitamins and minerals daily, some may interfere with the actions of your medication in certain amounts. Make sure your healthcare provider knows you’re taking one.
Just like with a medication, what’s right for you may not be right for someone else. Avoid sharing your multivitamin with your friends or family – you don’t know their unique nutritional needs.
You can find multivitamins in capsule, tablet, softgel and liquid form as well as chewables – pick one you won’t dread taking every day. Adding a multivitamin to your routine can help you keep your diet on track and contribute to a healthier you – don’t skip it!