Maintaining a balanced diet can be a challenge, often leaving nutritional gaps in our daily intake. That's where the best multivitamins come into play, providing a convenient solution to bridge those nutrient deficiencies to ensure you're getting the right nutrients on a consistent basis.
You can, of course, buy supplements that give a boost in one specific area of nutrition (just look at our guides on the best taurine, EAA, and nitric oxide supplements as examples). However, multivitamins usually contain upwards of 20+ different vitamins and minerals to help supplement your diet with the essentials.
As a result, almost all multivitamin supplements can be taken daily, although this isn't always the case. Therefore, make sure you read the instructions and the advised dosages to ensure you're not overloading your body with nutrients.
Once you've got that figured out though, adding multivitamins to your diet might just help you reach the full potential of your wellbeing. Thankfully, our list has you covered if you don't know where to start your search. Let's get into our top picks...
- Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men
- Nature Made Multi for Her
- MyVitamins A-Z Multivitamin Tablets
- SmartyPants Daily Multivitamin for Men & Women
- Natures Aid Daily Multivit
1. Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men
Best multivitamins for men
Dose: 3 tablets
Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men stands out as one of the best multivitamin supplements on the market for men, with 38 active ingredients said to reduce fatigue, support cognitive function, and help with metabolic and immune processes.
The supplement's combination of zinc and vitamin B5 may be the key factor in potentially improving mental performance. Research by Sun et al., for example, notes that zinc deficiency is related to cognitive impairment, while vitamin B5 has been linked to contributing to the structure and function of brain cells.
Opti-Men tablets also contain vitamins A, D, C, B6, B12, folic acid, copper, and selenium, which, combined, may help aid the normal function of the immune system and reduce tiredness and fatigue.
There's certainly a lot packed into each tablet, and, with 240 servings, you'll have more than enough to supplement your diet daily. So, with so many active ingredients, this is definitely a great multivitamin supplement to consider.
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2. Nature Made Multi for Her
Best multivitamins for women
Dose: 1 softgel
Although men and women require mostly similar vitamins and minerals to function, their needs are not completely identical. As a result, it's important to go for a multivitamin tablet made for women if you're a woman yourself.
Enter Nature Made Multi for Her, an excellent tablet designed specifically to support women's unique health needs. It contains 23 key nutrients for daily supplementation, which include folic acid, a hugely important B vitamin that plays a role in preventing neural tube defects in women of reproductive age.
This supplement also contains around 100% of most women's daily iron intake, which is incredibly important as research by Moschonis et al. suggests women with menses are more likely to be iron-depleted, so additional supplementation is sometimes required.
There are some more universal potential health benefits as well. For instance, each tablet contains calcium, which plays a vital role in bone health, and vitamin D, which helps in absorbing calcium. Ultimately, it's an incredibly well-rounded supplement designed to support women's health.
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3. MyVitamins A-Z Multivitamin Tablets
Best budget multivitamins
Dose: 1 tablet
MyVitamins A-Z Multivitamin Tablets is a slightly cheaper supplement to consider, although don't be put off by its lower price tag as it still contains a ton of useful ingredients which may enhance your well-being.
Some of the key ingredients include vitamin A, which plays an important role in eye health as it supports the functioning of the conjunctival membranes and cornea, iron, which we've highlighted above, and vitamin C, which, among many things, is a key contributor to immune defense.
The supplement itself is convenient to take. MyVitamins recommends just 1 tablet a day, which means you don't have to worry about taking multiple doses throughout your daily routine. With 90 servings per container as well, there are plenty of tablets to last you months.
So, if it's a budget-friendly multivitamin supplement you're after, make sure you consider these A-Z tablets.
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4. SmartyPants Daily Multivitamin for Men & Women
Best gummy multivitamin
Dose: 4 gummies
So far, we've run down some pretty great multivitamins. However, they all have one thing in common - they come as tablets. Tablets aren't always easy to take, which is an issue if you fall into this camp but still want to take multivitamins daily.
SmartyPants Daily Multivitamin is one solution to consider. Rather than tablets, you get 180 chewable gummies that you should find are easier to consume than swallowing pills.
Four gummies a day are said to provide you with adequate amounts of 15 essential nutrients, including omega-3 EPA/DHA, which has shown promising results in disease prevention, weight management, and cognitive function, and vitamin K, which is needed for blood clotting and to help wounds heal.
It's also worth noting these gummies are non-GMO. free of milk, eggs, peanuts, and tree nut allergens, plus they contain no synthetic colours or artificial sweeteners/flavours. As a result, these multivitamin dummies are a great option to consider for most people's dietary requirements.
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5. Natures Aid Daily Multivit
Best dissolvable multivitamin
Dose: 1 tablet
Our final entry is another alternative to multivitamin tablets. Natures Aid Daily Multivit is an effervescent supplement that you can dissolve in practically any drink you can think of for easy consumption. It's citrus flavoured too, so should taste better than most tablets out there.
Ingredients-wise, it contains vitamin C, E, and several B vitamins, including niacin, which may help your normal energy production. Vitamin E is also an interesting inclusion as it helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and is said to strengthen the body's immune system.
Additionally, each tablet is free from GMO, sugar, artificial flavours, and artificial colours. It's also suitable for vegans as it's free from gluten, dairy, yeast, nuts, and soya.
So, regardless of your dietary requirements, this daily multivitamin supplement has you covered, making it well worth considering in our eyes.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Multivitamins, along with supplements in general, can often cause quite a bit of confusion. No need to panic though, as we've answered some of the most frequently asked questions about multivitamins below.
Should you take multivitamins?
The decision to take multivitamins depends on several factors, including your individual health needs, dietary habits, and lifestyle.
Starting with nutritional needs. You may need to take multivitamins if you have specific nutrient deficiencies or medical conditions that may require additional supplementation. For most healthy individuals with well-rounded, balanced diets though, it's likely you're getting all the vitamins and minerals you need from what you consume on a daily basis.
That said, it can be challenging to consistently obtain all essential nutrients solely from food, so multivitamins can act as a nutritional safety net. To demonstrate this, one study by Bird et al. found nearly one-third of the U.S. population is at risk of deficiency in at least one vitamin. Be careful though, as you may end up oversaturating your body with a certain vitamin or mineral if you take multivitamins on a daily basis.
Something to note as well is that there are certain instances where vitamin supplementation starts to potentially become more beneficial. For example, as vitamin B12 absorption can decrease with age, according to Baik and Russell, additional supplementation may be crucial. Also, those who follow a plant-based diet are at a higher risk of deficiency in certain vitamins due to not consuming meat. Pawlak et al. have shown this to be the case with vitamin B12 once again, but plant-based diets can also lead to a deficiency of calcium, zinc, iron, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.
In short, multivitamins have their uses and can act as a nutritional safety net. However, while multivitamins can provide a range of essential nutrients, they are not a substitute for a healthy diet. A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats remains the foundation for obtaining optimal nutrition. And, as always, consult a healthcare professional if you experience any adverse side effects from taking multivitamins.
What should you look out for when selecting multivitamins?
There are several factors to consider to ensure you select multivitamins that suit your needs and are of good quality. Firstly, check the label to see if they contain a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals that you require. It should ideally provide close to 100% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for most nutrients, especially if you feel you're lacking in certain areas.
You'll also need to consider the form and dosage. Think about whether you prefer tablets, capsules, gummies, or other forms of multivitamins. Also, check the recommended dosage and make sure it aligns with your needs.
Adding to this, try to avoid multivitamins with unnecessary additives like artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives. And, look for products that undergo third-party testing to verify their potency, purity, and quality. Certifications from reputable organisations, such as NSF and UPS, can often be a good indicator of quality as well.
Finally, if you have allergies or dietary restrictions, check if the multivitamin contains any common allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, or nuts, and check to make sure they won't interfere with any other medication you may be taking.
What's the best time to take multivitamins?
The best time to take multivitamins can vary depending on the specific product and individual preferences. Therefore, it's important to read the label on your multivitamin supplement to see if there are any specific instructions regarding the timing of consumption. Some supplements may recommend taking them with meals, while others may suggest taking them on an empty stomach.
Why with meals? This can help enhance absorption and reduce the chances of stomach discomfort. Certain vitamins are better absorbed when consumed with food that contains some fat, as it aids in their absorption.
If the recommended dosage of your multivitamin is more than one tablet per day, you may consider splitting the doses. For example, taking one tablet in the morning and another in the evening can help maintain a steady level of nutrients in your system.
Remember, consistency is key. Choose a time that works well for you and try to take your multivitamin at the same time every day. This can help establish a routine and make it easier to remember.
And finally, some multivitamins contain energising ingredients that can potentially interfere with sleep. To avoid any potential disruption to your sleep, it's generally recommended to avoid taking multivitamins right before bedtime.
Can children take multivitamins?
Yes, children can take multivitamins, but it's important to consider the age and specific nutritional needs before giving or taking supplements before adulthood.
This is because children tend not to require the same amount of the vitamins and minerals provided by adult tablets, which is why there are multivitamins specifically formulated for children to cater more to their needs. These multivitamins are usually available in various forms such as chewable tablets, gummies, or liquid drops to make them easy to digest.
Most multivitamin supplements will display an appropriate age range. But, remember, this range and the dosage instructions for multivitamins can vary, so it's crucial to follow the specific recommendations provided by the manufacturer or healthcare professional. Avoid giving adult multivitamins to children unless specifically instructed by a healthcare professional.
On that point, it's probably worth consulting a professional before giving any child multivitamins or dietary supplements. They can assess the child's nutritional needs, evaluate their diet, and provide guidance on whether a multivitamin is necessary.