Most people are under the impression that taking a multivitamin everyday is a great idea for your health, but whether or not you need one is going to be completely individual depending on your lifestyle, diet, genetics as well as if you fall under one of the categories listed below.
A Multivitamin is usually referred to as a supplement that provides you with all the essential vitamins and minerals through a tablet or pill. Different brands may have some vitamins or minerals missing and each have different dosages to one another with some being more expensive and some being much cheaper. The idea is that they will cover all nutritional bases for you by adding it into your daily routine.
For the majority of people out there, they are not needed and all your vitamins and minerals should be quite easily attained from a balanced and healthy diet. Chef’s Palate is a great option for busy people as they offer their restaurant quality meals delivered free along with easy to follow recipe cards so you can cook up a nutritional meal in less than 20 minutes. If you are consuming a good amount of fruits and vegetables you are very likely covered already. If you are a health and fitness enthusiast then you are probably following a generally healthy and balanced diet already.
However, for a select amount, a multivitamin may be useful for people;
- Who are over 65 and are at higher risk for deficiencies
- Who are pregnant and may have increased nutritional needs
- Who are at high risk for nutrient deficiencies where your diet cannot be altered due to for example medical reasons
- Who may not be financially able to buy a variety of healthy foods
- Who have a very poor diet
There are exceptions to the above where a person may have individual nutrients that they are deficient in which in some cases may be genetic where supplementation may be useful. Examples of these types of supplements would be Vitamin D, Iron or even Magnesium. If you already know you are deficient in a certain vitamin or mineral than supplementing with the correct dose directly is your best bet. For most people a general blood test that you get will be a great source of information that can show you if you have any deficiencies and make it easy to go from there if any particular supplement may be useful for you. You may find one thing you need so its best to get that directly instead of taking a general multivitamin.
In summary, just taking a multivitamin if you do not fall into one of the above select groups is likely going to provide you with no benefits and be unnecessary unless you have identified that you have a deficiency through something such as a blood test. For the majority of readers who are into health and fitness and living a healthy lifestyle save your money as you very likely do not need one, consider good eating instead.
Note about author: Andy Handel is a personal trainer in Sydney NSW Australia and spent years researching nutrition. He has provided diet and healthy eating plans for dozens of individuals and has written for numerous journals and magazines.