Multivitamins are one of those things that most of us take without thinking, a reflex as commonplace as making morning coffee. But, should we place more importance on it? Taking a daily multivitamin is a great way to safeguard yourself against any potential gaps in your daily nutrition and maintain optimum health.
The decision-making process when choosing a multi differs from person to person. Deciding factors like sales, value for money, and brand loyalty can all play a part, but what should you really look for to ensure that you get the most from your multi? Here are some hints to help you navigate your options.
Check the percentages
Multivitamins will have contents listed on the back; try to go for options that contain close to 100 percent of the daily value for most vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind that some minerals like calcium and magnesium are rarely contained at 100 percent as that would make the pills too big to swallow. However, it’s important to steer away from multis that contain more than 100 percent of the daily value, as coupled with food consumption the level of the nutrient could become too high and result in toxicity.
One size doesn’t necessarily fit all. There are a host of different multis for different people at different stages. For example, premenopausal women need more iron and folic acid, so a multivitamin formulated for women under 50 would be beneficial during childbearing years. Vitamins for seniors are formulated to account for changes in the way the body absorbs nutrients as it ages.
- Be sure to take your daily multivitamin within 30 minutes of meal.
- Fat-soluble vitamins, like D and E, should be taken with meals to aid absorption and digestion.
- Don’t take them too close to bedtime, as vitamin B12 and C can disrupt sleep.
- Store in a cool, dry place to avoid any loss in potency.