Should I Take A Multivitamin? And How to Choose The Best One
One quick internet search will show you just how many multivitamin choices are out there. But are they really even necessary? If so, how do you decide, out of the sea of options, which one is right for you? Unless you have a registered dietitian at your disposal, it can be a tricky decision.
First, you might wonder if you really should be taking multivitamins in the first place. We've done extensive research, and the answer is yes. Here's why…
Why You Should Take a Multivitamin
The typical American diet has major nutritional gaps. For example, when it comes to fruit and vegetable intake, only 1 in 10 Americans meets the recommended intake. And since fruits and veggies are sources of a slew of vitamins and minerals, those who fall into the minimal produce-consumption category are missing out on some essential nutrients. The same goes for other important foods like fish, where most Americans' diets fall short in getting enough healthy unsaturated fats like omega-3 fatty acids from fish.
While there's no substitute for a healthy diet, multivitamin and mineral supplements can be thought of as "nutritional insurance." Most of us don't have a perfect diet every day, but a daily multivitamin helps fill nutrient gaps from modern-day diets and lifestyles.
As a registered dietitian, I have seen first-hand that not all multivitamins are equal in efficiency and quality. While there are some excellent choices out there, others leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the quantities of nutrients provided, the variety of nutrients supplied, and the quality of the ingredients themselves.
To help you make the best choice, here are three things to look for when choosing the right multivitamin for your needs.
3 Things To Look For In a Multivitamin
#1: Consider your age, gender, diet, and specific nutritional needs
A 25-year-old female, 40-year-old male, and 70-year-old female don't all have the same nutritional needs. So, given their different nutrient requirements, a generic multivitamin at the supermarket wouldn't be a perfect fit for all of them.
Additionally, many people avoid certain foods like fish oil or dairy products or follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. Many multivitamins sold today may include ingredients that don't fit with these dietary preferences – think milk, shellfish, and sometimes soy as examples.
It's better to turn to targeted multivitamins that will have the specific nutrients you need based on your biology and lifestyle. This more modern approach to multivitamins can take your health and dollar farther than outdated broadly commercialized alternatives.
Blueshift Nutrition's Super Multis deliver a new take on the multivitamin – in an AM/PM drinkable format that your body can better absorb to help you feel and look your best. For example, pre-menopausal women and people who follow a vegan/vegetarian diet may benefit from daily supplemental iron, while men and older adult females may not. That's why Blueshift Nutrition's Super Multi AM is available with or without iron.
Plus, unlike most multivitamins, Blueshift's Super Multi AM provides optimal amounts of choline, magnesium, and vitamin B12, which are also important to supplement a vegan lifestyle.
#2: Look for Easily Absorbed and Bioavailable Forms of Nutrients
When we say that a nutrient is bioavailable, we mean that it is efficiently absorbed and utilized by the body so that the nutrient can do its job.
Most of us know nutrients like zinc and magnesium are important for supporting our overall health. But these minerals often come in different forms, and certain forms are absorbed more efficiently than others.
For example, supplements that use magnesium oxide and zinc oxide often can't get absorbed or utilized by the body because these forms are essentially insoluble in water. When considering the minerals provided in your multivitamin, choosing options that do not contain magnesium oxide or zinc oxide is ideal.
Blueshift Nutrition uses only top tier nutrients in their most bioactive forms for maximal efficacy. Plus, by dividing their Super Multi formulas into two drinks (AM+PM), they can include beneficial but competing nutrients, such as two forms of vitamin E which cannot be taken together. This also allows our bodies to absorb the nutrients at the time of day they are most needed, rather than being overwhelmed with one single dose.
Choosing a dietary supplement in drinkable form may further help the body's ability to absorb key nutrients. Liquid form allows for the use of optimal forms of nutrients, in larger quantities than you may find in traditional supplements, that may absorb faster in your digestive tract. That's why Blueshift focuses on drinkable nutrition that your body can soak up. Not to mention, the naturally delicious flavors make them much more enjoyable to take than traditional pills.
#3: Opt for Nutrients in Active Forms
Depending on the nutrient's form, the body may need to take an extra step to convert it into something active and usable, which may hinder bioavailability and efficacy.
Some people have no problem with this process. However, others may not be able to convert inactive vitamin forms to active forms efficiently due to genetic polymorphisms, compromised liver or digestive functioning, and the natural process of aging.
Folic acid and vitamin B12 (in the cyanocobalamin form) are two examples of nutrients that the body must first convert into active forms before they can be used. It has been estimated that about 30-40% of Americans can't convert these nutrients to the active form for genetic reasons. This population should look for the active forms, l-methylfolate and methylcobalamin, in their multivitamins.
Blueshift's Super Multis include bioactive, methylated forms of nutrients like l-methylfolate and methylcobalamin to make sure you reap the benefits, despite your body's ability to convert them.
Finding the Right Multivitamin For You
Choosing the best multivitamin for your unique needs is becoming easier with companies that are ditching generic solutions and considering the overall lifestyle of customers. While obtaining an optimal diet with our modern-day, on-the-go lifestyles is no easy feat, Blueshift's Super Multi Superblends are an easy way to nourish yourself daily and keep your health at the forefront.