Hopefully, if you’re an active person, you’re paying attention to your diet. You’re eating both a wide variety and a high volume of leafy greens, lots of different fruits, and plenty of other veggies. You’re consuming enough protein and just the right level of carbs and fats. But if you’re not (or maybe you’re not sure), there’s a good chance you’re missing out on some crucial vitamins or minerals.
If you’re always eating the exact same foods (chicken and broccoli, anyone?), you’re always getting the exact same nutrients—and possibly missing out on others. A multivitamin may be just the thing you need to keep your body in balance.
That’s not to say that you can make up for a poor or limited diet just by taking a multi. A vitamin is not food! The foundation of any active person’s life needs to be a well-balanced meal program.
8) Dieting Can Reduce Your Micronutrient Intake
And then there’s dieting. If, as part of weight loss or contest prep, you start reducing your food intake, you may also be reducing your nutrient intake. Lack of zinc, iron, and specific vitamins can lead to fatigue, trouble concentrating, and higher susceptibility to illness.
No matter why you’re limiting calories, it’s up to you to make sure your diet doesn’t leave important gaps in your nutrition. If you don’t eat animal protein, you might want to take a multivitamin with the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin B-12, zinc, and iron.
If you’re on a lactose-free diet, look for multivitamins with calcium, phosphorous, vitamin D, and potassium.
Find The Right Multi For You
If you are thinking about taking a multivitamin, there are a few guidelines to consider. You can talk to well-informed friends, nutritionists, or a pharmacist to get a recommendation. You can just pick a multivitamin off the shelf and see how it works. Or you could work with a medical professional to help you identify exactly which vitamins and minerals you may lack.
Multivitamins nowadays come in all shapes and sizes. For example, prenatal multis contain more folateto match the specific needs of pregnancy. Some multis designed just for women contain extra iron and calcium. To get the most benefit, find a multivitamin that’s tailored to your individual needs. Read the label to avoid any possible allergens, sensitivities, or restrictions.