Wellness Hub November 2017 Nutrition How to get the most out of your multivitamin Victoria Hanlon - Swisse Author November 8, 2017 Share First up, let’s just say it - nothing beats a healthy diet. One that has a balanced intake of vegetables, fibre, unrefined carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. However, in reality, many of us lead busy lives with little time to really prepare what we eat. In fact, recent ABS data1 revealed that many Australians are not meeting a healthy daily intake of vegetables, fruit, dairy products, lean meats and alternatives, and grain-based foods, with ‘less than 4% consuming enough vegetables and legumes or beans each day’1. If you are considering adding in a supplement alongside a healthy diet for a little extra support, a multivitamin may be the convenient dietary assistance you need. It’s a great option for providing multiple important nutrients. Some multivitamins can also contain B group vitamins to help assist with energy production and vitality. However, it’s not just as simple as popping a little tablet in your mouth and hoping for the best. Swisse expert, David Cannata, explains how you can get the most out of your multi. Timing is everything…sort of Some factors can be considered when taking a supplement, for example, it can depend on the type of supplement you’re taking and the time of day you take it. David says, “Water-soluble vitamins are best taken in the morning, while calcium and magnesium are better to be taken in the evening, and both vitamins and minerals are recommended to be taken with food. Calcium, iron and zinc should be taken at least two hours apart from each other and away from coffee, tea and high-fibre foods.” Got that? Phew! If you’re looking at a multivitamin, then it’s best to take one tablet in the morning, along with your healthy breakfast, particularly as formulations which contain B vitamins help to support energy production. If you forget then it’s all good, you can also take one tablet in the afternoon with lunch. To eat, or not to eat? Here’s what David has to say: “It’s recommended that you take a multivitamin with a meal, especially if you’ve got a sensitive stomach. Taking a multivitamin on an empty stomach can sometimes cause nausea, due to minerals like zinc. Plus, it’s also easier to remember to take it every day when you do it as part of a regular activity, like with breakfast or lunch.” And finally… It’s important to remember that taking a multivitamin is just one small piece of the puzzle for maintaining positive wellbeing. Don’t forget other lifestyle factors that are conducive to good health, such as a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, regular exercise and minimising stress. It’s all part of your whole-of-health-picture. 1Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, ‘Australian Health Survey: Consumption of Food Groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines, 2011-12’, Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia.