What Vitamins Should I Be Taking Daily?
In an ideal world, we’d get every nutrient, vitamin and mineral that our bodies need from our healthy lifestyles. In reality, it can be a little challenging to eat the correct balance of foods from the right groups, hydrate, exercise often, and get enough sleep – all of the time.
That’s when a little nutritional support can be helpful. And given we’re all different, many supplements are tailored to support individual health needs. Trouble falling asleep? Consider a product containing valerian. Regularly active and want to maintain muscle health? Magnesium is your friend.
So where does a multivitamin sit in all this? Multis are supplements that contain a unique combination of minerals, vitamins and herbs. They can help you get a daily comprehensive blend of nutrients and facilitate general health and wellbeing.
What do multivitamins contain?
It can feel a bit overwhelming trying to learn how to choose the right multivitamin, with so many options out there. Each multivitamin product will vary slightly, depending on its manufacturer and also if it’s a product that is tailored to support a specific group (such as vegans).
However, most multivitamins will include some essential ingredients, such as vitamin C, calcium, iron, and B vitamins. Generally, it’s good to look for multivitamins which contain vitamin D to support bone health, iron to maintain healthy red blood cells, B vitamins to support energy production, magnesium supporting muscle health, and zinc and vitamin C to maintain immune system health, as a core group of key nutrients.
What do vitamins do for your body?
A good multivitamin will help fill any nutritional gaps and support you in consuming the recommended amount of major vitamins and minerals, including ones that are generally under-consumed (such as calcium and iron). Multis are often formulated with a focus on energy production, immune health and on supporting the body’s response to stress, to help you function at your best each day.
Which multivitamin should I take?
There are a number of different things to consider when selecting what multivitamin to take. Products targeted at men and women will often contain different, tailored formulas, such as a higher dose of iron in the women’s multivitamin and more zinc in the men’s multivitamin. Similarly, some ranges are tailored for certain life stages, such as multivitamins for kids, teenagers, 50+ and 65+ age groups, with formulas designed to support the different health needs of each life stage.
The final thing to think about when choosing a multivitamin is format. Some people prefer traditional tablets when taking a daily multi, while others may want to experience the taste and convenience of a gummy multi. Multis can also come in powders or capsules, to suit your preference.
Choosing a multivitamin for children
Most parents recognise the challenge of ensuring their children eat a varied and nutrient-rich diet. Not only can a multivitamin be good for you, children’s multivitamins can provide support in helping kids to achieve a balance of important vitamins and minerals, to provide a little peace of mind while you’re trying to think of inventive new ways to hide vegetables in their food. Plus, children’s multis are often available in a variety of delicious flavours and formats, providing a fun, sensorial experience for even the fussiest of eaters.
Should you take multivitamins?
While you’re striving to get all the nutrients you need from your healthy diet, consider a daily multivitamin as an insurance policy to cover any gaps or lapses. In particular, multivitamins can benefit people who generally need extra nutritional support, such as those who can find it a challenge to get all the recommended nutrients from their diet (for example, vegetarians and vegans). Multivitamins that contain B vitamins are useful for supporting energy production and a healthy nervous system – invaluable for today’s busy lifestyle!
Taking your multivitamin
If you’re looking at adding a multivitamin to your diet, it’s recommended that you take it with a meal, as some ingredients, like zinc, may cause nausea when taken on an empty stomach. In fact, it’s best to take one tablet in the morning with a healthy breakfast, as many multis contain B vitamins to help support energy production, so they can help you get up and go for the day (rather than staying up during the night!). Remember to always read the label and follow the directions for use.
How long does a multivitamin take to work?
This depends on a number of factors, such as your general health and wellbeing. You may notice an improvement sooner in particular areas where your body needs some nutritional support. For example, if your B vitamin levels are lower, you may notice a difference in energy when taking a multivitamin.
Assuming that you lead a well balanced, healthy lifestyle, it can be demonstrated that multivitamins can support nutrient levels in the body in around four weeks.
The key to experiencing the benefits of multivitamins is consistency, so try to remember to take your multi every day or as directed by your healthcare professional. It’s a good idea to make it part of your routine, so you take it right after breakfast or just before you leave the house in the morning. This allows you to build a routine by taking a multivitamin daily.
If you’re looking to boost your nutritional support in your daily diet, take a look at our full range of Swisse Ultivite Multivitamins to support your general health and wellbeing, and see which suits your needs best today.
Always read the label and follow the directions for use.
We recommend that you consult your primary healthcare professional when considering your supplementary routine, as they can best advise on what’s right for your individual needs.
- Wallace TC, McBurney M, Fulgoni VL 3rd. Multivitamin/mineral supplement contribution to micronutrient intakes in the United States, 2007-2010. J Am Coll Nutr. 2014;33(2):94-102. doi:10.1080/07315724.2013.846806
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (December 2011), Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, ABS Website. Released 6 March 2015
- Mark A. Levy, Toni McKinnon, Howard Goldfine, Addison Enomoto, Erik Schneider, and John Cuomo. "Consumption of a Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement for 4 Weeks Improves Nutritional Status and Markers of Cardiovascular Health" Journal of functional foods (2019). doi: 10.1016/j.jff.2019.103511