- B vitamins boost cognitive function and metabolism and can boost your productivity if taken at the start of your day.
- Maintaining a consistent level of all the essential micronutrients in your body daily may slowly improve energy levels, digestion, immune health, and other bodily functions over time
- For faster vitamin absorption, use liquid multivitamins instead of pills or gummy vitamins.
Why Do We Need To Take Multivitamins?
Whether it was from your parents, your doctor, health magazines, and more, you’ve probably heard by now that you should be taking your vitamins. However, a question that you may not truly know the answer to is “Why do we need to take multivitamins in the first place?” There are countless benefits of taking multivitamins, even for people who eat well and have a generally healthy lifestyle. No matter how much you regulate your diet, it can still be quite difficult to make sure your body is receiving the micronutrients it needs every single day, especially when you’re working around an already hectic schedule or have some picky eaters to feed.
The people who are most in need of multivitamins are those who suffer from a vitamin deficiency or diseases that decrease the levels of vital micronutrients in the body. There are certain groups which may be more at risk than others for developing a nutrient deficiency, such as the elderly, those who are pregnant or nursing, and sufferers of diseases like celiac, ulcerative colitis, or cystic fibrosis (1). These conditions can cause low levels of a specific vitamin or mineral, but taking a multivitamin that contains that certain micronutrient along with other important additions is a great way to solve the problem while boosting your health overall.
Now you’re probably wondering “Should I take a multivitamin if I don’t have a deficiency?” The truth is, even outside of those with vitamin deficiencies, most average Americans still have nutritional gaps in their diets. Adding a multivitamin to your routine is a quick and painless way to fill in those gaps without having to eat your least favorite foods or bend your schedule around planning out intensive meals. The average multivitamin will contain a mix of minerals and vitamins worth taking every day, including calcium, zinc, iron, B-complex vitamins, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K (2). These are all essential micronutrients that your body needs in order to properly maintain its health.
How Often Should You Take Multivitamins
If you’ve decided to add a supplement to your routine, then your next question is likely along the lines of “How often should you take multivitamins?” Is it good to take a multivitamin everyday? What about taking a multivitamin once a week? In reality, you should take your multivitamin in accordance with your body’s needs and your schedule. If you feel that you would benefit the most from taking your supplement just once a week or even every other day, you should feel free to work it into your schedule that way. However, most multivitamins are designed to be taken daily. They are formulated with the optimal amount of each micronutrient to power your body for the day without exceeding the upper daily limit.
Since multivitamins are meant to be taken daily, it’s generally a good idea to set up a scheduled time to take your supplement each day so you get into the habit of it. The best time to take multivitamins with iron or B vitamins is in the morning. B vitamins stimulate your metabolism and cognitive function, making them a great way to prepare for the day ahead. Taking your multivitamin at night may keep you up before bedtime and result in slower absorption rates, as the body’s digestion slows down throughout the night (3). If you’re worried about absorption rates, liquid multivitamins in particular are designed to absorb more quickly into the body and can be easily added to a morning drink like juice or even plain water.
Now that we’ve answered the question of when should you take multivitamins, the next step is how long you need to take them. The answer is pretty simple: however long you want! There are no downsides to taking your multivitamin daily over an extended period of time. In fact, your body will become accustomed to receiving more micronutrients, meaning any small side effects you may have experienced at the start of taking your supplement will fade away.
What Happens To Your Body When You Start Taking Vitamins
Depending on the specific formula for the multivitamin you choose to take, your body may experience some different responses. Overall, most multivitamins are going to boost your overall health and make you feel better in general. But multivitamins that contain certain specific nutrients can have added benefits on top of a general healthy feeling. For example, supplements that contain B vitamins (particularly B12) may increase your energy levels, as B vitamins are connected to energy production in your body (4). If your multivitamin includes vitamin C, your body’s immune health will strengthen as a result of vitamin C’s positive impact on the cells in your immune system (5). Every micronutrient present in your multivitamin’s formula will have its own positive effects on your body’s health.
So multivitamins and minerals benefits are numerous, but how long does it take for vitamin supplements to work? If you have a deficiency in a particular mineral or vitamin, then you’ll likely start to feel the effects within just a few days (6). However, those who take a multivitamin just to increase their overall health rather than from the necessity of a deficiency may not necessarily feel an intense difference, especially not right away. Having sufficient amounts of all the essential micronutrients in your body every day may gradually improve energy levels, digestion, immune health, and other bodily functions, but these improvements build slowly over time.
Side Effects Of Multivitamins
The side effects of multivitamins are minimal as long as you aren’t taking them in extremely excessive amounts. This is where the questions about frequency start to factor in. Is it bad to take a multivitamin every day? No. But is it safe to take 2 multivitamins a day? Absolutely not. A common misconception when it comes to vitamins is that since they’re good for you, you should take them in higher amounts to increase those good effects. But this is not the case. Having too much of a good thing applies to vitamins just as much as it applies to anything else.
Most side effects of multivitamins are harmless and temporary. Some of these common short-term side effects include constipation, diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea (7). They will usually fade within a few days as your body adjusts to receiving the new dosage of micronutrients. Long-term side effects only occur when you’ve taken far too much of your multivitamin over a long period of time. In this case, fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K can build up in various places throughout the body, causing fatigue, nausea, and liver damage. But again, the risks of these side effects are very low as long as you’re not taking your supplements in excessive amounts.
Why You Shouldn't Take A Multivitamin
Multivitamin benefits and risks are various since they often contain a mix of different micronutrients which each have their own effect on the body. Multivitamins are very safe when taken in accordance with their recommended dosage, but there are some reasons why you shouldn’t take a multivitamin if you’re under certain circumstances. These circumstances are often known as contraindications, or reasons for a patient not to use a certain medicine or treatment because it would end up causing harm to that person. Here we have provided a list of some common contraindications associated with multivitamins (8):
- Iron metabolism disorder - increased iron storage.
- An overload of iron in the blood.
- Hemolytic anemia - a type of blood disorder where the red blood cells burst.
- An ulcer from too much stomach acid.
- Gastritis - a type of stomach irritation.
- Ulcerative colitis - an inflammatory condition of the intestines.
- Diverticular disease.
- Excess iron due to repeated blood transfusions.
If you have these or any other underlying conditions, you should always speak to your health professional before adding a new supplement into your daily routine to make sure it will not interfere with your health or cause any unwanted side effects.
What Multivitamins Should I Take
You’re practically an expert on multivitamins by now, but you may still be wondering “What multivitamins should I take?” The best vitamins to take daily are ones that include all of the essential micronutrients your body and brain need to function at their highest capacities throughout the day. As we mentioned before, some of the most important micronutrients to keep all your systems running smoothly are calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, B complex vitamins, and vitamins A, C, D, E, and K.
Our Liquid Daily multivitamin is an all-in-one liquid solution that contains a diverse blend of vital micronutrients, making it the best multivitamin for men, women, children, and young adults. More concentrated than other liquid multivitamins, it is able to be consumed sublingually, allowing for faster and better absorption into the body without the risk of losing any of the key nutrients featured in our carefully crafted formula. Both safe and effective, our Liquid Daily multivitamin is a great choice for any household and can be given to family members of all ages.
- “Should I Take a Daily Multivitamin?” Harvard, 2021, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/multivitamin.
- Rodder, Susan. “5 Signs You’ve Chosen the Right Multivitamin.” UTSouthwestern Medical Center, 20 January 2021, https://utswmed.org/medblog/multivitamins-supplements.
- Brissette, Christy. “Morning or night? With food or without? Answers to your questions about taking supplements.” Washington Post, 5 February 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/morning-or-night-with-food-or-without-answers-to-your-questions-about-taking-supplements/2019/02/04/5fcec02a-2577-11e9-81fd-b7b05d5bed90_story.
- Berkheiser, Kaitlyn. “9 Health Benefits of Vitamin B12, Based on Science.” healthline, 14 June 2018, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-b12-benefits.
- Carr, Anitra C. and Silvia Maggini. “Vitamin C and Immune Function.” National Library of Medicine, 3 November 2017, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29099763/.
- Bode, Lucy. “This Is How Long It Actually Takes For A Supplement To Kick in.” Women’s Health, 10 May 2018, https://www.womenshealth.com.au/how-long-does-it-take-for-a-supplement-to-work.
- Petre, Alina. “Multivitamin Side Effects: Timespan and When to Be Concerned.” healthline, 14 December 2020, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/multivitamin-side-effects.
- “Adults Multivitamin.” WebMD, 2021, https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-174730/adults-multivitamin-oral/details.
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