Spending a lot of money on multivitamins and they’re not useful? Find out the top reasons why many multivitamins don’t help you achieve your goal.
Multivitamins are essential for all strength athletes because the vitamins and minerals they contain are essential for a wide range of bodily functions, from energy production to muscle growth.
Unfortunately, many of the modern multivitamins on the sports nutrition market aren’t worth the money because they don’t work as well as we would like. In this article, we’ll present four reasons why multivitamins often don’t work well and what to look for when choosing the right multivitamin.
Reason 1: conflicting components
Many vitamins and minerals in the human body compete with each other for absorption. Their concentration in the blood, in turn, affects the absorption of other consumed trace elements.
Calcium is one of the minerals that is highly undesirable to take in a multivitamin. Yes, calcium is very important, but it can interfere with the effective absorption of zinc, iron, and manganese.
Another problem mineral is zinc. As part of a multivitamin, zinc affects the absorption of amino acids and iron. Given that you generally take your multivitamin with your food while your body is getting the protein and amino acids, you probably don’t want zinc to interfere with the efficient absorption of these amino acids.
The third conflicting ingredient in multivitamins is magnesium. This mineral interferes with calcium absorption. For this reason, it is recommended that you take calcium and magnesium as separate supplements rather than as part of a multivitamin.
Reason 2: insufficient amount or lack of important vitamins
Many multivitamins are often missing important vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin K. It is needed to support numerous bodily functions such as regulating blood clotting, repairing and forming healthy bones, and controlling insulin sensitivity and blood glucose levels.
Another important ingredient is iodine, which improves thyroid function. The third ingredient is copper, which is also required for various functions in the body, in particular for the production of red blood cells and fat metabolism.
B vitamins are key vitamins for any athlete as they promote nerves and blood cells health. However, most multivitamins are often either inadequate or absent.
Reason 3: wrong shape
Certain vitamins and minerals are needed by your body in certain forms. For example, most multivitamins do not contain chromium, and if they do, it is most often in the form of poorly absorbed chromium chloride. A much more effective form is chromium picolinate. It is this form that is recommended to look for in the composition of multivitamins.
Another multivitamin ingredient that is recommended to be selected in a specific form is vitamin A. Make sure that the formula contains complete trans-beta-carotene – a provitamin form that eliminates potential toxicity and provides only the amount of vitamin A your body needs. Other forms under the general preformed vitamin A (such as retinol acetate or retinol palmitate) is toxic when consumed in high doses.
A third vitamin that is usually found in the wrong form in multivitamins is vitamin K. There is still scientific debate about which form of vitamin K is more effective – K1 (phylloquinone) or K2 (menaquinone).
Reason 4: poor absorption
Many vitamins and minerals, in principle, are poorly absorbed by the body in the form of supplements, so it is necessary to include in the diet a variety of healthy foods containing natural trace elements. In terms of multivitamins, you can effectively increase the absorption of certain ingredients using a number of tricks that can improve their bioavailability.
For example, choosing a multivitamin that contains a potent dose of spices or hot food ingredients such as piperine, capsaicin, or gingerol is recommended. In particular, piperine is a black pepper extract that improves the absorption of many vitamins and minerals, especially the B vitamins, beta carotene, and selenium.
Another way to increase absorption is to take different types of multivitamins separately: water-soluble – with plenty of water, fat-soluble vitamins A, E, D, and K – with fatty foods, certain minerals, and vitamins – in the morning on an empty stomach, etc.