Multivitamins serve many benefits to all athletes and the regular gym goer. While athletes’ diets are typically already high in most vitamins that they already need, multivitamin supplements can serve as a safeguard, and for your average person a multivitamin can provide essential nutrients that may not be present in their diet. It is important to choose a good supplement based on your lifestyle and climate and multivitamins can help to increase athletic performance and provide a boost mood and overall health.
Choosing a Multivitamin
There is a seemingly endless plethora of vitamins that are available in stores and online and choosing a good multivitamin can be difficult if you do not know what to look for. Websites like LabDoor actually test the quality of ingredients as well as the accuracy of the label provided by the manufacturer. Look for multivitamins that provide 100% of the recommended daily value of a particular vitamin. Especially in darker climates, Vitamin D in particular is important – doing research about the location you live in and possible vitamin deficiencies that can be present can be beneficial when picking a multivitamin. It is also important to look for multivitamins that are supposed to be taken daily as this will provide the greatest nutritional benefit.
A factor to be cautious about for individuals with allergies is if the multivitamin contains the specific allergen, though these are usually found below the ingredients in bold print. Some supplements are manufactured in the same plant but may not contain a specific allergen. Being a smart consumer involves doing research, especially if you have an allergy to some ingredients. Some multivitamins may contain shellfish, nut, dairy, or wheat products, so always be aware of the possibility that a supplement can contain allergens.
The most important aspect of being healthy is having a good diet – a multivitamin is never a replacement for meals or any snacks. A good diet consists of any appropriate calorie range with a wide variety of healthy proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. All foods will have some form of vitamins though multivitamins will fill any gaps or provide a boost to the vitamins you already get.
Common and Possible Side Effects of Multivitamins
When taking vitamins it is important to stick to the recommended dosage provided on the label, as taking too many multivitamins can cause digestive problems and a host of other issues like organ damage. Specific high doses of any vitamin are likely to cause bodily harm but taken properly can aid in a healthy lifestyle.
The human body has a threshold of absorbance and thus ‘megadose’ or ‘super vitamins’ will have little effect in the healthy individual and can cause the ailments mentioned above. At a certain point your body will not be able to utilize the huge doses of vitamins and the remainder that is unused will be wasted through urination. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, Vitamin D is the only megadose that may be useful as most people do not get the recommended doses.
Another possible side effect of multivitamin supplements is discoloration of urine: poor absorption and excess vitamins can cause both a change in color and smell. Different vitamins can also cause a change in urine color but is typically not something to worry about.
Whether an individual or team sport athlete, multivitamins can aid in increased performance as well as being beneficial for the bodies many systems. Even for the non athlete who exercises, a quality, daily multivitamin can be very helpful. There is abundant research showing the many uses and positive impacts of vitamin supplementation. There are few side effects and it is possible that some micronutrients are missing from a normal diet. There are many inexpensive and high quality multivitamin supplements available on the market, it is important to do research and find the best for your lifestyle.