Millions of baby boomers around the country take a daily vitamin. Multi-vitamins have become popular, and the store shelves are full of all the different varieties available. Being a personal trainer, my clients often ask me about what multi-vitamin they should take or if they should even take any at all. The more you know about multi-vitamins before you choose one, the better off you will be!
A multi-vitamin is taken by so many people just as an added measure to try to make sure that they get all their nutrients. If you eat a well balanced, healthy diet, there is a good chance you don’t even need one to begin with. Yet many people, especially senior citizens, take one just as insurance in case they don’t get all the nutrients they need through their diet. So just how do you go about choosing the right one?
First off, it is important to realize that price has absolutely nothing to do with how good or bad a multi-vitamin is. There have been plenty of tests performed that have demonstrated that many expensive vitamins don’t even dissolve in the body as they should, and many cheap ones don’t perform well either. The cost of the vitamin should not be a factor, other than to make sure you can afford it.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when choosing a multi-vitamin:
Check the label to see what nutrients are being offered. Of course, this can be confusing in and of itself. But you want to make sure it has folic acid (400 micrograms at least). Folic acid is important for new cells in the body.
You should probably avoid taking multi-vitamins with iron, which can be hard on the stomach and can sometimes cause constipation.
If you don’t live in a sunny climate, you will want to make sure it has vitamin D in it. Those who live in areas where they can get at least 15 minutes of sun exposure per day don’t have to worry about it because the body makes it with sun exposure.
Baby boomers will want to make sure that it has vitamin B-12 as well.
Avoid taking any type of “mega” vitamins because you probably don’t need extra doses of things. Too much of a good thing can be bad.
If you are taking any prescriptions, you should first check with your doctor about your multi-vitamin just to make sure there is nothing in them that can interfere.
Another issue is with the multi-vitamin dissolving. Try dropping it in a glass of water and stirring it around and letting it sit. See how long it takes to dissolve. If it doesn’t, then it won’t in your body either, so it will be wasted.
Researchers have also found that many multi-vitamins don’t actually have the amount of a particular vitamin in it that they claim. While they are usually fine to take to ensure your daily requirements are met, you should rely more upon making sure you eat a well-balanced, healthy diet, so you don’t have to rely upon vitamins for the nutrients.