According to some studies, one of the most commonly consumed supplements among young athletes included multivitamins. Although there is an increased nutrient need in athletes, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states these needs can easily be met by a balanced diet and adequate calories (American Dietetic Association, 2000; Maughan et al., 2004).
Think of your multivitamin as your insurance. Just in case all of your needs aren’t met through your diet, a daily multivitamin can be consumed to help you meet those needs.
How do I choose a Multivitamin?
Tip 1: Look for 100% of the following:
- Thiamin (B-1)
- Riboflavin (B-2)
- Niacin (B-3)
- B-6 and B-12
- Folic acid
- Vitamins D and E
Tip 2: Avoid excesses and gimmicks. Too much of anything may not be a good thing. And if your vitamin is promoting an increase in energy, weight loss, increase in lean mass, etc., question what that vitamin may contain. Energy or weight loss and gain should not come from a vitamin, it should come from the foods you consume and the energy you expend.
To help you remember that oh-so-important daily insurance policy, try sitting it next to your toothbrush and hopefully at some point in the morning and evening you will be brushing your teeth, which will also remind you to take your vitamin.
Always remember that a balanced diet should be your first dietary step to assist in reaching your goals. If you decide to add any type of supplement to your day, seek the advice of a registered dietitian to make sure you are doing so safely and in a way that will improve, not hinder your performance.
Written by Lauren Scott, MS, RD, LD