I’ve recently been getting interested in bio-hacking, or the process of combining biology with hacking. It’s a fancy term that encompasses things like eating clean, sleeping right, adopting good posture, putting yourself in uncomfortable situations, and so on.
One of the things that I’m experimenting with is with supplements, and I’m still in the process of refining what my supplement stack is. However, the core of my supplement stack has got to be a multivitamin.
Why A Multivitamin Is Useful
We live in a day and age where taking multivitamins has become quite the necessity. Most of us fail to meet daily required dietary recommendations because of a variety of reasons: poor appetite, dieting regimens, fad diets, changing nutritional needs, or poor food choices. The simple and convenient solution is to take a daily dose of multivitamins, which bridge nutrient gaps, support general health, and prevent the on-set of chronic diseases. For example, pregnant women can take multivitamin supplements that contain folic acid to reduce the chances of birth defects. Women above the age of 50 are also recommended to take vitamin D and calcium supplements to lower the risk of osteoporosis.
Multivitamins help to ensure that your nutritional intake is complete. Even though eating healthy remains the most important way to take in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients, a multivitamin can help fill in any gaps in your nutritional profile. For example, if you don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, or if your diet does not include whole foods, you could definitely benefit from taking daily multivitamins.
However, choosing the best multivitamin for your needs is a daunting task, with so many different brands and types of multivitamin supplements to choose from.
Things to Look for when Buying Multivitamins
Here are some points to consider when buying multivitamins:
- Read the labels: read the label carefully before buying a multivitamin supplement, in order to ensure it includes the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.
- Ensure the basic minerals and vitamins are covered: vitamins A/B-complex/C/E/D, potassium, iodine, zinc, calcium, magnesium, and iron.
- Look at the percentages: ideally, 100% of the daily value of each mineral and vitamin should be provided for. However, magnesium and calcium are rarely included at a 100% rate, mainly because the pills would be too large to swallow.
- Choose the right formula: another aspect to consider when looking to buy multivitamins is the goal of the complex. While some multivitamins are specially created for men, other multivitamins are designed for women. Make sure that the ingredients provided are right for your needs.
Tips On Choosing Multivitamins Based On Your Gender and Age
Each type of multivitamin complex is specially formulated for a specific group of people. At different stages in your life, your nutritional requirements change, and so it is important to choose the right type of multivitamin for your needs. A properly chosen multivitamin ensure that you benefit from all the nutrients you need at your specific age group. For example, while some multivitamin complexes are aimed for seniors, others are specially formulated to cater to the needs of women, or men.
Normally, multivitamins for women include more folic acid and iron in order to help women stay healthy and bear healthy children. Conversely, multivitamins for men do not contain as much iron as the multivitamins for women.
Seniors can buy multivitamin formulas rich in vitamin B12 and vitamin D, two vitamins that most seniors lack. If you are a senior, you should choose a multivitamin complex specially formulated for your gender.
Choosing the Right Multivitamins
When considering which multivitamins to buy, you need to be aware that they come in several forms. The most common forms are capsules, tablets, liquid, and powder, but you can also find gummies, injectable, or chewables. The main difference between these forms of multivitamins is the rate at which your body absorbs it. While liquids are absorbed faster, capsules and tablets are absorbed at a slower pace. Whatever your choice is, try to take the multivitamins with food in order to lessen any potential stomach discomfort. Ultimately, it is always a wise idea to consult with your health-care provider before taking any multivitamins or supplements.
After trying several brands, I see the most effects from the Alive! range of multivitamins from Nature’s Way. The Alive! Max3 daily multivitamin is a generic formulation, and is 3 large pills every day, and has been the best for me in terms of feeling alert, energised, and even helps with my digestion. However, they also have a one-a-day tablet, and liquid multivitamins, as well as age and gender-specific formulations.
Where To Buy Multivitamins
I’d highly recommend iHerb.com for their low prices, wide variety of multivitamins, and cheap world-wide shipping. I’m from Singapore, and iHerb.com ships to Singapore for free (or only S$4 for orders below $40). I use iHerb for all my supplements, and even things like soap, deodorant, salt, nuts, etc. Shipping takes only about a week, and is way cheaper than anything that you could get locally. Tip: Save $10 on your first order at iHerb with this iHerb coupon when checking out: VHW626