Multivitamins: Why Take them, Types and Composition, Benefits, Why do Athletes Need them?

Multivitamins: Why Take them, Types and Composition, Benefits, Why do Athletes Need them?

Without any doubt, vitamins and minerals are indispensable elements for the proper functioning of the body. In fact, we will need more or less depending on certain stages of our lives, such as pregnancy, growth or physical exercise. Multivitamins will provide what you need in order to stay healthy.

What are Multivitamins?

A vitamin or multivitamin complex is one of the most consumed dietary supplements nowadays. They are used both to support poor diets which lack nutrients or to enhance them when facing a high energy expenditure due to intense exercise.

Multivitamins are supplements that combine different vitamins. For example, some of their benefits are supporting the muscle recovery, decreasing the fatigue, improving the immune system, etc.

The most important micronutrients for athletes are group B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, D and E. In general, it is very important to take vitamin supplements for all those people who follow an active lifestyle.

Those minerals that should not be missing from an athlete diet are sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Multivitamin in capsules

They are mostly made up of vitamins and minerals and their intake changes according to our age and sex.

Multivitamin capsule content

One vitamin capsule will supply important and essential nutrients. Otherwise, we would need to take them from different sources.

What are the Benefits of Multivitamins?

Both our current lifestyle as well as our monotonous diets are not enough to provide all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs. Moreover, athletes undergo a spend more energy which is why their nutrient demand is higher. However, their requirements are not always met through their daily diet.

Vitamin and mineral capsules

In these cases, multivitamins will provide the necessary vitamin and mineral supply

Multivitamin Types

There are many types of multivitamin supplements that will adapt to the needs of each customer. Thus, those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet can purchase vitamin supplements which are suitable for vegans. In addition, there are special multivitamin supplements for women that can improve their hormone profile, or provide essential fatty acids. Moreover, there are multivitamin supplements designed for pregnant women that also include folic acid.

In other circumstances, we can also avoid taking an iron free vitamin supplement either due to medication or any other reason.

Composition

Vitamins

All multivitamins should have vitamins, both water-soluble and fat-soluble. The first ones are dissolved in water and they are not stored by the body, so there is no risk of toxicity. However, fat-soluble vitamins are stored, even though we should take extremely high doses in order to experience adverse effects.

Mineral supplement capsules

Minerals

Apart from the vitamins, they also include minerals as long as they do not interact with each other. We will explain this concept later on. Now, there are two types of minerals depending on their necessary supply. Thus, we have macrominerals (their recommended dose is higher than 100mg/day) and microminerals or trace elements (very small doses, just traces). In general, we suggest completing the macrominerals supply with specific supplements, that is, those which contain just one mineral (calcium, magnesium…).

Antioxidants

It is also common to find certain extracts from herbs in order to increase the nutrient content as well as the antioxidant supply. Some of these substances are known as phytonutrients and they also provide important benefits: natural anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-bacterial, strengthening the immune system, regulating the blood pressure, cardiovascular health, cholesterol…

Amount per element

When we purchase a vitamin supplement, it is important to know the amount of each element per serving. That is what is known as NRV or Nutrient Reference Value. If you want to know more about NRV, What is it and How to Interpret it click here.

Evovits

It is a miconutrient formula (vitamins and minerals) combined with other important elements such as antioxidants from natural herbal extracts. Its purpose is to improve our daily nutrition to prevent any deficiencies and improve our health. Each capsule of Evovits has:

Vitamins
Minerals
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Selenium
  • Zinc
Antioxidants
  • Betaine HCl
  • Spirullina
  • Panax Ginseng Powder
  • Propolis
  • Inositol
  • Citrus bioflavonoids
  • Rutin
  • Coenzyme Q10

Why Take Multivitamins?

Today, following a healthy diet is a quite complicated task. Not meeting the supply of just one vitamin will go against our purposes.

All these elements are fundamental because they make up other important molecules such as enzymes, coenzymes and even some hormones

Vitamin dose

Multivitamin supplements contribute to the daily micronutrient supply

Factors that Increase the Need to Take Multivitamins

Some of the factors are genetics, lifestyle, age, health, suffering pathologies that hinder the nutrient absorption (Crohn, Colitis…), pregnancy…

Multivitamins in Sport

These are one of the most universal food supplements since they are advised for any athletes. Vitamins and minerals are involved in many biological processes and they are essential for our health and energy production.

Avoid a Vitamin Deficiency

There is no scientific evidence proving that a vitamin and mineral supplement can improve the physical performance directly. However, we cannot discard that it can contribute to improving certain aspects due to its importance for the body. At least, it could prevent a low performance caused by a nutrient deficiency.

Multivitamins for athletes

If you do sport regularly, taking a Multivitamin supplement will help you achieve a good physical performance

Properties of multivitamins for sport

The main function of a multivitamin in sport is to ensure the proper functioning of the body, even when we are performing a great physical effort.

Vitamins

Group B vitamins play a crucial role in the metabolism and development of enzymes which transmit the impulses between nerves and muscles. On top of that, they also help to decrease the fatigue.

On the other hand, vitamins A, C and E are necessary due to their antioxidant effect. This reduces the harmful effects produced by the free radicals, which is much more common among athletes due to the physical effort.

Moreover, vitamins C and E protect the immune system so that the body will be ready to reach the best performance both in workouts and competitions.

Let’s not forget about vitamin D, a fat-soluble substance that is very important for the mineral absorption, specially calcium and phosphorus. Its intake will help us prevent injuries and repair the damage caused by the exercise. It is vital for athletes who do weightlifting regularly, since they need to have strong bones and muscles.

Minerals

Calcium is very important for our bone health and for a proper functioning of the heart. Moreover, it is very important for the muscle contraction and hormone balance.

Phosphorus is another very important mineral for athletes. It is necessary for the ATP production that the body uses to store energy. Moreover, it reduces the lactic acid while we do physical exercise while keeping the bones healthy.

Magnesium< is involved in many metabolic functions, the neuromuscular system and the synthesis of energy and protein.

Sodium and potassium improve the hydration and the proper electrolyte balance in our body.

Iron is an essential mineral to keep a good level of red cells in the organism. These are in charge of transporting the oxygen to the cells. Therefore, this mineral will keep our blood oxygenated so that we will be able to burn that oxygen in order to obtain energy.

What foods contain the vitamins and minerals that athletes need?

The vital substances used in sport multivitamin supplements are naturally present in fruit, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish, meat and dairy products. A clear advantage of sport supplements is that they already have a proper combination of ingredients for athletes. But above all, their concentrations are higher than the ones we can obtain through food.

What are the causes of a vitamin deficiency in athletes?

When perform a physical effort, our body consumes more energy and the vitamin and mineral reserves are emptied. More specifically, this affects the group B vitamins, as well as vitamins C, A, D and E, sodium, potassium and magnesium. A deficiency of these vitamins and minerals can trigger:

  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Worse performance
  • Higher risk of infections
  • Discomfort and pain
  • Lack of focus
  • Skin rashes
  • Headache

Multivitamins for More Energy?

Contrary to popular belief, vitamins and minerals do not provide energy. What they do is playing a key role in the metabolization of carbohydrates and fats, which are the main energy sources for the muscles. Moreover, they are also involved in the repair and development of muscle protein in response to the workout.

Metabolic processes like the energy metabolism and the protein synthesis are impulsed by biochemical regulators in the body, known as metabolic enzymes.Vitamins provide energy

These enzymes need coenzymes or cofactor to work properly. Some vitamins work as cofactors for metabolic enzymes

Why Should Athletes Take Multivitamins?

There are a series of reasons why athletes should consider taking vitamin and mineral supplementation. It could improve their diet and recovery through a proper micronutrient balance:

More physical wear

Exercise causes physical wear

The physical wear is the main reason why athletes should ensure an extra intake of these substances. This is due to the fact that the physical activity increases the need for these elements. A proper recovery and tissue repair requires a lot of these vitamins and minerals. Mainly because they are involved in the synthesis of new cells and tissues.

Loss of vitamins and minerals through the sweat

Sweat and nutrient loss

Dehydration can hinder the performance considerably, even if it is not too bad. Exercise produces heat, resulting in a loss of liquids. Consequently, we lose vitamins and minerals which are so necessary for the proper functioning of the organism.

Higher calorie supply

Athlete diet

Athletes also tend to eat more than a sedentary person. Therefore, the body will need more vitamins and minerals in order to process other food

Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient deficiency

Using a multivitamin complex will prevent a deficiency for any athlete who wants the support of certain vitamins or minerals. Being healthy improves the physical performance, which can only be achieved through a proper vitamin and mineral supply.

Antioxidant Support

Antioxidant against free radicals

Let’s not forget that there are several vitamins and minerals which have antioxidant effect. As we already know, when we burn oxygen while doing exercise, our body produces a lot of free radicals that delay the recovery. On top of that, they also seriously damage the cells and organs. Using this type of supplement will contribute to reduce these harmful effects.

Food Precariousness Today

Food precariousness

Another reason why it is important to take a multivitamin is due to the nutrient precariousness of many food products. This is mainly due to the aggressive production methods that are currently being used. With them, the cultivation soil becomes poor due to the excessive cultivation. Consequently, the soil loses its mineral content, apart from the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, the transport methods, sun exposure, etc.

All of this reduces the nutrient content of the products which are kept under these conditions, specially when it comes to vitamins and minerals.

Myths and Truths about Multivitamins

  • They cannot be bad for our health

    One of the most common phrases regarding multivitamins is that “they may not help, but they are not bad either”. In general, there are few risks for the organism as long as we follow the recommended dose. However, it can be counterproductive if we take high doses with enriched products or other dietary supplements. We suggest consulting a doctor or nutritionist in order to asses that the chosen multivitamin does not exceed the recommended daily allowance.

  • They can replace a meal

    Even if multivitamin supplements have a high vitamin and mineral content, they are not enough to replace a meal. Food also contains fibers and other useful and indispensable elements which are not present in these supplements. Therefore, they can complete a healthy diet, but never replace it. The best way of getting vitamins and minerals is still through food, mainly vegetables and fruit.

  • Any multivitamin will do

    If we need a multivitamin, we need to consult which one is the best for us. First of all, it is important to check the labels and see if it has been authorized by the corresponding institution. Moreover, you have to make sure that its intake will not exceed the recommended daily dose. There are different multivitamin supplements according to the age, sex and other factors such as pregnancy. This is due to the fact that the vitamin or mineral supply will change at different stages.

  • Multivitamins fatten up

    As long as they only contain vitamins and minerals, they will not make you gain weight. Unless, of course, if they contain sugar, carbs, fats or protein that contain calories. This is due to the fact that vitamins and minerals do not have calories.

  • Multivitamins combat weakness and provide energy

    Vitamins and minerals are not a source of energy. Nevertheless, they are connected to some enzymes and coenzymes which are necessary for the energy production from foods. If we lack energy, we should change our diet and add more fruit and vegetables rich in fiber and protein. Doing physical exercise can also help.

How to take a Multivitamin?

When it comes to using a vitamin supplement, we suggest taking it with one of the meals of the day, preferably breakfast. In this way, we will get used to it and we will not forget to take it. Most of the times, these products provide fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D, vitamin K), which means that it needs fat for its proper absorption. Then, group B vitamins contribute to transforming the food into energy.

We can purchase vitamin supplements which have all the elements we need in a single capsules a day

Risks of Multivitamins

Sometimes, we may come across a piece of information that questions the use of these products. We start to read more and we may end up thinking that they are causing some kind of side effect. But the truth is that there should be no issues as long as follow the indications of the manufacturer.

Interactions of Vitamins and Minerals

However, we should be careful with the combination that the manufacturer has used in the supplement formula. There are some products that can cause interactions between its ingredients. Consequently, we may not be able to absorb certain nutrients.

Check the label

Do not combine Calcium and Iron

Calcium can hinder the iron absorption. We suggest taking the multivitamin that contains iron for breakfast and take the calcium supplement later on, with lunch or dinner.

On the other hand, Vitamin C enhances the iron absorption

Medicines

If we are following a treatment prescribed by our doctor, consult a professional before taking a multivitamin supplement.

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