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As a child, you were probably resistant to your parents' advice that you should eat your vegetables "for the vitamins," but now that you're an adult, you've had time to rediscover the simple wisdom of your progenitors. You probably strive to eat a balanced diet, but the truth is that you're a busy person, and there are a whole lot of essential vitamins and minerals out there. So, for simplicity's sake, you turn to the supplement industry. You're not alone. In fact, 75 percent of people take dietary supplements, according to one 2018 survey.
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Multivitamins provide an easy, cheap and rapid solution to the problem of supplying your body with all the nutrients it needs to function properly. Let it be said, however: they are not a replacement for a well-balanced diet. Rather, you should think of your multivitamin as an insurance policy, a way of covering all your nutritional bases.
“General multivitamins can be helpful for some individuals, but not necessarily for all,” says Albert Ahn, M.D., clinical instructor of internal medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. The vitamin and mineral requirements of men differ by activity levels, age and diet. Read on to discover what you need to look out for when purchasing a multivitamin:
Without a doubt, you’re going to want to get your daily allowance of essential vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources. That means a balanced diet that packs protein, fats, fruits, vegetables and carbohydrates. However, if you are going to consume a multivitamin regularly, there are a few things to consider.
First, most multivitamins are once-daily and come in pill or gummy form. There are going to be certain multivitamins that are niche, or come with a special purpose like weight control or upped performance. The amount of nutrients you need depends on a lot of things, such as your age, ethnicity and gender. As a general rule of thumb, men should seek out multivitamins that are not high in iron. Make sure to consult with a qualified physician before adding a multivitamin to your diet. That being said, here are two main concerns you should have when selecting any multivitamin to add to your regimen:
Safety: Look for third-party certification. This ensures that the vitamins are produced in accordance to standards set by an independent inspection agency. “Consumers can also look for a seal from a third-party certifier, such as NSF International, UL or USP, but they should keep in mind that the absence of a seal does not mean that a product is definitely of poor quality,” says Gans.
Dietary Concerns: If you have a sensitive stomach or are prone to nausea, you should take your multivitamins along with your biggest meal, and try to incorporate healthy fats as much as possible because fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, K) need it to properly absorb.
Some vitamins on the market contain unnecessary levels of specific ingredients, according to Keri Gans, RDN and author of “The Small Change Diet.” For instance, men don’t need the same amount of iron as women do, so find one that contains only a small amount, leaving more room for vitamins D and K, which men require more of. Here is a short list of the vitamins and minerals male-specific multivitamins should have:
Ingredients: Contains 21 essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, C, D3, E, calcium, folic acid, and a good amount of Manganese
Designed to ensure men have an adequate intake of essential daily nutrients, this Nature Made Multi for Men contains 60 softgels. It can help you kick that sluggish feeling by providing a boost to your energy levels. Take one per day with a meal.
£9.41 for 90 count at Amazon
Ingredients: One-hundred percent vegan, this multivitamin contains essential vitamins and minerals including A, C, D3, E, K, calcium, as well as organic fruit and vegetable blends
Naturelo ups the competition by adding a wide range of plant-based antioxidants to boost your eye function, promote heart health and support brain health. Ranging from resveratrol from organic grapes and rutin from grapefruit (which is great for eye health) to organic ginkgo biloba leaf extract to boost brain power, this multivitamin really gives you more bang for your buck.
£44.75 for 120 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains 25 essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, calcium, folic acid and bitoin, among others
This is one of the best-selling multivitamin supplements for a reason. Not only does this multivitamin contain vitamins D, C and Bs, it also has a blend of amino acids including glutamine and BCAAs, which help build muscle. Take three together with your first meal, or spread them out throughout the day. They’re a good fit for anyone with an active lifestyle.
£20.99 for 90 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains vitamins A, C, Bs, D3 and E, among others, in addition to selenium, lycopene and an advanced antioxidant blend
With nutrients such as vitamin D to support colon health and immunity and vitamin B to boost energy, GNC Mega Men offers a blend specifically built for fellas. This advanced multi includes more active ingredients than the average blend, ready to boost the immune system, provide essential antioxidants and support prostate health – pretty much everything you need in a dietary supplement.
£59.75 for 120 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains beta-alanine, a muscle pH buffer, and carnitine, which can help use fatty acid as energy, among other essential vitamins such as vitamin A, Bs, C, D, E and K
Active men might want to seek a multivitamin that caters directly to their lifestyle. The Mega Men Sport supplement has the high-quality vitamin blend, antioxidants and immune support of the standard GNC vitamin with the added benefit of performance support and electrolytes for active muscles. Whether you’re a runner or a weight-lifter, this formula will give your body the boost it needs while supporting your joint health, immune system and colon.
£59.75 for 180 count at Amazon
Ingredients: 100 percent of your daily value of essential vitamins including C, E, B6, Iodine, and folic acid, among others
You know those mornings when you’re in a total rush to leave the house after downing a coffee, your breath stinks and you’re forgetting to do half of the things on your to-do list? These multivitamins may as well be your best friend. Because they're so portable, they'll fit easily in your briefcase, and this supplement doubles as a bad-breath buster.
£12.99 for 60 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains a large quantity of B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, D and E
There are no two ways about it: Gummies are a crowd-pleaser at any age. Vitafusion makes gummy options in almost every nutrient possible (you can buy separate bottles of vitamin C, calcium, vitamin D, etc.), all with a sugar coating. This multivitamin option is packed with the recommended daily amount of vitamins A, C and D, and can help support your immune system, too.
In addition, this vitamin was a recipient of the 2018 Chef’s Best Excellence Award, an award given to brands that go above the quality standards established by independent professional chefs.
£15.49 for 150 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains essential vitamins like A, C, D and K, also includes vitamin E, lycopene, selenium and zinc for prostate health and vitamin B for memory
Complete with live probiotics, this Garden of Life multivitamin can help improve your gut health and overall wellness. Take two capsules at a time (four total daily) with or without food. These multivitamins are made without binders or fillers, and each ingredient is traceable back to the seed and farm it was grown on.
£42.99 for 120 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains 17 essential nutrients: vitamin B12 for energy, vitamin D3 for immune health, omega-3 EPA & DHA (from fish oil), CoQ10 for heart health, vitamin K for bones, and vitamin E for antioxidant support
From vitamin D to promote strong bones and teeth to CoQ10 to support heart health, these Smarty Pants gummies are set to do it all. Designed specially to fill gaps in the Western diet, these vitamins are composed of the best ingredients, think responsibly sourced Omega-3s and vitamin B-12, with all the weird additives left behind.
£33.62 for 180 count at Amazon
Ingredients: High potency B vitamins, zinc, selenium, choline and vitamin D, E and C, among others
This is like a buy one, get one free sort of deal. Aside from being a comprehensive source of most of the vitamins you need on a daily basis, it also has a vegetable juice complex complete with kale, spinach, dandelion and beet for natural energy, and a strengthening blend of saw palmetto, lycopene, and organic spirulina.
Vegetarian, gluten-free and gentle on the stomach, this vitamin is designed to support everything from reproductive health to stress management.
£44.19 for 150 count at Amazon
Ingredients: Contains 11 pure ingredients, including spirulina, chlorella, wheatgrass, chlorella and green tea leaf, among others.
There is nothing this powder doesn't have. OK, that’s an exaggeration. But if you want most of your daily recommended values of vitamins and minerals, gluten free and vegan certified, look no further. Fans of Hion Green Powder also praise its taste, saying it’s anything but that ugh-no-thanks grass vibe that comes hand-in-hand with other green juice options. If you're looking to dip a toe into the market of fortified foods, this is a good first option – but it isn't a substitute for a well-balanced diet.
£15.99 at Amazon
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