Multivitamins provide essential nutrients and minerals and promote a healthier lifestyle.
But with such busy lifestyles, it can be difficult to remember to match your socks in the morning let alone to take a multivitamin!
So when is the best, and most convenient, time of day to take a multivitamin?
Let’s find out.
What is a multivitamin?
For some people this is a no-brainer. But for those of us who need a little more detail, let’s break it down.
According to the Codex Guidelines for Vitamin and Mineral Food Supplements, a multivitamin is a supplement which contains concentrated forms of various nutrients and minerals. A multivitamin is a product which is available to the public and is designed to increase the nutrition of people whose diet has nutritional gaps.
Multivitamins are basically a combination of a balanced network of three or more vitamins rolled into one little pill. The Food and Drug Board regulations state that multivitamins are to be free of all herbs, hormones, and drugs.
The Food and Drug Administration has determined that our bodies are in dire need of thirteen distinct vitamins: A, C, D, E, K, and all of the B vitamins. Not everyone can include all of these necessary items in their food every day, so supplementing your diet with a multivitamin is often recommended.
When should I take a multivitamin – with breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Because every human body is different, the answer really relies on your personal preference. Multivitamins are more easily digested when they are taken with food which also aids in your body’s absorption of it. By taking it with food, it will also decrease the chance of a queasy stomach.
But not everyone can remember to take the proverbial pill in the morning with their toast and coffee and often don’t remember about it until lunch. That’s fine. Your body will still be getting those valuable nutrients it would otherwise be lacking if you didn’t take it at all.
No matter when you take a multivitamin, try to keep as close to a regular schedule as possible. If you take one at dinner, don’t take another at breakfast. Wait until dinner the following night or simply skip it until the following morning.
What are the benefits of taking a multivitamin?
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, from 1999 to 2000, 52% of adults in the United States admitted to including some type of multivitamin into their regular diet in order to increase their overall health.
The Berkeley School of Public Health conducted a study in 2007 which determined that long term users of multivitamins were much healthier than those who did not.
Women who are pregnant are often diagnosed with a lack of nutrients and minerals that are pertinent to a healthy and balance diet. Most often they are encouraged to take a multivitamin and iron tablet to ensure that their nutritional requirements are met not only for their health but for the health of the fetus as well.
Are there any risks to adding a multivitamin to my diet?
As with any medication or supplement, risks do exist. While the general consensus is of a positive nature, the overdose of the chemical compounds found in multivitamins can sometimes lead to complications.
Pregnant women or women who are lactating should never take any type of medication or dietary supplement without strict instructions from their doctor. Excessive amounts of vitamin A have been known to cause a multitude of birth defects during pregnancy.
Because multivitamins fall into the supplement category, they are not considered absolutely necessary for human survival. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration does not require most multivitamins consumed in the U.S. to undergo the normal testing procedures that are required of pharmaceutical drugs.
According to the National Institute of Health, in 2006 an expert panel was gathered to discuss and determine the health benefits of multivitamins. It was determined that a multivitamin could provide some degree of health benefits.
However, it was also determined that there was evidence pointing to a high level of risk for those taking multivitamins who fell into different categories, like smokers.
What is the recommended dose when adding multivitamins to my diet?
Most multivitamins are recommended to be taken once or twice a day. Because there are so many variations with different potency levels, some are most effective when consumed up to three times a day.
Take precautions, as with any other type of supplements, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions as to guidelines of daily use.
Who should add multivitamins supplements to their diet?
There are two sides to every story. Yin and yang, good and evil. If you feel that your diet is lacking in nutrition, consult your family physician in order to rule out any predisposed ailments.
If all goes well, the solution may be to simply add a multivitamin at breakfast to give your routine the balance that it needs.