Vitamins are essential to the health functioning of your body. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods can provide most if not all of the vitamin and mineral intake that we need. The problem is that we are usually so busy with our daily life, that we just don’t find the time to cook a healthy meal every time we eat.
Everywhere we look there are fast food restaurants or cafes that provide great-tasting greasy food. Many americans, including myself, don’t really look at the labels to find out how much of each vitamins and minerals we get from our groceries. This is why we need to take vitamins for natural energy in addition to any supplements that can complete our nutrition or help us reach our fitness goals faster.
Multivitamins are a great way to get a large recommended dose of the best vitamins and minerals.
The vitamin and mineral needs of men are slightly different than for women, even though we both share much of the same basic vitamin needs. For instance, guys will need more zinc in our diet and women need alot more calcium and iron. This is why there are specific multivitamins that are geared towards the nutritional needs of men.
What are multivitamins and why are they important?
A multivitamin is a preparation of vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional elements in the form of liquid, capsules, tablets, powders, or other injectionable formulation.
Although there are certain groups of men that need to supplement their diet with additional supplements, you should try to get all of your vitamins and minerals through the foods that you eat. Many supplements use synthetic ingredients that are created in a lab and do not allow for full absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, especially if you take it on an empty stomach. Taking these types of supplements on an empty stomach can lead to harmful side effects, so always read the label first.
Vitamins and minerals are considered “micronutrients” to distinguish it from the macronutrients such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that make up the majority of what we digest from our food.
Best Food sources for vitamins
I created a graphic to list some of the basic essential vitamins that men need. Many of the essential vitamins and minerals that you need can be found in these food sources:
- Milk and fortified milk: Vitamins A, B-2, B-12, D, biotin, pantothenic acid, and calcium
- Eggs: Vitamins A, B-1, B-3, B-12, K, biotin
- Fish: Vitamins D, B-2
- Meat: Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, biotin
- Chicken: Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3, B-6, B-12, C
- Avocado: Vitamins B-3, B-6
- Cauliflower: Vitamin C, K
- Nuts and Seeds: Vitamins B-3, B-6, and biotin
- Dark green vegetables (broccoli, asparagus, & brussels sprouts): Vitamins C, K
Multivitamins can help avoid chronic disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. Observational studies have shown mixed results regarding multivitamins and heart disease. Some studies showed effectiveness and others showed no effect at all.
In regard to cancer, an analysis of five separate randomized trials with over 50,000+ participants showed that men who took multivitamins were 31% less likely to be diagnosed with cancer.
Long term rates of colon cancer showed encouraging results, however. The Nurse’s Health Study found that men who take multivitamins develop colon cancer at lower rates than those who don’t.
Macular degeneration is a common cause of blindness that is preventative. Studies have shown that supplements with minerals and antioxidant vitamins has been shown to slow down the progression of macular degeneration.
Best Multivitamin rankings
The best rankings for Men’s multivitamins are all over the place. Each review site has its own criteria for what they think is the best. So how do I really know which one is the best for me when all of these sites disagree with each other? Bodybuilding.com has their own rating system, but they strictly do it by the benefits it gives you in terms of bodybuilding (how JACKED you are) instead of overall health.
After comparing the rankings of different sites, I have concluded that one site for multivitamins has a thorough criteria process for comparing the different multivitamins. They also recognize that some multivitamins are more beneficial for older men than for younger as well as how active someone is in their fitness. The site is called Multivitaminguide.org and ranks the best multivitamins every year for men and women.
They created an “Effectiveness score” that ranks whether the vitamins are articially created in a lab or come from real food, and whether it is vegan, organic, contains enzyme blends, and GMO-free. It’s a pretty high standard and is the most consistent way of ranking them that I have found so far.
I agree with the top few of their ranks, but have not been able to thoroughly analyze the rest of them. I do believe, however, that there should be a “best of” for different categories, such as beginner, best overall nutrition, and body building. I noticed that certain powders like Animal Pak is highly ranked on other sites but ranked lower on Multivitamin guide due to its high intake of certain vitamins. With this in mind, I created a simple chart that highlights the recommended safe doses of each vitamin and mineral against the toxic dose limit:
Mens Vitamin Recommended Daily Intake Chart
If I had to rank the best Multivitamins by category it would be as follows:
Best Overall Mens nutritional multivitamin
1. Naturelo Whole Food Vitamin for men: Multivitamin Guide listed NATURELO as being the “Best Multivitamin for Men in 2017”. It contains the highest safe doses of Vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-6, B-12, C, D, K, as well as many other minerals. It also contains fruit & veggie blends, probiotic blends, superfood blends, digestive blend, heart health blend, and much more all in safe doses. It is one of few supplements that are actually FDA approved!
2. Xtend Life Total Balance Mens Multivitamin: Contains a healthy dose of many of the vitamins and minerals that can be found in Naturelo, but also boasts an amino acid blend as well as an eye health blend. It breaks down many of the quantities in the digestive support blend as well. This level of transparency is what separates these multivitamins from the other competitors. You can find the best deal on Total Balance as well as other healthy supplements here.
Best Mens Multivitamin for beginners
1. Centrum Specialist for Energy: I take this regularly and it pretty much gives you a basic daily allowance (100%) of most of the vitamins and minerals that you need in a safe dose. It also offers Ginseng root extract and Potassium. It just doesn’t offer a ton of healthy blends beyond the basics, so it is not as highly ranked as the others. Still, it gives a great amount of the right vitamins and minerals for energy.
I usually take it once a day it provides the boost of mental and physical energy that I need for a great workout or just getting through a tough day at the office. It also comes in other Specialist blends such as Heart Healthy, which provides many more vitamins and minerals targeted to improve the heart health and vitality. There is also one for the Immune system to help with digestive issues and system cleansing.
Best Mens Multivitamin for Bodybuilding
1. Animal Pak by Universal Nutrition: This one is not for the lightweights. It includes an excessive amount of the essential vitamins and minerals that we need in addition to amino acid blends, antioxidant blends, carnitine blends, and other ingredients that are guaranteed to get you pumped. The main problem is the dangerously high dosages of certain vitamins. This supplement is for those who intend to burn alot of energy quickly.
How safe are Multivitamins?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not very strict in regulating and monitoring supplements when compared to prescribed medicines. There are no standards or guidelines that measure the safety and efficacy of supplements, since many of them have different ingredients and qualities.
We must be educated and informed in our decision making for the best supplement to use. Some supplements may have different quantities or no quantities of the ingredients that they advertise. We should consult with our doctor to determine how much supplementation we really need based on our current diet.
The American Heart Association also recommends that you be aware of antioxidant supplements, since evidence suggests that they aren’t effective. There are two kinds of vitamins:
- Fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are stored in the body, making overdose a real problem. Vitamin overdoses have been found to cause liver problems, certain cancers, and premature mortality according to WebMD.
- Water-soluble vitamins (B and C) are flushed from the body after full capacity has been reached.
While Vitamins E and K are not toxic at high levels, Vitamins A and K could be according to studies. If you are already getting enough iron, then taking extra normal amounts of this mineral can lead to toxicity.
Elderly men, guys with poor appetites, and anyone on a low-calorie diet benefit the most from taking multivitamins. If you know exactly what your deficiencies are from a doctor’s visit, then it may be best to supplement just the vitamin or mineral that you need. I hope this article has helped guide you in the direction that you need to make the best informed decision for your fitness needs.