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Is taking a multivitamin enough?

Is taking the humble multivitamin enough to keep you healthy enough to bypass breakfast and just get on with the day?


If there’s one way to improve your health, it’s by maintaining a well-balanced diet. However, with busy schedules, early morning work and life demands, for some people, consuming a nutritious breakfast can be a challenging feat. Instead, it could be an on the go breakfast from home or the nearest café, or even skipping breakfast completely. In these cases, taking a multivitamin can be a beneficial supplement to take in the morning, ensuring the body is receiving the nutrients it needs for the day.

While missing breakfast or consuming an unhealthy diet isn’t recommended, what’s the difference in say, a construction worker taking a typical multivitamin in the morning vs a hydrating supplement like Mydrade? Let’s get into it.

What is a multivitamin?

First things first, let’s clarify what a multivitamin is. It’s fairly self-explanatory, but a multivitamin is essentially a vitamin (typically in the form of a tablet or powder) that consists of a number of different vitamins. The typical multivitamin will include vitamins A, B, C and K as a minimum, however, there are vitamins that include extra vitamins and minerals. An example is Mydrade, a multivitamin meets hydration supplement. Unlike your average multivitamin, Mydrade is taken with water and includes a whole host of extra vitamins and minerals the human body needs to optimally function.

The benefits of multivitamins

While we should get the majority of our nutrients from food, there are still many benefits to taking vitamins. Single vitamins are a better option for those with particular nutrient deficiencies or health conditions, but multivitamins can benefit the average person — like our case study construction worker — who has an active lifestyle and works in extreme temperatures. This is largely because they’re at risk of sweating a lot through exercise and the heat, which means a lot of nutrients will be lost. It’s essential to replace these nutrients through food, but if breakfast is missed, or it doesn’t contain the right nutrients, vitamins can be a great way to efficiently refuel the body with those important vitamins and minerals we need to function.


Covering a host of different vitamins, multivitamins can offer peace of mind for those who aren’t sure if they’re getting enough nutrients from their diet. Furthermore, most multivitamins should only be taken once a day, which makes them quite a cost-effective method of covering all bases. This would typically make our case study construction worker feel quite confident in their choice of a multivitamin. But should they be?



The downsides to multivitamins

As we’ve highlighted, there are many benefits to consuming multivitamins; but with positives can come negatives. So, what are the downsides to taking an average multivitamin tablet? For starters, it’s important to look at the dose of vitamins within the capsule. If taken in too high dose amounts, these vitamins and minerals can cause adverse and dangerous effects on the body.

In addition, despite the multivitamin being convenient, combining a range of different nutrients into one tablet that’s taken just once a day, isn’t necessarily the most beneficial way to consume these vitamins and minerals. There are a few different reasons for this. Firstly, the body can only absorb so many nutrients at once time; this means whatever the body cannot process will be dispelled and ‘wasted’ for the day. Secondly, the body reacts differently to certain vitamins — the time of day and food consumed alongside the supplement can play a big part in its absorption and effectiveness. Therefore, by taking them all in one go, there’s going to be several vitamins that are ‘missed’.

Multivitamins in the morning vs Mydrade all day

Although Mydrade is a multivitamin, its small dose and method of consumption provide a plethora of benefits above the typical multivitamin tablet. Let’s go back to our construction worker; how is taking Mydrade throughout the day going to be more effective than taking one multivitamin tablet in the morning?


As we’ve discussed above, when the multivitamin is taken only once a day, our body can’t absorb every single vitamin and mineral at that one time. Mydrade however, only includes a maximum of 16% of the vitamin’s RDI. This means our construction worker (if they have no existing health conditions) can safely consume 6 to 7 portions of Mydrade across the entire day. This gives the body a far greater chance of digesting the nutrients it needs. Furthermore, due to Mydrade’s powder form, its larger size enables (vs a capsule) the supplement to carry many more beneficial nutrients than the average multivitamin.

Another positive to Mydrade is the intake of water that’s required to consume the supplement. Some could argue it’s less convenient, but our construction worker is going to need a lot of water throughout the day, and Mydrade acts as a great prompt to stay hydrated. Furthermore, researchers including Jeffrey Blumberg, professor of nutrition science at Tufts University in Boston, suggest that fluids are important to enable water-soluble nutrients including vitamins C and B to dissolve. Consuming a large glass of water with Mydrade is therefore extremely beneficial.

Author Amy Fraser at the Canberra Marathon April 2021 - with her drink of choice.

Takeaways

We always recommend consuming vitamins with food, but when it comes to the question: ‘shall I take a multivitamin once a day or Mydrade 6 times a day,’ we recommend opting for the latter. Rather than missing out on the vitamins which your body can’t absorb in the one serving, taking Mydrade means we’re giving our bodies 6 or 7 chances to digest the nutrients it needs. Furthermore, for the construction worker who could be dehydrated from sweating, Mydrade would hydrate their body, resulting in overall improved physical and mental function.





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