What is the Best Multivitamin for Runners?
What is the Best Multivitamin for Runners?
There are many ways in which you can improve your performance as a runner, by optimizing your training regime, diet, and running techniques.
Many runners are health conscious enough to eat a balanced, varied diet, and so may not consider the benefits of taking a multivitamin supplement. While it’s true that those eating a healthy diet will not necessarily need a multivitamin, taking dietary supplements such as these can significantly benefit your health and fitness.
This translates to improved speed, stamina, and fitness, all of which can give your running performance the boost you have been looking for.
So, what is the best kind of multivitamin for runners, and how exactly can a multivitamin supplement benefit you?
Top 5 Multivitamins for Runners
Here are our top 5 favourite multivitamins for runners, all of which are specifically designed to deliver the vitamins and minerals most needed by endurance athletes.
1. Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men/Opti-Women
Optimum Nutrition has a wide range of products, each designed to deliver a nutrient boost where it is needed most. With multivitamins specifically designed to benefit all different types of athlete, it is easy to find a supplement that caters to your personal training needs.
Opti-men and Opti-women multivitamin supplements contain an impressive range of nutrients, with over 25 essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamins C, D, E, and B12.
This supplement also contains 1 gram of blended free form amino acids, which combined with the vitamins and minerals can work to improve your recovery time, up your stamina, and boost your immune system.
These ingredients are carefully formulated and balanced to deliver the nutrients most needed by your body, in optimal amounts and ratios for improving your athletic performance.
Why Should You Buy it?
The Optimum Nutrition multivitamin supplement is professionally formulated to deliver the best possible combination and ratios of key nutrients to optimise your athletic performance.
The dosage (3 tablets per day) is clear and easy to follow, which reduces your risk of taking too much or too little.
- This product has great testimonials from many satisfied consumers, who report improvements to their energy, recovery, and stamina. This can optimise training and, ultimately, boost performance.
- Delivers the perfect balance of nutrients in a convenient, easy to use form.
- These multivitamin pills are quite large, which some customers have found difficult to swallow.
- Over time, this product may turn your pee bright yellow (although this doesn’t harm your health in any way!)
2. Rainbow Light Multivitamin
Rainbow light produces multivitamin products targeted individually at men and women, each containing the perfect balance of ingredients to confer the greatest possible benefits to your running performance.
This product comprises a wide range of vitamins and minerals from natural sources, including kale, spinach, beet, and dandelion.
Why Should You Buy it?
Rainbow Light delivers an optimized nutrient boost in an easily digestible and absorbable form that your body can make full use of.
This product is also a fantastic buy for athletes with food allergies and intolerances, as it is completely free from gluten, wheat, milk, peanuts, soy, shellfish, fish, and eggs.
- Rainbow Light multivitamins can have many positive effects on your running performance, and are great for boosting your immunity, and reducing your recovery time after training.
- Many customers found that the smaller size of these pills make them easier to swallow.
- The combination of naturally sourced ingredients in these supplements makes them more easily digestible than other supplements.
- It is important not to take extra doses of this supplement, as it is high in fat soluble vitamins. These cannot be taken liberally, as ingesting too much of these can lead to illness caused by vitamin toxicity.
3. Garden of Life Vitamin Code
Garden of life multivitamin supplements come in separate products directly targeted at men and women, and contain specially formulated blends of nutrients that are designed to deliver the best possible benefits for each.
This multivitamin contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals, all of which are sourced from organic, non-GMO fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
With healthy doses of vitamins A, B, C, and E, alongside essential minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron, it supports and promotes the health of the heart, immune system, metabolism, bones, and digestion.
Why Should You Buy it?
Another supplement suitable for a range of dietary requirements, Garden of Life multivitamin products are vegetarian, and free from both gluten and dairy.
The comprehensive and targeted blend of enzymes, amino acids, vitamins and minerals is specifically formulated to deliver the best possible benefits to the consumer.
- This product sources all of its ingredients from whole foods, meaning that all nutrients within are uncooked and untreated, with no added binders or fillers.
- The professional combination of these natural ingredients, based on the gender and personal requirements of the consumer, means that this supplement delivers highly targeted health benefits.
- Whilst this product is free from dairy and gluten, it does still contain some soy, making it unsuitable for those suffering from soy allergies or intolerances.
4. NATURELO Whole Food Multivitamin
The NATURELO Whole Food Multivitamin is a vegan multivitamin supplement, containing a wide range of naturally sourced vitamins from a blend of organic, non-GMO fruits and vegetables.
This supplement is bursting with vitamins, and contains Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, all extracted from natural, organic sources.
The NATURELO Whole Food Multivitamin also contains a healthy dose of essential nutrients, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, and iodine, as well as a blend of enzymes intended to aid digestion and absorption.
Why Should You Buy it?
This product uses a premium blend of ingredients, and is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.
This multivitamin is also a must-buy for those with food intolerances and allergies, as it’s recipe is completely free from gluten, soy, milk, eggs, or any other animal-derived ingredients.
- This product has an impressive nutrient content, and contains all of the essential vitamins and minerals. These translate to a whole host of health benefits which can improve your running performance, such as boosted energy, increased immunity, improved heart and bone health, and reduced recovery times.
- This vegan product is also free from gluten, soy, and dairy, making it is suitable for almost all dietary types and requirements.
- Although suitable for a wide range of dietary requirements, this product is not nut-free, and so is not suitable for nut allergy sufferers. This product is also sold in the form of large capsules which must be taken four times daily, which some consumers may find difficult to swallow.
5. Universal Nutrition Animal Pak
Universal Nutrition Animal Pak is a great, all-round product that delivers an optimized dose of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, digestive enzymes, and amino acids, specifically formulated to boost athletic performance.
This supplement contains many vitamin and mineral complexes, delivering a boost in nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and L-carnitine, as well as digestive enzymes, essential amino acids, and antioxidants from natural sources.
Why Should You Buy it?
With over 7 key ingredients, the Universal Nutrition Animal Pak is a great all-round supplement for endurance athletes, and is particularly useful for enhancing the strength, growth, and recovery of muscle tissue.
This makes is the perfect buy for any runners hoping to improve their speed and stamina, as it gives your muscles the tools they need for further growth and development.
- This supplement is divided into individual, expertly balanced paks, which makes it easy and convenient to ensure that you are getting a precise dose of everything you need.
- Animal Paks are also known for being particularly diverse in terms of the nutrients they contain, making this one of the best multivitamin supplements for runners.
- This product is unsuitable for pregnant or lactating women.
- Some consumers have found the pill form of this product too large to be swallowed comfortably.
Why Should Runners Take Multivitamins?
Although those eating a healthy, varied diet are unlikely to have a nutrient deficiency, multivitamin supplements can still benefit people who run regularly.
This is because running is an intense form of cardiovascular exercise, which can put more strains and stresses on your body than usual. This depletes your body’s energy, vitamin, and mineral, which are required for a great number of vital processes in the body.
Endurance runners are, therefore, often deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, as they often fail to compensate for their increased usage of these nutrients by incorporating more of them in their diets.
This can have a negative impact on energy, stamina, recovery time, and fitness, and over time can even lead to health complications such as anemia.
It can be beneficial for endurance runners to incorporate supplements into their diets to ensure that they don’t fall behind on essential nutrients, but with so many different available options, how do you know which is the best multivitamin for you?
( Check out the 12 Foods For Runners to Avoid (Especially Before The Race)
What Should You Look For in a Multivitamin?
When choosing a multivitamin, it is important to pick a product that contains all of the nutrients you need, at levels that are beneficial to your health.
Always read the label before you purchase a supplement, and make sure that the product contains all of the basic vitamins and minerals present in most multivitamins.
Choose a supplement that contains 100% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of most of the vitamins and minerals, and avoid those that exceed 100%, as taking too much of certain nutrients can cause toxicity.
Many multivitamin supplements are fortified with excess amounts of a certain nutrients, such as iron. This can be beneficial for runners who want to ‘top up’ their intake of any nutrient they feel they may be deficient in, whether as a result of their training or diet.
Finding a multivitamin specifically targeted at you (taking into account your age, gender, diet, and lifestyle), can deliver a targeted dose of nutrients that confers the best possible benefit to your body.
Which Vitamins do Runners Need Most?
Endurance runners routinely put their bodies through excess stress when training, which can deplete essential vitamins and minerals in the body. In particular, runners should pay close attention to their intake of the following nutrients, and consider taking a multivitamin supplement is they feel they are deficient:
- Calcium: Calcium is essential for supporting and promoting bone health and stress, and making sure that you get enough of this nutrient (1000mg per day) can help to prevent running injuries, such as stress fractures.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant, which can help to remove the free radicals that build up in your body when you run. Taking enough of this vitamin (90 mg/day for men; 75 mg/day for women) can reduce your risk of cancer later in life.
- Vitamin D: Taking 600 IU/day of Vitamin D has been found to reduce inflammation, which can decrease both recovery time and risk of injury in runners.
- Iron: Iron is responsible for facilitating the transport of oxygen in the blood, which is then delivered to the muscles and used in energy production. This is, therefore, a vitally important nutrient for runners, and can help to promote muscle health and performance. Men should take 8/mg/day of iron, and women should take 18 mg/day.
- Omega 3: Essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3, can help to boost recovery after training, as it can improve tissue repair and reduce muscle pain. Runners should aim to take at least 500mg/day of this nutrient.
(Also read: What to Eat During a Marathon)
Which Multivitamin Form Should You Choose?
Multivitamin supplements typically come in two forms; pills, and powders. Powders are usually mixed with water to make a drink or shake, whereas pills are simply taken as they are.
There are benefits and drawbacks to both forms. Pills are often the most easily quantifiable form, meaning you are unlikely to accidentally take too much or too little. However, multivitamin pills can be very large, which some people find difficult to swallow.
Powders can be easier to ingest for those who have trouble swallowing large pills, but these must be mixed by hand, and so the dosing is less precise.
The perfect compromise for people who don’t like to take pills, but are concerned about the effects of mistakenly taking too much of a multivitamin, can be powders that have been prepackaged in sachets to deliver an optimal dose.
Although multivitamins can be very useful for boosting certain aspects of a runner’s performance, it is important to note that some nutrients can do more harm than good if taken excessively.
Persistently taking too much of some vitamins and minerals can lead to problems that negatively impact your long term health, and will do your athletic performance no good at all.
Consuming too much calcium, for instance, can cause hardening of the arteries, as they are thought to absorb this mineral when there is an excess in the body, increasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Too much Vitamin C and E can increase the number of free radicals in your body, putting you at greater risk of cancer later in life.
Taking Vitamin D in large quantities can also be harmful, and can lead to nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
Knowing your body and your own personal nutrient requirements will be useful when choosing a multivitamin, and this is the best way to guarantee that what you are taking will be of best possible benefit to your performance.
Q: I eat a healthy diet, do I still need a multivitamin?
A: If you eat a healthy diet you may not need to take a multivitamin, as it is likely that you are getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need from your food. However, runners are often deficient in certain nutrients, so they can be helpful for boosting the general intake of vitamins and minerals in endurance athletes.
Q: When is the best time of day to take multivitamins?
A: Most multivitamins should be taken with food, as this increases their rate of absorption in the gut (although it will not do you any harm to take them outside of mealtimes). The best time of day to take them is in the morning with breakfast, as this is when your metabolism is most active.
Q: My pee has turned neon yellow! Should I stop taking my multivitamin?
A: Don’t panic! ‘Interestingly’ colored pee is a common side effect of taking multivitamins, and is nothing to worry about. The neon yellow color is caused by excess B Vitamins, which are flushed out in your urine when your body has more than it needs.
Q: Should I take a multivitamin regularly?
A: Multivitamins should be taken alongside, and ot in lieu of, a healthy diet. Multivitamin supplements for runners are intended to ‘top up’ nutrients in the body that may be deficient as a result of their training, so if you feel you are getting all you need from your diet, you can stop taking your multivitamin.
Q: Are there any side effects to taking multivitamins?
A: Multivitamins are generally very safe, and (aside from the neon yellow pee) are unlikely to cause any side effects. However, taking too much of certain nutrients (such as calcium, Vitamin C, D, and E) can negatively impact your health in the long term, so it is not advisable to take a multivitamin that increases your daily intake of these above the recommended amount.
Q: Should I take a multivitamin regularly?
A: Multivitamins should be taken alongside, and not in lieu of, a healthy diet. Multivitamin supplements for runners are intended to ‘top up’ nutrients in the body that may be deficient as a result of their training, so if you feel you are getting all you need from your diet, you can stop taking your multivitamin.
Taking a multivitamin supplement can help to enhance your performance as a runner, by providing your body with all of the nutrients it needs to support and promote muscular, bone, immune, metabolic, and cardiovascular health.
This can not only help to improve your strength and stamina, but can also expedite healing, shortening recovery time and reducing the likelihood of injury.
When deciding which multivitamin supplement is best for you, it is important to consider which nutrients are lacking in your day to day diet, and which you can benefit from having a surplus of. With a wide range of products specifically targeted at men and women, picking the best multivitamin to boost your running performance is convenient and easy.
Our recommendation: Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men/Opti-Women
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Who am I ?
I'm Sam Rondot, the person behind the blog Running Addicted. I'm a French entrepreneur and I'm passionated about running. I started running since 12 years old and have covered 16 marathons (at the point of writing).I enjoy running and the exhausted feeling I have after a long run. I always follow one rule: I try to do my best and run until I can’t. This makes me feel that I can do anything. I know you have that feeling, too. Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I have ever imagined.Learn more
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