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Don’t know where to start with multivitamins? You know you probably need them, but here our expert James Dixon explains why, what to look for in a worthy ingredients list, and ultimately the best multivitamins available today.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to cover the basics. In supplement terms, this means a good multivitamin supplement. The best multivitamins will give your body everything it needs – all the micronutrients it needs – to function optimally, with improvements across pretty much every area of health and wellbeing.
We’re talking about improved immune health, heart health, energy levels, brain health, and cognitive wellbeing; we’re talking about a greater ability to heal and thrive in an athletic setting.
But not all multivitamins are created equally. Some are so-so. Others are superb. Today, we’re going to look at some of the more superb creations available on the British market.
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Vitamins & Minerals 101
The best multivitamins typically supply you with a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Often, they will give you a large percentage, or even 100%, of your daily requirement. But what are vitamins and minerals? Perhaps more importantly, what do they do?
In short, they are micronutrients, meaning that you take them in very, very small doses, that support essential bodily processes and functions.
There are in fact very few things that happen in your body that don’t rely on them in some way. If you can think of a function or attribute within your body, there will be vitamins and minerals to support it.
Thus, under-consuming micronutrients will impair your physical health. Don’t get enough vitamin D or zinc? Your hormonal health will suffer. Don’t get enough iron or calcium? Your bones will lose density and be more prone to injury and disease.
There are key differences between vitamins and minerals.
Vitamins are natural, organic, chemical compounds, often but not exclusively found in plant life. They are very closely involved in many of the human body’s most rudimentary, most important functions.
Some are water soluble, for instance vitamin B and vitamin C. Others are fat soluble, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K.
All contain subbranches. For instance, vitamin B can be subdivided into thiamine, niacin, B6, and B12, among others. All play their own important roles in our health and wellbeing.
Minerals are inorganic chemicals. They can be compounds or base elements. Either way, they are essential in micro-doses for health and healthy regular development and functionality, just as vitamins are.
From a fitness viewpoint, we are mostly concerned with calcium, sodium, iron, zinc, chloride, magnesium, iodine, copper, fluoride, chromium, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, and potassium.
These can be taken in through a wide range of food sources. However, they are far more easily absorbed in appropriate amounts through supplementation.
Our Top Multivitamins
Let’s take a look at the best multivitamins available in the UK today:
Though they are relatively new to the supplement market, Feel are one of my favourite companies. They maintain complete transparency, put nothing in their products that is not needed or useful (no fillers etc), and they seem genuinely committed to getting people as fit and healthy as they possibly can.
Though their range is ever growing, the Feel Multivitamin is one of their earliest creations – it is something of a flagship product for the company. And it’s an incredible product with which to make your mark on the world of supplements. I struggle to think of any area of your micronutrient intake that it doesn’t satisfy, with an incredible 32 ingredients.
These 32 ingredients include 13 vitamins, 10 minerals, 7 phytonutrients, Alpha Lipoic Acid and L-Glutamine as active ingredients.
It also includes BioPerine, which makes all of the above far more bioavailable, and thus far more effective and efficiently absorbed within your body.
The bioavailability and absorption on offer with Feel Multivitamin pairs with its broad range of ingredients to really set it apart from the competition.
As above, Feel don’t go in for fillers or useless junk. Everything included is there for a reason. Everything is useful and usable. There are no shortcuts, no cut corners, and everything is scientifically validated in its inclusion.
The multivitamin contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D3, E and K2. It’s also very rich in minerals, giving you full doses of niacin, folic acid, biotin, copper, iron, magnesium, chromium, boron, and zinc.
Finally, you get spirulina powder and turmeric, two incredibly beneficial ingredients that many people supplement individually for their health-giving properties.
This is hardly an exhaustive rundown of the ingredients on offer – it’s simply a flavour. However, at 32 ingredients, we would be here all day going into every single one!
Feel Multivitamins are far from the cheapest option going. To be honest, though, if you want cheap, you can spend a couple of quid at the chemists and make do with whatever sub-par product they have on offer.
With Feel, you very much get what you pay for. They also maintain a full 30-day money back guarantee and you can enter a subscription program for up to 50% off (these subscriptions can also easily be cancelled, so you aren’t tied into anything).
It soon becomes cost-effective. In fact, given the quality on offer, it’s a bit of a bargain. On top of that, you can save an exclusive 15% when you use our link below with the discount being applied automatically (no code needed):
Nutravita Multivitamins & Minerals
It would be hard to write a complete rundown of the best UK multivitamins without looking into Nutravita, one of the top brands around. Though still quite young (in many terms – less so in the lightning quick supplements world) they have made a big splash – and rightly so!
Part of this comes from simple, high quality supplements – their products are all top shelf, all scientifically backed and rigorously tested, all proven to work well, and all formulated by a cracking team of pharmacologists, chemists and research scientists. They use some of the best versions of the best ingredients going.
Their multivitamins are a little less exhaustive than Feel’s Multivitamins, but they would kind of have to be (Feel are anomalous in their formula’s breadth). You get 26 carefully chosen and mixed active vitamins and minerals.
Each serving gives you vitamins A, B6, B12 D3, E, K, C, thiamine, niacin, and riboflavin, alongside biotin and pantothenic acid.
For mineral content, we’re looking at good doses of chloride, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper, selenium, manganese, chromium, iodine, and molybdenum.
All their capsules are vegan, making them suitable for all comers.
Everything has been sourced from the US, UK, or within the EU, meaning that everything is high quality and well regulated. In addition, everything Nutravita produce is third-party lab tested, meaning that it has been independently verified for quality. Every ingredient that goes in is tested, as is every batch they produce.
Few manufacturers can boast so truthfully about the quality of their supplements.
Each order gives you 365 capsules. This may be a little much as plenty of us would like to spread our costs. However, it’s not exactly ruinously expensive, and once you’ve bought it you can forget about it for a full year.
Just as I couldn’t make this list without looking at Nutravita, I also couldn’t go through it without bringing Centrum in (twice, actually – see below). Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, though. Right now, I want to talk through Centrum Advance, arguably their best overall multivitamin supplement.
It seems to me to be pretty much complete, with 24 key micronutrients allowing it to easily go toe-to-toe with Nutravita. This includes each of the essential vitamins (vitamins that we must take in exogenously as the body cannot synthesise them – i.e., cannot create them).
Taking Centrum Advance will therefore represent an incredibly short, efficient pathway to improved overall health and wellbeing.
Centrum Advance gives you full or near full compliments of vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, and K. You also get plenty of biotin, folic acid, niacin and pantothenic acid.
Its mineral content packs a punch, too, with calcium, phosphorous, iron, iodine, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, copper, chromium, zinc, and selenium. Everything included has been intelligently dosed and blended for optimal effect.
Each purchase gives you around a 3-month supply (100 days), meaning that its price tag actually represents really decent value for money.
It’s a decent, full-bodied, well-rounded formula designed to keep you in tip-top health, all for a very reasonable amount of money. I can’t say much more than this – it’s a good one.
Centrum Men Multivitamins
As I said, Centrum have earned two slots on this list. Advance is perfect as a bit of a cover-all. However, if you want something a little more specific, Centrum Men might be a good shout.
It’s a bit erroneously branded, perhaps. There is nothing in it that is explicitly targeted to men, nothing that won’t be beneficial to women, too.
However, men and women have slightly different requirements with regards dosing. For instance, if you’re a man looking to keep your testosterone output where it should be, relatively large amounts of zinc and vitamin D will be crucial.
This being said, women and children can take Centrum Men and be perfectly well off (though Advance may make more sense).
Centrum Men is a complete daily multivitamin, as Advance is. It gives you 24 key micronutrients, including a full complement of essential vitamins and plenty of vitamin D. In addition, you get large doses of vitamins A, B2, B6, B12, D, C, E, K, biotin, folic acid, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
In terms of minerals, you get large doses of zinc (as above, very important for men), calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, iodine, manganese, copper, chromium, selenium, and molybdenum.
In short, it works in much the same way – and is formulated in much the same way – as Centrum Advance. Doses have simply been tweaked a little to ensure optimal male health, including plenty in there to promote healthy muscle function and energy release.
Each pack gives you enough to last you for two months.
FoodSpring Daily Vitamins
Vitamins and minerals are important; taking them is important. However, nothing quite beats the real thing, and this proves the downfall of plenty of vitamin products. They use synthetically produced vitamins, all lab grown.
This doesn’t mean they’re low quality, just that they are often lower quality or less potent than you would find in real, whole foods.
This is where FoodSpring come into it, with their Daily Vitamins. Daily Vitamins exclusively uses real fruits and vegetables. Their formula contains a broad range of raw, high-quality natural ingredients to give you the best product they can.
It contains oranges, apples, carrots, broccoli, and spinach, among others. Everything is carefully cleaned and gently processed, meaning that the goodness in their capsules really does remain intact.
Their capsule shells are the only synthetic part, and even these are fantastic. Each one is made from 100% natural, renewable cellulose (which is cool in itself but also means everything is completely vegan).
All told, FoodSpring Daily Vitamins gives you 100% of your recommended daily intake of vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, and biotin. Do note that it is a vitamin supplement only – you don’t get much by way of mineral content here.
Their ingredients all come from EU farms, run through production methods and manufacturing ethics that really do seem to be without equal. FoodSpring also always ensure sustainable, ethical farming practices.
They’re a little bit lovely, in other words.
WeightWorld Multivitamin Gummies
Some people find it hard to swallow tablets – they can set off your gag reflex, making them a difficult sell. Others like to take their supplements on the move, where a glass of water isn’t always to hand.
This is where gummies come into the picture. They are basically like little chewy sweets, only they are good for you.
If you fancy a gummy option for your vitamins, for whatever reason, then I would suggest WeightWorld’s Multivitamin Gummies. They are tasty, making them a great option for anybody with a sweet tooth (though you may be tempted to overdo it and take in several hundred percent of your recommended daily intake of every vitamin included!).
The micronutrient profile is sound. Each gummy gives you a good helping of vitamins A, B, C, D and E, as well as folic acid, biotin, zinc, iodine, choline, and inositol. It’s hardly exhaustive – there are products in we’ve covered that give you far more – but it’s great for a little chewy sweet.
Surprisingly, for a gummy, WeightWorld’s Multivitamin Gummies are completely vegetarian – all too often manufacturers use gelatine, so this a great little touch. Everything is also gluten free.
If you want a decent, catch-all multivitamin, anything on this list will see you right. There really isn’t a duff note above – each product is world-class and proven to work, no matter the price point.
However, I have to pick something for the top spot. It’s a tough call. I really do mean it when I say that everything is good. Everything deserves its place.
But how do you argue with 32 high-quality ingredients?
I’ve got to go with Feel Multivitamin. Feel really do go that extra mile to give you everything you need to keep you fit and healthy.
It’s a little pricey, of course. If you want something more affordable, you have plenty of options (including Centrum, which will serve you well). However, if you’re able and willing to part with a little extra, Feel Multivitamin will always be money well spent.
Key Vitamins and Minerals
A good multivitamin should cover all bases, or at least most of them, giving you a broad range of vitamins and, hopefully, minerals too. However, there are some that are a definite must-have – without them, a product will struggle to justify itself.
Let’s begin with vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can have a couple of really quite profound effects on your health. Firstly, vitamin A is crucial for maintaining eye health, including healthy vision. Secondly, it is key in maintaining immune function – lacking it can leave you open to infection.
Then there are the B vitamins, which are all important. I would always argue for the inclusion of B2, B6, and B12 as a minimum.
Vitamin B12 is particularly important, as it plays a key role in brain and nerve function, meaning that lacking it can lead to brain fog and longer-term cognitive issues – hence why we often see it in good supply in the best nootropic supplements.
It is also central to blood formation. A deficiency can lead to enlarged red blood cells, a condition called megaloblastic. Red blood cells transport oxygen and nutrients around the body; this transportation will be impaired by megaloblastic.
Vitamin D is incredibly important. It has a hand in many of your body’s most fundamental functions. It plays the role of messenger (or, at least, it activates and shuts down genes, which are your body’s true messengers). Muscular weakness and bone loss can also lead on from vitamin D deficiency, as can hormonal imbalances.
Minerals are important, too. Iron is perhaps chief of these. It pairs with vitamin B12 to help in maintain healthy red blood cell formation. A lack can lead to megaloblastic, as above. Signs of low iron intake include fatigue and tiredness, weakness, sickness, and dizziness. Severe cases can result in anaemia.
Zinc is always welcome for men as it is fundamental to regulating and optimising testosterone output. Low testosterone can cause many adverse symptoms, such as muscle loss, fatigue, brain fog, depression and lack of motivation, low sex drive, reproductive ill health, body fat gain, and type II diabetes.
Iodine also plays an important role across various areas of wellness. This is because it is essential to the healthy operation of your thyroid gland. Because of this, it contributes to recovery, aids in the maintenance of healthy body composition, and regulates your energy levels.
Iodine deficiencies can lead to an enlarged thyroid (a goitre), which will increase your heart rate to an unhealthy level, cause breathlessness and fatigue, cripple your athletic potential, and cause you to put body fat on whilst being unable to build muscle.
I would also argue for calcium and magnesium. They are both key to maintaining bone health, including your teeth. Deficiencies in either can lead to brittle bones that are easily breakable, as well as to various dental concerns.
Magnesium also plays a role in enzyme reactions, with magnesium deficiency being related to heart disease, type II diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
In an ideal world, we would all be able to get a full range of vitamins and minerals from our diets. A varied, plant-heavy diet with good lean protein sources and a fair amount of dairy should give us a lot of what we need.
However, there are a couple of problems with this.
Firstly, not everyone has a perfect diet. Not everyone can maintain one, especially when we live such busy lives and when eating plans may be restrictive.
For example, those following a ketogenic diet may not be able to take in a full range of vitamins and minerals from plant sources as they are so severely limiting their carbohydrate intake. Vegetarians and vegans may miss out on essential minerals that are usually only found abundantly in meat and dairy sources.
Secondly, this can all be a bit random. Eating well, as above, is always a good idea. But it guarantees nothing. There is no way of knowing for sure that you are getting absolutely everything you need in the quantities in which you need it.
The only way to be fully sure you’re getting everything is to supplement with a good multivitamin, plugging any gaps in your eating plan so that nothing is left to chance and no deficiencies are allowed to grow.
James is a full time personal trainer and an award winning writer with over 10 years of experience behind him. So far, he has helped hundreds of people with their health and fitness through his career.