You stumble to the kitchen. Turn the coffee pot on. Grab a glass of water and swallow your multivitamin. Ahh, NOW the day can begin.
If you’re like a lot of folks, you believe that multi covers all the basics. After all, that’s what we’ve been LED to believe.
We’re told if we have no specific health concerns that we’re trying to address, a multivitamin will do the trick. It gives us everything we need for daily support.
There’s just one problem. It often doesn’t.
It’s true, a good multi will cover you on most of the basics. But it almost certainly won’t have ALL of them. In fact, even a really good one can leave you woefully short on some of the essentials.
But most people don’t realize it. This is why so many folks who take a multivitamin are still quietly suffering from deficiencies.
Top 3 nutrients missing from your multivitamin
Now, of course, there are TONS of important nutrients you won’t find in multivitamins. Ones I personally won’t do without such as coenzyme Q10 and resveratrol, for example.
But most folks don’t expect to find those “beyond the basics” supplements in a multi anyway. However, other necessary nutrients are often missing too.
In fact, three important daily nutrients might be missing from YOUR multivitamin.
You’d think an essential like magnesium would be in EVERY multi. Especially since it’s required for some 300 functions inside the body.
But it’s often not. You see, magnesium takes up a lot of space inside a capsule. That’s especially true when it’s in a form your body can readily absorb. And that makes it hard to include in a daily multivitamin. As a result, most have only very low amounts or don’t include any at all.
It’s also hard to get magnesium from food in the modern diet. So it’s no real surprise that half of American adults and up to 80 percent of seniors are low in this vital nutrient.
If you’re one of them, you’ll need a separate supplement to bump up your levels, either in a formula for bone health or on its own. Avoid the cheaper magnesium oxide, which is poorly absorbed. Better forms include magnesium glycinate or magnesium taurate.
This critical nutrient is crucial for the proper functioning of your brain and nervous system. Plus, choline plays important roles in muscle, mood, and memory health too.
You don’t need a lot of choline. But there’s a good chance you’re still not getting enough of it. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, MOST Americans don’t get enough.
According to the agency, “Even when choline intakes from both food and dietary supplements are combined, total choline intakes for most people are below recommended amounts.” In other words, you probably need a supplement.
Men need about 550 mg per day, while women need 425 mg.
The FDA restricts how much potassium can be in a multivitamin to just 100 mg. Despite the recommended intake being 3,400-4,700 mg per day for adults, many contain none at all.
The reason? Well, it’s complicated.
You see, too much potassium can cause problems in people with kidney disease. Plus, common blood pressure meds can mess with your levels also. Diuretics can reduce your potassium, while other BP meds can raise it.
You can get potassium from foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, and bananas. But many people still fall short when they rely on diet alone. So there’s a chance you’ll need a supplement.
But before taking a potassium supplement, talk to your doctor first. And that’s especially true if you have kidney disease or are taking blood pressure meds.
Oh, and one more thing. Those gummy and chewable multivitamins? Pass on them unless you can’t swallow capsules or tablets. Sure, they taste like candy, which makes them more fun than a pill. But you’re likely trading valuable nutrients for that fun factor.
A study from the Center for Science in the Public Interest found NONE of the 37 gummies tested came close to matching what’s in a typical capsule. Many were missing 9 or 10 nutrients. Even the chewable tablets they tested didn’t equal what you’d get in a traditional supplement.