Our bodies need a constant supply of vitamins and minerals each and every day in order to function properly. Without them, we can become tired, unable to focus, irritable, and put ourselves at risk of various illnesses and diseases.
Due to the standard western diet, multivitamins are becoming both more prevalent and more necessary. Items like junk food, white bread, candy, and pastries might taste good, but they aren’t exactly nutritious.
The blanket government recommendation is to eat five portions or 400 g (1 lb) of fruit and vegetables every day. Yet, whilst many people treat it as a target, it’s actually more of a minimum. If you can’t reach this or just want to make sure you’re leaving no stone unturned, then a multi-vitamin can help to cover all your bases.
Now, multi-vitamins have recently taken a step forward, progressing from standard capsules to liquid form. It used to be that only pills and tablets were available, but many companies are switching to liquid vitamins or at least introducing it to their line of products. The question is, though: are they actually better?
Pros and Cons of Liquid Vitamins
When you think about it, it makes more sense that your body would absorb liquid vitamins faster and more effectively as there’s no outer shell to break down. Research has shown that the body absorbs around 98% of vitamins and minerals when they’re in liquid form compared to just 3-20% of vitamins in a pill. The speed of their absorption is down to the fact that they don’t need to go into the digestive system, instead, heading directly for the bloodstream.
This is particularly important for antioxidants which can help to prevent age-related conditions and various other issues such as cardiovascular disease. As liquid vitamins can help to make sure your body absorb more of their contents, then you’ll be getting more vitamin A, C and D alongside everything else.
As well as this, they can be easier to take for a lot of people who have issues swallowing large or heavy pills. In fact, many vitamins and medicines are described as “horse pills” due to their large and obstructive size.
Chewable vitamins are obviously the other alternative, but they can contain large amounts of sugar which is detrimental to your health, or gelatin which vegetarians and vegans can’t eat.
Because of this, liquid vitamins are the logical progression to standard pills. However, you do have the issue of taste. Many liquid vitamins can leave a real medicine-like taste in your mouth which some people might not like.
Should I Take a Multivitamin?
However, if we’re discussing whether you should take liquid vitamins, then we should also touch on whether you need to take a multi-vitamin at all. There’s nothing particularly magical or special about multi-vitamins apart from their convenience. You can think of them similar to protein powder. Protein powder is only useful if you struggle to hit your daily protein target whilst multi-vitamins are only good if you don’t eat enough fruit and vegetables. Neither should replace whole food sources or take precedence in your diet above and beyond a good meal.
Though, a big benefit to multi-vitamins is their inclusivity. When it comes to your diet, it’s important to eat the rainbow, meaning that you should eat fruits and vegetables in a range of colours. The reason for this is that the colour of fruits and vegetables tends to determine the vitamins and minerals inside.
So, if you’re just eating carrots, broccoli, peas, and cauliflower every day, then that’s only three colours. Yet, if you have blueberries and strawberries with your breakfast, yellow peppers and beetroot at lunch, and then spinach and tomatoes at dinner, then you’re getting a range of micronutrients throughout the day. If you tend to eat different foods every day and can’t afford a multivitamin, then there’s no need to take one. Though, if you’re quite repetitive with your diet and have the money to boost your diet with supplements, then a multivitamin can help to make sure you’re completely covered.
Multivitamins can also be a great idea for those on restrictive diets such as vegans, vegetarians or those following keto diets. If the diet that you follow specifically tells you to exclude a certain food group, especially something natural such as carbohydrates or meat, then there’s a high chance of becoming deficient in a specific vitamin or mineral. For example, vegans and vegetarians can become deficient in vitamin B12 which helps with cognition and energy levels. For these people, taking a multivitamin can be almost necessary unless you’re monitoring your diet intently.
Liquid vitamins appear to be much, much better than standard vitamins or pills. Yet, they can also be more expensive. No supplement is necessary as it is instead supposed to be ‘supplemental’ to your diet, but if you do want to take a multivitamin, then those in liquid form will be a better option.