Multivitamin Supplements Explained
Your body is only as strong as the foundation it sits on. A bit cliche- we know- but it’s still true.
It doesn’t matter who you are, male or female, active or not, all of us need and stand to benefit from micronutrients. Only thing is, multivitamin supplements are one of the best ways to add them into your diet and alongside your regimen if not possible through regular food intake.
As you know, there are thousands of different vitamins, minerals, and various types of nutrients available each with its own specific set of functions and benefits. As a result, keeping track of each important compound that your body should be taking can be understandably challenging.
When you exercise, your body depletes its nutrient stores at an accelerated rate. So, to function at optimal levels, it’s vitally important to replenish your body with all of the nutrients it needs.
The same goes for everyday life too, just at a slightly slower speed. The thing is, our bodies manage millions of sophisticated processes each day – some more vital than others – but nonetheless still require a diverse spectrum of both macro and micronutrients to run properly.
These dietary needs are similar to those on a larger scale, like protein, carbs, and fats. Ideally, the more you provide your body with them, the better the function you’ll experience in return.
Not getting enough micronutrients may cause problems.
Nutritional deficiencies are often overlooked and contribute to or are the underlying causes of many health issues people face today. This is especially true in Western countries where diets are, on average, more processed and contain less nutrient-dense whole foods than in the past.
Moreover, Western soils are becoming increasingly stripped of their nutrients which only serves to add to the problem. So, to help mend the nutritional gap, we highly suggest a multivitamin.
Now, they aren’t a magic bullet or cure-all for health issues by any means. But, like how an engine needs maintenance to work properly, so does your body. Except unlike a car, your body uses nutrients. If you neglect taking care of your bodily engine, it will inevitably have problems.
Unfortunately, many of these preventable problems emerge as ‘disease’ and can be painful and costly to fix. As such, we firmly believe an ounce of prevention is well worth the pound of cure.
What to look for in a multivitamin supplement
With such a wide variety of multivitamin and mineral products available, it can be difficult if not nearly impossible to find the perfect supplement. We understand this and want you to as well.
That said, here are the three main features you should be aware of and on the lookout for.
1. Proper Ingredients – As with any nutritional supplement, we believe it’s important to ensure the ingredients are backed by sound, clinical-based research for the best results. This includes providing a diverse profile of nutrients to help support different bodily roles.
2. Effective Dosages – Not all dosages are created equal. Most ingredients have a proven threshold for being effective above certain levels and vice versa. Just like a vehicle needs proper amounts of fuel to function properly, so too does your body with macronutrients.
Basically, paying for a weak, non-effective multivitamin is like buying a gallon of fuel for $20- before taxes. Not only does it not make sense, but it also won’t work out for very long.
3. Hidden Blends – As consumers ourselves, proprietary blends are (more or less) the bain of our existence. Many brands choose to deliberately stack several ingredients under one name, i.e., ‘Power Blend’ and only display the total dosage of each ingredient combined. In most cases, we find this practice shady at best and don’t approve of or like it whatsoever.
This means that, unless told otherwise, you won’t know how much of what ingredient you’re consuming. It could even mean some ingredients are underdosed and you’d have no idea.
On that note, we won’t hold you up anymore. Let’s get into the best 10 multivitamin supps!
10 Best Multivitamin Supplements
10. Uni-Vite by Universal Nutrition
Uni-Vite was designed exclusively for bodybuilders, power bodybuilders, and elite athletes who demand more from the incredible physiological stress that they place on their bodies.
As a comprehensive multivitamin, it contains more than 50 powerful ingredients designed to support optimal performance, strength, and recovery.
And while 24 of those ingredients have their dosages fully disclosed, Universal Nutrition does use proprietary blends for their “Virility”, “Antioxidant”, “Sports Performance”, Phytonutrient”, and “Digestive” blends, which is a shame.
And, with such small amounts in each of the above blends, it’s highly unlikely that all of these ingredients are being used at their clinically effective dosages.
That aside, unfortunately, they do include Coenzyme Q10, wheat grass, and choline bitartrate, which we like seeing, we’re just unsure how much they include.
Universal Nutrition Uni-VITE Overview:
- 30 total servings per container
- 50+ vital nutrients per serving
- Made specifically for bodybuilders
- 975 mg of proprietary blends
- Pretty good value for less than $10
- Contains other beneficial ingredients
9. Armor-V by MusclePharm
Armor-V is an advanced multi-nutrient complex that we’re proud to have listed in our top 10 best multivitamin supplements as well, despite their extensive use of proprietary blends, due to the number of positive user reviews that we’ve read.
With total immune system support, B vitamins and probiotics, and a balanced combination of Omega 3-6-9 fatty acids, Armor-V is designed for athletes of all sports.
With 23 of the foundational vitamins, minerals, and nutrients clearly dosed, they also include 6 proprietary blends, which again, is a shame, but follows the trend of most all MusclePharm products.
With over 2.2 grams hidden by proprietary blends, we can confirm that they use fish oil, blue-green algae, choline, and betaine, though without any certainty as to how much.
Quite literally, they could be including 1 microgram, which is the equivalent of 1/1000th of a milligram (there are 1,000 milligrams per gram).
MusclePharm Armor-V Overview:
- Promotes recovery
- Caffeine and Sugar-Free
- 6 Capsules Per Serving
- 2+ Grams of proprietary blends a serving
- Can be taken anytime
- Includes healthy fatty acids
8. Iron Pack by MusclePharm’s Arnold Schwarzenegger Series
Iron Pack, the newest multivitamin from MusclePharm’s Arnold Schwarzenegger Series, is a daily multivitamin pack for overall health and wellness that supports muscle building, recovery, and performance.
As stated above, a multivitamin is a foundation for general health, as well as for those involved in rigorous weightlifting, powerlifting, athletics, and endurance training.
With 22 of the primary vitamins and minerals, which include vitamins A, C, E, K2, B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 12, along with additions like biotin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and boron, the initial part of Iron Pack’s ingredient profile looks outstanding.
Unfortunately, the “meat” of the product is in the form of 5 proprietary “performance” blends, which includes Alpha Male, Joint Performance, Super Food, Antioxidant, and Cognitive Support.
One of the ingredients that we do love here is their fish oil, which includes 1,000 mg of 70% omega-3 fatty acids (EPA 400 mg / DHA 300 mg).
Even the most perfectly trained athletes know that effective, targeted, and balanced nutrition is an absolute must for achieving maximum training benefit, and based on social proof and user reviews, this seems to be effective.
Iron Pack Highlights:
- 30 Packs Per Box
- Helps support bone and joints
- 5 Proprietary “Performance” Blends
- Includes 1 gram of healthy omega-3 fats
- 22 featured vitamins and minerals
- Designed to be taken every day
7. Performance Pro Pack by Cutler Nutrition
Jay Cutler, legendary strong man, 4-time Mr. Olympia, winner of 19 world-renowned strength and physique competitions, and overall fitness badass, enters the supplement industry with the launch of Cutler Nutrition and their first multivitamin, Performance Pro Pack.
Don’t let the 7th position deter you from looking into this product, as it’s a multivitamin and mineral training pack that also adds a noticeable kick of energy.
What we love most about this product is the fact that it’s 100% transparent and has no secrets. Their unique capsule delivery mechanism is also something to notice, as a single serving includes five (5) different colored capsules, each of which fulfilling its own specific function:
- Green Capsule: Immune system support, green superfoods, CLA, and MCT’s
- Red Capsule: Energy Metabolism and Garcinia (HCA)
- Yellow Capsule: Heart and brain health, omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA
- Blue Capsule: Antioxidants, key vitamins, and trace minerals
- Purple Capsule: Comfort, mobility, inflammation, and joint support
Performance Pro Pack Highlights:
- 5 Capsule Serving
- Muscle Building & Performance
- Supports Bone & Joint Health
- Includes 30 Packs (1 Serving)
- Developed by 4-time Mr. Olympia
- Helps promote improved health
6. VITASTACK by AllMax Nutrition
With the largest per-serving capsule requirement of any of our best multivitamin supplements, at 9 (yes, you’re reading that correctly), VITASTACK boasts an impressive ingredient profile.
Designed for those that engage in extreme and intense training, VITASTACK is about as far as you can get from your “mom’s multi”. That’s because each serving contains over 70 different beneficial vitamins, nutrients, and minerals (hence the need to take 9 capsules each time).
The other impressive aspect of what the guys at AllMax Nutrition have done with VITASTACK is that fact that they’re 100% transparent about their dosages for every ingredient. Basically, this means you know exactly how much of each of the 70+ ingredients you’re putting in your body.
We can’t commend them enough for this, as it provides you, the consumer, with all of the information necessary about making the best buying decisions possible, with nothing but the raw facts (in the form of ingredients and their respective dosages).
- No Proprietary Blends
- 400 mg of BCAAs Per Serving (45:30:25 Ratio)
- 9 Pills Per Pack (Per Serving)
- 7 Key Functions to Support Optimal Performance
- 70+ Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrients
- Complete ingredient transparency!
5. Opti-Men / Opti-Women by Optimum Nutrition
We decided to combine Optimum Nutrition’s Male and Female multivitamin in one review due to their extreme similarities in quality. Plus both genders need nutrients, so it works out perfectly.
In the name of simplicity, let’s first take a look at what Opti-Men has to offer. For starters, Opti-Men was rated Multi-Vitamin of the Year for 2013. What’s more, it sports an improved formula that includes more than 75 different active ingredients, high-potency vitamins and minerals, 5x more vitamin D (1,500 IU!), 275+ mg of B-Complex vitamins, and 1 gram of free amino acids.
Like Opti-Men, Opti-Women also goes beyond the basics by including 23 healthy vitamins and essential minerals. It also contains 100% DV for iron, zinc, 150 mg of calcium, and 17 specialty ingredients such as soy-based isoflavones, chaste berry extract, dong quia, as well as uva ursi.
Differences aside, both Opti-Men and Women contain one proprietary 1-gram amino-acid blend that has arginine, glutamine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, cysteine, lysine, and lastly threonine. Now, we never commend supplements for hidden blends- but this one isn’t a big deal.
That said, we’re thoroughly impressed with what they’ve done with the Opti-Men & Women products. Many people, including ourselves, have noticed generally better health taking them.
Opti-Men Multivitamin Overview:
- 75+ Active Ingredients Per Serving
- Rated Multi-Vitamin of the Year for 2013
- 275 mg of B Complex Vitamins
- 1,000 mg of free-form amino acids Per Serving
- 3 Tablets Per Serving
- 30 Servings Per Bottle
Opti-Women Multivitamin Overview:
- 60 servings per 120 capsule bottle
- 23 Vitamins and Essential Minerals Per Serving
- 100% Daily Value for Iron and Zinc
- 17 Specialty Ingredients Per Serving
- No Proprietary Blends
- Highly Recommended for All Women*
4. Orange Triad by Controlled Labs
Orange Triad, the esteemed product from Controlled Labs delivers key vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for supporting optimal digestion, immune system, and joint health into one “twice daily” dietary supplement.
As one of the most highly reviewed products on the Internet, as well as a top-rated product on Labdoor, we are incredibly confident in our choice to have Orange Triad as our fourth best multivitamin supplement for all of our readers.
With a 6 tablet serving, Orange Triad packs a serious punch in terms of delivering nutrition and filling the pre-existing gaps in your diet.
Controlled Labs also offers something else unique, which none of the other brands on our top 10 best multivitamin review do, which is to offer a 20% discount on Orange Triad and all Controlled Labs products. Without a doubt, it’s one of the more price-friendly multivitamins.
Orange Triad Highlights:
- 20% Discount (no code required)
- 6 Tablets Per Serving
- 45 Servings Per Bottle
- A-Rating on Labdoor
- Free of Iron
- Optimal for Digestion, Immune System, and Joint Health
3. Animal Pak by Universal Nutrition
Developed by Universal Nutrition, Animal Pak has an excellent history and was the reigning champ of the “best multivitamin supplements” for 6 years from 2005 all the way through 2011. Considering this is such a competitive and ever-changing category, that’s pretty impressive…
History aside, let’s dive into the fun stuff.
Anybody can benefit from taking Animal Pak, but we recommend it for competitive and power athletes who engage in high-intensity training, use supplements and need max performance. Moreover, with full transparency for all 64 active ingredients, we think it’s safe to say that it’s among the best multivitamins for serious athletes. Their main ingredient complexes include:
- Amino Acid: With just a shade under 6 grams (5,997 mg) of their amino complex, each serving contains 19 different amino acids, including all three BCAAs (leucine, isoleucine, and valine), glutamine, alanine, arginine, and tyrosine, just to name a few.
- Performance: With 7.8 grams of their performance complex, each serving contains Uni-Liver, Carnitine, milk thistle, and Hawthorne.
- Antioxidant: With 1.35 grams of their antioxidant complex, each serving contains a healthy dosage of alpha lipoic acid (ALA), citrus bioflavonoids, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
- Digestive Enzyme: With just under 1.2 grams of their digestive enzyme complex, each serving includes bromelain, inulin, papain, and VegPeptase 2000.
Because their label isn’t proprietary, we hand counted each of those complex for you (bet you didn’t find any other review sites that would do that for you), so that you can understand exactly how much of each ingredient and how much of each complex you’re getting with Animal Pak.
UN Animal Pak Overview:
- 64 Active Ingredients
- 100% Label Transparency
- 5 Powerful Ingredient Complexes
- Includes BCAAs and CoQ10
- Best Multi-Vitamin for Bodybuilders
- Helps minimize free-radical damage
2. Vita JYM by JYM
Jim Stoppani, the creator of JYM Supplements, is a sort of living legend when it comes to sports nutrition. Formulating all the supplements himself, this titan of an athlete is a popular idol to many. After reviewing and taking his products for so long, we totally understand why.
As mentioned above, he designs each supplement in his lineup himself. Vita JYM is specifically made to avoid four common mistakes that undermine most nutrient supplements, including:
Each serving contains 25 of the most critical micro-nutrients that athletes need along without minerals that inhibit the absorption of amino acids or other critical minerals. It also has a stellar B-Vitamin complex, 10,000 IU of vitamin A, and 200 mcg of chromium picolinate.
Vita JYM Overview:
- 25 micronutrients per serving
- 5 mg of premium Bioperine
- Full ingredient transparency
- Science-backed ingredients
- Clinically-effective dosages
- 2 tablets per serving
1. Triumph by Legion Supplements – Our top pick
LEGION Supplements is, perhaps, one of our most favorite brands here at Supplement Demand. Spearheaded by Mike Matthews, Legion is largely effective in its approach to researching, quantifying, and justifying each ingredient (and its dosage) that goes into all of their products.
That said, Triumph comes packed with 36 active ingredients, all at clinically effective doses. We found its directions recommend taking 4 capsules with meals twice a day for best results.
Designed to improve health, enhance performance and reduce stress, it’s easily our best multivitamin. It’s a sort of one-stop-shop to fill most dietary holes, especially for athletes.
Some of these benefits include:
- Improved physical performance as it relates to both resistance and endurance training
- Improved heart health, blood flow, and pressure, cholesterol profile, and insulin sensitivity
- Improved mental health, including memory, cognition, and mood
- Decreased aches, inflammation, and fatigue caused by regular, intense exercise; and
- Decreased anxiety and depression
Almost sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? We initially thought so too, but that’s the power of good nutrition people! It’s quite literally what we’re made of, so having enough of it is vital.
Legion Triumph Overview:
- #1 Rated Best Multi-Vitamin for Athletes
- Every Ingredient Backed by Sound Clinical Research
- Clinically Effective Dosages
- 100% Label Transparency
- Wide Range of Full-Body Benefits
- 36 Active Ingredients
- Run by Mike Matthews, Best Selling Fitness Author
The Bottom Line on Multivitamins
Despite having the most expensive and comprehensive healthcare systems in the world, the fact is Western nations are, as a whole, arguably suffering more now than they have before. In times like these, it’s important to remember and get back to the basic foundation of health.
That being said, of all the multivitamin’s we’ve taken and researched, we think Legion Triumph is currently the best you can take into 2019. But, like anything, this may be subject to change. As always, we’ll continue to monitor for any changes and modify the ranking as necessary.
So, to recap, your presence here proves you care about educating yourself about multivitamins and nutrition as a category in general, as opposed to just searching for the “best” products.
In the end, we hope you came away from this guide better informed on what to look for.
If you have any questions or statements, be sure to leave us a comment down below!