Your body goes through high amounts of stress when you train hard, necessitating the need to supplement with multivitamins. But with so many multivitamins available, how do you choose the best one for you?
As a fitness coach with a passion for exposing misinformation in the medical science niche with my team, we have tested many pre-workouts over the years. Together with our resident dietitian at Total Shape, we've poured over countless research studies and customer reviews, to create this list of products that can help you get ahead of the competition in no time.
The Best Multivitamins for Athletes
- Best Overall Multivitamin for Athletes: Ritual Multivitamin
- Cheapest Multivitamin for Athletes: Evlution Nutrition VitaMode
- Best Multivitamin for Athlete Recovery: Ritual Multivitamin
- Best Vitamins for Athlete Endurance: ONNIT Total Human
- Best Vegan Multivitamin for Athletes: NutriGenesis Multi
- Best Natural Vitamins for Athletes: ONNIT Total Human
- Best Gluten-Free Vitamins for Athletes: Transparent Labs
- Best Multivitamin for Female Athletes: Ritual Multivitamin for Women
- Best Nighttime Multivitamin for Athletes: ONNIT Total Human
- Best Energy-Boosting Vitamins for Athletes: Transparent Labs
Best Multivitamins of 2023: Our Top Picks (December 2023)
1 - Ritual Multivitamin (Best Overall & for Recovery)
Our top multivitamin product recommendation comes from Ritual for men and women, and as an athlete, I can personally vouch for its effectiveness. I found the solid dose of B12 to be an attractive feature. But it also includes important minerals that helped me with muscle recovery.
You can also pick either the formula for men or women so that you get the ideal combination and amount of micronutrients.
- Good source of B12 for boosted physical and mental energy
- Includes vitamin K2 for heart and bone health
- May support improved immune function and bone health with vitamin D
- Available as a male and female formula
- Not the cheapest option, but you get a great quality supplement
2 - Transparent Labs Multivitamin (Best for Energy & Gluten-Free)
After using Transparent Labs Multivitamin during my rigorous training phases, I was amazed at the difference it made in my recovery. It's clear to me now why it's a go-to for those serious about their fitness.
It contains an impressive 23 ingredients, including patented KSM-66® organic ashwagandha root extract, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), CoQ10, and boron citrate, further strengthening the effects of this product.
Taking this product for three weeks has allowed me to feel increased energy levels, focus, and alertness, which is why it ranks second on our list.
- Highly concentrated multivitamin with 20+ ingredients
- Increases energy levels, enhances focus, and boosts alertness
- Free of gluten, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives
- Need to take 4 pills every day
3 - ONNIT Total Human (Best for Endurance & Nighttime)
Onnit Total Human was a game-changer for me. I tried it at the start of my fitness journey, and its comprehensive nutrient profile and easy-to-use packs made it a perfect starting point, and I've been a fan ever since.
Our tests found Total Human consists of ONNIT’s most popular supplements, all in one place, divided between day and night packs.
The day pack consists of the following ONNIT supplements:
- Alpha Brain
- Shroom Tech Sport
- Stron Bone
- Active B complete
- Shroom Tech Immune
- Krill Oil
- Spirulina and Chlorella
The night pack consists of the following ONNIT supplements:
- New Mood
- Key Minerals
- Spirulina and Chlorella
- Shroom Tech Immune
- Krill Oil
We found countless positive user reviews about how quickly this supplement works and how much better the users felt physically and mentally.
- Convenient, easy-to-use packs with all the vitamins you need
- Total body support to focus, endurance, immunity, and general well-being
- Unique day and night packs to support your body’s specific needs at different times during the day
- May be too pricey for some
4 - NutriGenesis Multi - Performance Lab (Best for Vegans)
The NutriGenesis Multi comes in two variants: one calibrated for men and the other for women, each tailored to meet the unique nutritional needs of each gender.
It provides at least 100% of the recommended daily value of over 17 essential vitamins and minerals, making it one of the most highly concentrated multivitamins on the market today.
Since the key nutrients in this supplement are in food-matrix form, they will be recognized by your body as nature-identical, maximizing the bioavailability of nutrients and enhancing its health benefits.
I noticed better digestion, increased energy, and improved overall well-being. Buying a single box can be expensive, so I opted for the four-boxes deal.
- Comes in two gender-specific variants that are customized to fit the specific needs of men and women
- Free of additives and common allergens such as soy and gluten
- Contains a wide range of highly bioavailable minerals and vitamins
- Vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and filler-free
- Available only on the official Performance Lab website
5 - AnimalPak The Complete All In One Training Pack
I've been a fan of Animal Pak since my early days in fitness. Established in 1983, this brand has been a staple in my regimen and is trusted by many pro bodybuilders and weightlifters.
Containing over 60 key ingredients, its multivitamin packs are designed to deliver generous doses of multivitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, carnitine, and more making it a powerhouse supplement for any athlete.
After using this supplement for a week, I experienced higher energy levels and better performance. The only downside is that there are many pills to take.
- Comes in 44 individually-wrapped multivitamin packs, each containing 11 pills
- Provides a wide variety of mineral and vitamins per single pack serving
- Increases energy levels and gives a general feeling of well-being
- Pills are huge and can be quite hard to swallow
6 - JYM Sports Multivitamin
This multivitamin for athletes is designed for both active women and men.
It contains over 25 active ingredients, including Vitamin A, B-Complex, C, E, K, iron, and chromium.
While most supplements contain zinc, magnesium, and calcium, Dr. Stoppani, the maker of the multivitamin, deliberately skipped these components because they interfere with the uptake of other key micronutrients and amino acids in your body .
While using this product, I observed that my energy levels increased, my focus improved, and I felt less hungry, resulting in eating less. I take these pills at night, and they don't seem to cause any stomach discomfort.
- A trusted brand founded by renowned sports nutrition and supplement expert Dr. Jim Stoppani
- Active ingredients are well-researched and backed by real science
- Doesn't contain calcium, zinc, and magnesium - elements that interfere with the uptake and utilization of other vitamins and minerals
- Some users experienced abdominal issues while taking this multivitamin
The brand also added BioPerine to further enhance the bioavailability of all ingredients.
7 - Old School Labs Vintage Base Multivitamin
I was intrigued when I first came across Vintage Base, primarily because it was the first supplement I tried with a probiotic component.
This non-GMO multivitamin is formulated for both men and women athletes and promises to enhance your immune function, metabolism, bone and tissue health, and recovery.
I've finished my first two weeks of using this supplement, and I've already seen a positive change. I quickly noticed improvements in my digestion, and my energy levels throughout the day have felt higher.
- Increases physical energy and mental clarity
- Probiotics component helps with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and digestion
- The company provides excellent customer service
- Might cause an upset stomach for some users
8 - Controlled Labs Orange Triad Daily Multivitamin
The Orange Triad protects your joints by lubricating them and supports your cartilage while strengthening its connective tissues, so you can train hard with no inhibitions and recover fast.
Aside from delivering essential vitamins, this iron-free multivitamin contains complementary ingredients such as chondroitin and glucosamine that assist in building and maintaining the connective tissues in your joints .
This product has positively impacted my gains and recovery while also reducing soreness after workouts. It consistently provides me with a sense of energy and nourishment throughout the day. However, the dosage requirement of six pills per day is somewhat on the higher side.
- Supports digestive health, immune function, and joint health for the price of one
- Contains supporting ingredients like chondroitin, glucosamine, and echinacea that further enhance the supplement’s performance
- Genuinely increases energy and helps with recovery
- Pills might be too large for some customers
9 - Legion Triumph Daily Sport Multivitamin
TRIUMPH also incorporated 11 additional herbs, amino acids, and plant extracts, such as grape seed extract, Nigella Sativa, Ashwagandha, and CoQ10 to help enhance your athletic performance, heart health, blood flow, insulin sensitivity, mental health, immune function, longevity, and more [7,8,9].
Aside from its physical benefits, Legion claims this product is one of the few multivitamins for athletes that can boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
During my trial of this supplement, I observed notable enhancements in sleep quality, increased mental clarity and focus during workouts, and a significant reduction in the level of anxiety I typically experience.
- Its unique blend contains ingredients that are hard to find in other multivitamins for athletes
- Helps users fall asleep faster and longer
- Alleviates feelings of anxiety and depression
- Some users reported getting “garlic burps” from this multivitamin
10 - Bodybuilding Signature Multivitamin
Our tests found that the blend of ingredients works to provide your body with energy to fuel your training, support your immune health, and improve muscle growth and function.
Signature Multivitamin also contains zinc, a nutrient known for its ability to improve your body’s natural testosterone levels .
While trying this supplement, I experienced a clearer mental state while at the gym, enabling me to focus better during my workouts.
- Made with high-quality, research-backed ingredients
- Total formula transparency
- Contains no fillers and gluten
- Niacin component may cause a tingling, flush effect to the skin when taken without food
11 - Evlution Nutrition VitaMode High Performance (Cheapest Option)
This multivitamin for male athletes with 29 nutrients packed into one easy-to-swallow pill has been a convenient addition to my daily routine.
Vitamin C supports the immune system and fights free radicals. Vitamin A and vitamin E help minimize cell damage, lutein promotes eye health, and vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus [12,13,14,15].
Molybdenum supports metabolism, chromium helps regulate sugar levels in the body, biotin keeps your skin and hair healthy, and manganese promotes collagen production to help thicken your hair [16,17,18].
I've observed enhanced mental clarity, sharper focus, improved metabolism, and overall better performance during my workouts while testing this product.
- Provides a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals in high doses, especially vitamin D
- Gives a boost of clean energy and a feeling of well-being
- Great price-quality ratio
- The odor of the tablets might be too strong for some
12 - Sport Formula Multivitamin
I've never been a fan of tablets, so discovering this powder-form multivitamin from Sport Formula 99 was a pleasant surprise. The fact that it also tastes delicious makes this multivitamin an absolute joy to drink.
If you want to take it as is, that's okay too. Just pop a scoop of the product under your tongue, and you're good to go.
One scoop will give you a whopping 2,000 mg of these powerful amino acids, which is more than sufficient to increase your stamina and help you recover faster from intense workouts .
- Fruity flavor tastes great, and the powder dissolves easily in water
- Benefits can be felt almost instantaneously after consumption
- Contains BCAAs that support energy production in your body
- The large container is deceiving; actual product only goes about ¼ of the way full
This vegan multivitamin for active women and men promises to fuel your workouts and activate your metabolism without the jittery feeling with its electrolytes and natural B-complex component.
13 - MuscleTech Platinum Multivitamin
This multivitamin has a comprehensive and advanced profile of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that can help support your overall health, whether you’re an elite athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or a bodybuilder.
Its potent formulation is engineered to offer 18 vitamins and minerals that provide 100% or more of your daily requirements for vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12.
This multivitamin for men and women athletes is packed with 865 mg of amino acids and an herbal matrix including green tea, saw palmetto, ginseng, echinacea, and ginkgo biloba, which work to promote energy production and increase your endurance [22,23].
This product improved my recovery, boosted energy levels, sharpened alertness and focus, and significantly elevated the quality of my workout sessions.
- Gives a solid dose of essential vitamins and minerals per serving of three tablets
- Includes an herbal stack and a profile of digestive enzymes that aids with absorption
- Improves energy, focus, and sleep
- Some customers found the smell of the pills to be off-putting
How We Selected the Best Multivitamins
When choosing a multivitamin for athletes, we looked for concentration, content, certification, and potency.
To ensure the safety of a multivitamin, athletes must choose a product with third-party certification, like the NSF.
If a supplement is NSF Certified for Sport, that means the organization has determined that it doesn’t contain any banned substances, unsafe levels of contaminants, or masking agents. The group also verifies if what’s on the label matches the actual content of the multivitamin.
Essential vitamins and minerals content
Next, we checked if the multivitamin provides a good variety of vitamins and minerals. There are over 20 essential micronutrients, so we made sure we're getting the most of them in one supplement to get the most bang for our buck. This is also extremely important if you're on a strict healthy diet like vegan or keto.
Related: Keto-friendly multivitamins
Essential vitamins and minerals can be divided into four categories:
Concentration and Potency
What Are the Benefits of Using Multivitamin Supplements?
The benefits of using multivitamin supplements are increased energy levels, enhanced immunity, better bone health, and improved endurance due to essential vitamins and minerals such as B Vitamins, vitamin C, calcium, and magnesium.
- B Vitamins play a vital role in the production of energy in your body. It helps break down carbohydrates into glucose for energy and assists in the synthesis of fats and proteins. Deficiency in one or several B vitamins—such as vitamin B12—has been shown to harm exercise performance.
- Vitamin C is a major immune booster and antioxidant known for fighting off sickness and infections. Research shows that long-term exercise at a moderate intensity can actually decrease immunity, which means athletes and active people must supplement with this vitamin .
- Vitamin D and calcium work together to support bone health. While calcium alone can increase your bone strength, it won’t be fully absorbed by your body without vitamin D. See our list of recommended vitamin D3 supplements.
- Magnesium supports nerve and muscle function and plays a role in the synthesis of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and the balance of electrolytes. See our list of recommended magnesium supplements.
- Potassium and sodium are micronutrients that work together to maintain the balance of fluid in your body. When you exercise, you lose electrolytes through sweat, which can lead to muscle cramping and fatigue. But if you have an ample supply of potassium and sodium, these elements can help keep you hydrated to prevent those side effects. As one of the three major electrolytes, potassium works in conjunction with sodium to maintain proper muscle contraction, heart function, and nerve communication.
- Iron helps red blood cells transport oxygen to the muscles, making it a crucial mineral for improved endurance. Iron deficiency is commonly observed among athletes as daily endurance training causes a higher per day loss of this mineral . So if you're someone who undergoes intense exercise regularly, you should increase your iron intake to at least 30% to combat this gradual loss .
The best multivitamins will have most, if not, all of the components listed above.
Which Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Multivitamin for You?
When choosing the best multivitamin for you, you should consider factors such as whether it includes things you should stay away from, like fillers, artificial colors, and sweeteners. Also, check if it has the right types of vitamins and minerals.
- Fillers and artificial colors. Fillers affect the product’s potency, and dyes serve no function other than to make tablets look more “pleasant.”
- Artificial sweeteners. This includes sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K), and high fructose corn syrup commonly found in gummy vitamins.
- Poor form of vitamins and minerals. Some brands use the cheapest form of nutrients in their supplements to save on costs. These nutrients aren’t bioavailable, which means that your body can’t utilize them.
A common example would be using calcium carbonate instead of calcium and magnesium oxide instead of magnesium. The oxide and carbonate forms of these nutrients can't be absorbed by your body, which means it's a complete waste of money.
The best multivitamins for athletes surely won’t contain any of these elements, so be on the lookout for the ingredients mentioned above when shopping for one.
When Is The Best Time To Take Multivitamin Supplements?
The best time to take multivitamins is not definite. What’s more important is that you take multivitamins consistently.
However, taking some vitamins at a specific time of the day and with meals may reduce the possibility of adverse effects, such as nausea or an upset stomach.
Taking multivitamins first thing in the morning and before exercising might be a bad idea, as both can upset your digestive tract and cause your stomach to produce gastric acid that, in turn, will result in heartburn or reflux.
Most supplements provide specific directions on when to take the multivitamin, so it would be best to just follow what the manufacturer recommends.
Do Multivitamins Work And Are They Worth It?
Yes, multivitamins actually work and they are worth it when correctly taken.
However, you must remember that even the best multivitamin are no magic pills. Their primary purpose is to fill nutrient gaps so you won’t experience any vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Everyone can benefit from daily multivitamins, but active people will benefit from them more. Since athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters expend more energy and put their bodies under constant stress, they tend to use the deposits of vitamins and minerals in their bodies quicker. This necessitates the need for supplementing with multivitamins.
You will surely reap the benefits of multivitamins if you couple them with a healthy lifestyle and good eating choices and habits. Do your due diligence and look for food items or exercise routines that can make the most out of the multivitamins you're currently taking.
What Are Multivitamins Side Effects And Risks?
Yes, there is a downside to taking multivitamin supplements. Feeling nauseous and having stomach discomfort are the most common side effects and potential problems with multivitamins. However, these are usually experienced only by people with ultra-sensitive stomachs who take them without food.
If you're one of these people, it's better to choose vegan multivitamin supplements meant to be taken with meals.
If you're taking any prescription medicines, be sure to check in first with your doctor to see if it would be safe to take the best multivitamin alongside it.
Should Athletes Take Multivitamins?
Yes, athletes should take multivitamins if they cannot get all the all the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet.
How Do Multivitamins Affect Athletes?
Multivitamins affect athletes by ensuring they get essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimal performance, recovery, and overall health, especially if their diet lacks certain nutrients. However, they are not a substitute for a balanced diet.
What Vitamins Should a Pro Athlete Take?
A pro athlete should take B vitamins, vitamin D, as well as antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Athletes should also consider taking essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, and potassium if they are not getting enough of them through their diet.
Is Omega 3 Good for Athletes?
Yes, Omega-3 is good for athletes as it helps them improve their performance through multiple mechanisms, such as inflammation management, muscle recovery enhancement, and brain health protection.
Our Verdict: The Best Multivitamins For Athletes
After evaluating the best multivitamin options on this guide, the Ritual Multivitamin came out as the most superior product.
This multivitamin provides a substantial concentration of nutrients, supplying a large dose of over 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
Our tests found that not only do these elements come in generous doses, but they also come in highly bioavailable forms.
This multivitamin also contains no harmful fillers, additives and is minimally processed.
Given all of the above, we believe this might just be the best multivitamin choices, bodybuilders, weightlifters, and fitness enthusiasts today.
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