How Do I Know If Multivitamins Are Working?

Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC
Published by Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC | Staff Writer & Senior Coach
Last updated: November 25, 2023
Our content is meticulously researched and reviewed by an expert team of fact checkers and medical professionals. They ensure accuracy, relevance, and timeliness using the latest reputable sources, which are cited within the text and listed at the end of the article. Before publication and upon significant updates, we confirm factual accuracy, committed to providing readers with well-informed content. Learn more.

While some people claim that they can feel their "vitality overflowing," the majority of us might not know if our dietary supplements are working.

So can you feel a multivitamin at work? If so, what should you look out for?

In this article, we'll dive a little deeper into what to expect, how to find a good multivitamin and much more.

Quick Summary

  • You can't directly tell if multivitamins are working as they are not intended to have any measurable or direct effect upon consumption, but they present long-term health benefits.
  • The recommended multivitamins everyone should regularly consume are Vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C, zinc, and potassium.
  • Studies by the International Journal of Preventative Medicine show that taking vitamins and supplements can significantly stimulate brain function and improve health conditions.
  • From my perspective, the right multivitamin can fill crucial nutritional gaps, especially in today's fast-paced lifestyle.

Can You Feel A Multivitamin Working?

a man's hand filled with supplement pills

No, it's doubtful that you will be able to feel certain vitamins working.

Many of my clients initially expect a noticeable change, but multivitamins are for long-term health, not quick fixes.

They improve nutritional status and address deficiencies over time, and while some may sense subtle changes, most benefits are gradual and not immediately perceptible.

As Dietary Supplements, What Should Multivitamins Do?

man smiling while showing his biceps, and a heart plushy on a couple's hand

A good multivitamin, a concept that has significantly evolved since its early development in the 20th century, should top up your daily intake of all the most essential vitamins. Originally designed to address specific deficiencies, today's formulations are more comprehensive.

It should contain adequate doses of fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin D and antioxidant vitamins like Vitamin C to provide you with the recommended daily allowance.

Health Benefits Of Vitamin D

From my time working with clients, I've seen how Vitamin D, a crucial fat-soluble vitamin, plays a significant role in maintaining bone health.

It also balances the immune function and aids in strengthening it.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C

Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, aids in wound healing, bone formation, and may lower heart disease risk.

When combined with B Vitamin in pregnant women, it can prevent neural tube defects. Taking a multivitamin simplifies meeting your daily micronutrient needs, reducing the need to meticulously track specific nutrients like amino acids in your diet.

"The primary role of a multivitamin is to fill nutritional gaps and make sure people get their daily allowance of under-consumed nutrients like vitamins A, C, D, E and K, calcium, magnesium, dietary fiber, choline, and potassium."

- Andrea Wong, Senior Vice President (Scientific & Regulatory Affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition)

What Can You Expect To Feel From a Multivitamin

man in gym clothes thinking, and a stack of different medicine pills

Based on my personal training experience, immediate effects from multivitamins shouldn't be expected.

However, if you're deficient in a certain nutrient, like calcium, taking a supplement can provide benefits.

Similarly, if specific vitamins and minerals are recommended for a particular health issue, you can anticipate improvements in that area.

According to studies published by the Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics, by upping your vitamin D intake, you could expect to improve your mood and cognitive function and help your body absorb calcium to improve bone strength [1].

Also, water-soluble supplements like taking folic acid daily can give you more energy by improving your red blood cell count as shown by studies published by the National Institutes of Health [2]. Folic acid is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in many bodily functions, and its presence in a multivitamin can contribute to overall health.

How Can You Tell Good Vitamin Supplements From Bad Ones?

woman holding up two different bottles

Vitamin supplements often overpromise, and in my experience as a personal trainer, those that under-deliver are common.

While there's scientific evidence, like studies from the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, showing benefits for brain function and health, beware of exaggerated claims [3].

I've learned to recommend supplements from companies with modest, science-backed claims and environmentally conscious production.

What To Look Out For In A Daily Multivitamin

medical person holding up a pill while looking at it

Multivitamins are crucial in low-calorie diets to ensure essential nutrients are met and in combating global nutritional deficiencies.

7 Key Vitamins

From my experience as a personal trainer and nutritionist, I've seen the best results with multivitamins that contain at least seven key vitamins, such as A, D, E, C, and K, along with essential minerals like potassium and zinc.

Key Minerals

It's important to include iodine, often overlooked but essential for major organs like the heart, thyroid, and brain. Additionally, minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and zinc are necessary.

Calcium supports muscle contraction, zinc boosts the immune system, and magnesium maintains healthy blood pressure and immunity.

These minerals, along with iron, aid in energy production and red blood cell formation.

Avoid Excessive intake

It's important to choose supplements with 100% Daily Value (DV) and avoid those with 500% DV to prevent excess intake, considering the nutrients you get from food.

Are There Any Side Effects With Taking Multivitamins?

man about to vomit, and a woman in constipation

Yes, there are side effects in taking multivitamins like other medications.

Some of my clients have experienced mild, usually temporary issues like stomach irritability, constipation, irregular heart rate, nausea, vomiting, and loose stools.

The University of Rochester Medical Center warns that large doses of beta-carotene can cause skin discoloration [4].

Multivitamins are generally safe but should be taken as recommended or prescribed by a doctor.


Was this article helpful?

About The Author

You May Also Like

A syringe on a table
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 7 days ago
Taking Steroids Without Working Out (6 Facts You Must Know)
Top view of weighing scale and a lot of pills
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 8 days ago
Do Steroids Make You Gain Weight? (What You Need to Know)
Pea Protein powder top view
By James Cunningham, BSc, CPT 8 days ago
Is Pea Protein Good for You? (6 Benefits You Need to Know)
A man holding his pee
By Benedict Ang, CPT, PN1-NC 4 days ago
Does Pre-workout Make You Pee More? Everything You Must Know
Pregnant woman sitting on a ball
By Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD 8 days ago
Can You Take Pre-workout While Pregnant? What You Must Know
A person going to the bathroom
By Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD 20 hours ago
Do You Pee More When Losing Weight? What You Need to Know

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *