If you’re looking for the best multivitamin for women then you probably already know how frustrating it can be to find the right one for you. There are so many options out there that the number of multivitamins for women can seem endless.
Now ideally you’d be able to get all of your daily required vitamins and minerals from your diet. Eating nutrient-dense foods is always the basis for a healthy nutrition plan. But this isn’t realistic nor practical for a few reasons.
For one, you’re not always able to eat enough of a variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs. And even if you do eat enough of the right foods your body might not be able to absorb all the essential vitamins for one reason or another.
All of these are reasons enough to supplement with a daily multivitamin as nutritional insurance. Being able to cover any missing gaps is a smart idea. This way your body will be operating efficiently on all cylinders. Becoming deficient in vitamins and minerals is the last thing that’ll be good for your health and energy levels.
So even if you’re eating the perfect diet that doesn’t mean you’re getting all the daily required vitamins and minerals. But with all the options out there on the market, it can feel impossible trying to find the best one. Here I’ll break down for you what to look for in a multivitamin for women and my top 3 recommendations.
What Vitamins You Should Take as a Woman
If you’re like most women then there’s a good chance you don’t like having to take 5-10 different supplement products every single day of the week. This is why it can be a good idea to find the one best multivitamins for women that’s in a single pill or two. This makes it a lot easier to get your daily recommended vitamins and minerals.
The big reason why you need to take a multivitamin is to prevent micronutrient (vitamins and minerals) deficiencies. Once your body becomes deficient in these essential vitamins you could experience:
- mood swings
- depression and anxiety
- bad skin and nails
- bad PMS symptoms
- brain fog
- hair loss
- bad skin conditions
One of the biggest symptoms of micronutrient deficiencies is feeling constantly weak, fatigued and tired (1). If this sounds like you then you’re a prime candidate to start taking a multivitamin. And as a woman, your body is going to need and prioritize different vitamins and minerals than a man.
It’s always the best idea to take a blood test to determine if you’re getting adequate amounts or if you’re deficient in any particular vitamin or mineral. Then with your doctor, you can specifically target the necessary multivitamins you should be taking for you.
With that said let’s look into what to look for when picking out multivitamins for women.
How to Choose a Multivitamin
Now the best multivitamins for women over 50 are going to be different from the best multivitamins for women over 40 and so on. Women in their 50’s generally need more calcium and iron (4). But women in their 60’s tend to need less iron but more calcium and vitamin D3 (5).
Your body is going to need different nutrients to run optimally at different times in your life as a woman. Keep in mind the below aren’t recommendations if you’re pregnant or looking to become pregnant. For those, you should take a look at taking prenatal multivitamins that help with fetal development.
Below are some of the essential vitamins and minerals you should look for when deciding on the one daily multivitamin…
Vitamin D. Getting enough required vitamin D in the sunny summer months usually isn’t a problem. Your body synthesizes vitamin D from sunshine. But in the cold dark winter months, your body is getting nowhere near enough vitamin D. Your body also needs vitamin D for proper calcium absorption for strong bones (6). One of the big reasons why so many people get sick in the winter since their immune system is weakened from low vitamin D levels (7). Vitamin D deficiency is also linked to depression, lower back pain, and hair loss (8,9,10). It’s estimated 1 billion people worldwide are deficient and about 40% of the American population.
Iodine. Without enough iodine in your body then your thyroid gland will not run optimally. And if your thyroid isn’t working as it should then you could experience a slower metabolism and thus weight gain (11). Iodine is readily found in many whole foods like fish, eggs, and nuts but many people in developing countries are deficient in iodine. If you’ve ever gone through thyroid problems then you know how debilitating it can be. And if you want your metabolism to be running optimally then it’s a smart idea to make sure you’re getting enough daily iodine.
Calcium. Most people know calcium is required for having strong bones and teeth. Osteoporosis is a common problem in older women as their bones become weakened and they become more susceptible to injuries. Women in menopause need more calcium than others to prevent a deficiency and osteoporosis (12). As women age, their bodies produce less estrogen which will make their bones weakened and thinner.
Iron. Many women can become deficient in iron during their childbearing age as they lose iron from menstruating and pregnancy (13). Women who are vegan or vegetarians also have a much more difficult time getting enough iron through their diet. Iron deficiency is known as anemia and can make you feel fatigued, weak and dizzy (14). Some women with intestinal digestive problems aren’t able to absorb enough iron through their diets (15). This is why it’s a good idea for women to supplement with it.
Vitamin B12. Not getting enough vitamin B12 can cause your body to not have enough red blood cells (16). This can lead to numbness or having sensation pains in your limbs. Older women are more likely to become deficient in vitamin B12. This is because the older you get the less your body produces stomach acid to break down and absorb vitamin B12 (17).
Folate (Vitamin B9). This is another vital B-vitamin that’s used to create and repair DNA in your body. It’s also used in the production of red blood cells so becoming deficient in folate can also lead to anemia (18). Drinking too much alcohol, pregnancy, digestive issues and not eating enough whole foods rich in folate can all lead to deficiencies (19,20,21). Also having the MTHFR gene mutation will cause your body to not be able to properly breakdown folic acid (22). Then it can’t be absorbed into your body. Folate is the same thing as folic acid. Folic acid is the name for the manmade version of folate.
Biotin. This is an essential B vitamin that’s used to break down carbs and fats from your diet and convert them into fuel for energy. It’s also an important vitamin for women’s skin and hair (23). Your body needs biotin to make keratin which is a protein that’s needed if you want your hair and nails looking good. Many people who become deficient in biotin end up getting skin rashes, hair loss, depression, and fatigue (24). Pregnant women might want to ensure they’re getting enough biotin since it’s used in fetal development (25).
Probiotics. Not too many multivitamins products on the market are going to have probiotics in them. Probiotics are the tiny good gut microbiota that improves your gut health. The health of your gut plays a vital role in your immune system and weight loss (26,27). Making sure your gut health is strong is a very important key to a strong body. You can see the best probiotic for women here.
The Best Multivitamin Brand
Now it can be pretty difficult to find an easy-to-swallow multivitamin that meets all the above but below you’ll find my top 3 choices.
This isn’t your traditional “multivitamin” since it’s in powder form but this is even better considering it’s made from real whole foods. Just about all other multi vitamins, you’re going to find on the market are synthetically made. But studies have found multivitamins from whole foods are significantly better absorbed by your body than synthetic ones (28). This superfood powder is my personal “multivitamin on steroids” that I use as the best nutritional insurance to cover any missing gaps. You’ll get a strong serving of vitamin C, B vitamins and the rest of the essential multivitamins. I recommend it to all my new clients and it’s much better than any other multivitamin you’re going to find on the market. You can read my full review here.
JayLabPro Active Core Complex
One of the biggest reasons why I recommend this multivitamin is it contains a very unique ingredient called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is a very probiotic-rich fermentation process that’s able to unlock these vital multivitamins (29). This allows your body to quickly absorb them and send the nutrients directly to your cells where they’re needed. This multivitamin is also made from whole food ingredients which will be better absorbed by your body.
Pure Encapsulations O.N.E. Multivitamin
Now if you’re looking for a more traditional multivitamin then I’d go with this one by Pure Encapsulations. It provides a boatload of antioxidants with each serving and contains a bountiful amount of vitamins and minerals from highly bioavailable sources. Pure Encapsulations is another great company that makes only the highest standard of products. It’s great that this multivitamin contains a methylated form of B vitamins folic acid which is needed for those with the MTHFR gene mutation. You’ll feel a lot better and have more energy when taking a women’s multivitamin like this.
The Last Word
It’s still a smart idea if you’re a woman to take a daily multivitamin even if you’re not the healthiest eater in the world. You could be doing everything right with your diet but if you’re missing out on some vitamins and minerals then you could quickly become deficient.
Once your body becomes deficient then it’s only a matter of time before your body shows the symptoms. Taking the right multivitamin for women can help to replenish these lost vitamin and mineral stores in your body. Then any deficiencies and negative symptoms can be reversed giving you back your energy and a healthy body.
Now that you know the top 3 multivitamins for women the key will be to take it daily. Even the best multivitamin in the world isn’t going to do a whole lot if you’re not taking it in the first place. So make it a morning ritual to take your multivitamin to reach your required daily value. This way you’ll be well on your way to optimally perfecting your health for years to come.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and he’s a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) by American Council on Exercise. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college levels. He has over 15 years of experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He strives to bring inspiration and results for people to live healthier lives through smart diet and exercise.