Rankings: Best multivitamins for women of 2018

Multivitamins for women are personalized for the female body to ensure that women get the nutrients they need. Even with a healthy diet, it’s not possible in the modern world to get all of the vitamins and minerals our bodies need on a daily basis.

Some multivitamins for women provide the basic minimum of the daily value of vitamins your body needs, while others go past that to provide additional nutrition that keeps you feeling energized and focused and helps you stay fit.

Part 1 ranks this year’s 11 best multivitamins for women in order, and part 2 will go over how they work and answer some FAQs.

1. Ritual Essential for Women

ritual vitamins for women

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Multivitamins used to be at the bottom of the health totem pole, below meal replacements, protein shakes, and fat burners. They’re often lacking in nutritional benefit and packed with vitamins we already get plenty of. Because they aren’t heavily regulated, the label doesn’t always match the content, and fillers and preservatives often cancel out any health benefits.

Ritual is redefining multivitamins. They’re doing a complete redesign to make them more simple and transparent than ever before. Each capsule is packed with just 9 essential nutrients, but they’re high quality, well-researched, and openly sourced.  Ritual has heavily researched exactly what vitamins and minerals women are lacking most, and that’s all you’ll get.

While other supplements are packed with 2000% of your daily value of vitamin B, Ritual contains none – because you get enough of it from other places. Same with vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, all too often used to fill out multivitamins when it’s actually easy to get those nutrients from our regular diet.

What Ritual’s Essential for Women does contain is a pure, consistent dose of vitamins our modern diets severely lack, and vitamins that are important for women, chosen by a team of medical professionals – B12, folate, D3, K2, E, omega-3s, boron, iron, and magnesium.

Their website lists all their suppliers and sources, allowing you to trace exactly where each and every ingredient came from. They offer a level of transparency that’s unprecedented in multivitamins. Even their capsule is transparent, showing off the absence of artificial colors and binders.  In fact, their patent-pending capsule technology helps your body absorb the nutrients inside by allowing oily nutrients to stay in oil form while keeping dry ingredients intact.

The company has been praised by publications as respected as Wired, Marie Claire, and Tech Crunch for bringing multivitamins into the future.

2. Optimum Nutrition Opti-Women

optimum multivitamin women

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Opti-Women has gained a lot of attention from active women and body builders as a multivitamin designed to optimize athletic performance. Rather than stuff their multivitamin with high levels of vitamin B and skimp on the rest, Opti-Women incorporates high levels of all the good stuff.

This multivitamin delivers 100%  of your daily iron, selenium, and copper and 417% of your daily vitamin C, all of which work together. The additional vitamin C helps your body absorb iron while also helping you to metabolize carbohydrates for additional energy. Copper strengthens tendons to help you lift weights more effectively. Selenium, a powerful antioxidant, boosts your immune system and fights free radicals so your body stays in top shape. [1]

Specialty ingredients also boost the potency of this multivitamin, the star of which is soy isoflavones and additional iron target women’s health.

3. MegaFood Women’s One Daily

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MegaFood has a very unique way of incorporating your daily nutrients into their multivitamin through their proprietary FoodState Nutrients system. This system draws vitamins and minerals from brewer’s yeast, which is packed with health benefits, the largest of which is help with digestive issues. [2] It’s also a major source of vitamin B, zinc, protein, chromium, iron, and magnesium.

Their vitamins use whole foods that are gentle on the stomach, which is great for people who experience sensitivity and digestive issues after taking multivitamins. It also means your vitamins and minerals are absorbed faster and at a greater potency.

This vitamin has increased levels of iron as women tend to experience iron deficiencies at a higher rate. The only downside to using natural, whole foods is that this multi-vitamin contains lower doses of vitamins A, C, K, D3, and E than multivitamins that use synthetic ingredients to their advantage.

4. Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women

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Garden of Life supplements spotlight raw, whole foods for maximum nutrition, and their Vitamin Code for Women is no exception.

Producing a multivitamin raw means that it’s produced below 115º F, making sure that none of the vitamins or minerals are cooked out of the whole foods that go into the pill. Because they use raw, whole foods, this multivitamin has live probiotics and enzymes that you won’t find in regular multivitamins. You also won’t find any binders, fillers, artificial colors or flavors, or other synthetic additives that can be dangerous.

Garden of Life’s multivitamin for women supports breast health, reproductive health, immune health, heart health, and digestion.

5. New Chapter Every Woman’s One Daily

new chapter multivitamin

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New Chapter’s Every Woman’s One Daily Multi does a good job at packing your complete daily nutrition into one little pill. The pill is made from fermented whole foods that have powerful medicinal properties, such as ginger, tumeric, and chamomile. This is a pure, herbal multivitamin.

It contains 50% of your daily zinc and 100% of your vitamin C and vitamin A to provide immune support. You’ll get 250% of your vitamin D3, so this is a really good multivitamin for people who need additional bone support. It also includes a stress and energy support blend, a hormone support blend, and an immune support blend, all made from natural, medicinal ingredients.

Because they come from fermentation, the supplement also contains probiotics and can improve gut health. Unfortumately, fermentation is still more of an art than a science, so this means that the label won’t always be consistently accurate.

6. Now Eve Women’s Multivitamin

now eve womens multivitamin

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This women’s multivitamin focuses on natural ingredients, especially superfruits like cranberry, pomegranate, acai, and mangosteen. Because of that, it’s extremely high in antioxidants and helpful for preventing inflammation and boosting the immune system. Cranberries are particularly helpful for fighting infections, kidney stones, and even stomach cancer, according to some studies. [3]

Now’s Eve Women’s Multivitamin doesn’t skimp on the doses of vitamins and nutrients, either. It contains more than 100% of your daily recommended value of most nutrients, with many topping 200%. The vitamin B content is off the charts, and you’ll even get 500% of your vitamin C and 667% of your vitamin E.

Other plant-based ingredients include primrose, aloe vera, green tea, tomato, and marigold flowers. If you’re looking for something natural and pure, this is a great choice.

7. Smarty Pants Women’s Complete Gummy Vitamins

smarty pants multivitamin

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Smarty Pants Women’s Complete Multivitamins are packed with some of the most important nutrients you need, including omega 3s, folate, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, vitamin K, biotin, iodine, and CoQ10. They market themselves as “more than a multivitamin” because they contain nutrients that target specific areas of health.

The omega 3 fish oil, a key ingredient in the gummies, contains EPA and DHA, important fatty acids found in certain fish. Almost no one gets enough of these nutrients because it’s difficult to consume salmon and mackerel on a daily basis. Supplementing them is shown to improve brain function and brain development while preventing accelerated brain aging and memory loss. [4] [5]

It also provides 1,000 IU of vitamin D, which is far over the recommended daily value of 400-800 IU. In fact, most nutritionists suggest that the recommended daily value of vitamin D is too low, and supplementing can provide huge health benefits that range from preventing cancer and diabetes to improving energy and mood. [6] Finally, the vitamin B12 serves to improve focus and memory function, while CoQ10 improves heart health.

Because they are gummies, the recommended 6 gummies per day serving contains 7g of sugar, which is a significant amount when most nutritionists recommend not going over 30g per day. They don’t, however, contain any artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, or preservatives like most gummy vitamins do.

8. NLA for Her – Her Multi Complete Female Multivitamin

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Her Multi by NLA is a popular women’s multivitamin for body builders that contains 23 essential vitamins and minerals, an advanced antioxidant complex, and additional immune support.

One big benefit of this multivitamin for women who are focused on building muscles is that it’s designed to be stacked with other NLA products such as Her Carnitine (fat burner), Her Whey (protein supplement), and Her Omega (omega 3 supplement). The supplement contains the recommended daily value of most vitamins and minerals except vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium.

It does contain over 1,000% of your daily recommended value of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, as well as 500% of your daily recommended value of vitamin B5 and 833% of vitamin B12. This is particularly useful for athletes and body builders and vitamin B boosts energy and enhances workout performance. Vitamin B6 and vitamin B1 are some of the most important vitamins to supplement as a body builder because it helps you metabolize carbohydrates and protein and absorb calcium, which is critical for muscle growth.

9. Centrum Women Multivitamin

centrum women

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Centrum Women is a daily multivitamin for women meant to boost energy, immunity, and metabolism. Their new formula contains additional vitamin D, bringing it up to 250% of your daily recommended value. This is important because even the recommended daily value is said to be too low according to most nutritionists.

It’s also nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D from diet alone, and an estimated 1 billion people worldwide have a vitamin D deficiency. [7] Getting enough vitamin D can reduce your risk of cancer, give you huge boosts in energy, improve your sleep quality, and even reduce your risk of death by 6-7%. [8]

However, it contains the bare minimum of your daily recommended value for most other vitamins and minerals, and in some cases only 20-50% of your recommended daily value. It also contains some questionable ingredients, such as artificial coloring, artificial flavors (in the gummies), and modified corn starch.

10. GNC Women’s Ultra Mega One Daily Vitamin

gnc womens multivitamin

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Like most big brand multivitamins, GNC provides you with the bare bones of what you need to hit your daily recommended value and nothing more. You’ll get 100%-200% of most of your daily vitamins and minerals, which might not be enough for people with certain health issues they want to target.

This multivitamin also doesn’t include a sufficient amount of magnesium, potassium, calcium, or vitamin A, so you’ll have to get those elsewhere.

It contains sucralose, the artificial sweetener otherwise known as Splenda.  While sucralose is zero-calorie and is said to be healthy in small doses according to some, there are studies that have shown that consuming sucralose can elevate blood sugar by 14% and insulin levels by 20%. [9] Daily consumption of sucralose is more dangerous for people who are overweight.

11. Nature’s Way Alive! Once Daily Women’s Multivitamin

natures way multivitamin

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Nature’s Way Alive! uses a food-based blend of fruits, veggies, and greens, although it’s not all natural. The blend focuses on energizing ingredients such as vitamin B, offering 1667% of your daily value of vitamin B1, 1471% of your daily value of vitamin B2, 2000% of your daily value of vitamin B6, and 3750% of your daily value of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is especially important to supplement as you age, as older folks are less capable of producing vitamin B12 themselves and thus have a greater deficiency. Increasing your intake of vitamin B12 can reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, and Alzheimer’s and improve balance and memory. [10]

This multivitamin provides at least 100% of your daily value of a long list of vitamins and minerals. However, it won’t get you enough calcium or magnesium, as it only provides 20% and 25% of what you need.

Part 2: Why should you use multivitamins for women? What are their benefits and side effects?

Multivitamins are important for filling gaps in our diet and making sure we get the vitamins and minerals we need. It’s not always practical to assume we can get adequate nutrition from our diets, and this is especially true for children, the elderly, people with restricted diets (such as vegans or diabetics), and women.

There are lots of health benefits that come from a good multivitamin. However, some don’t offer many benefits at all, and they may even have adverse side effects.

Benefits of multivitamins for women

Multivitamins can help anyone fill in nutritional gaps, providing them with all the benefits of superfood greens and superfruits without having to cook three vegetable-based meals per day.

Getting in these important vitamins and minerals can increase your energy levels, improve your mood, reduce stress, improve brain function, and even help you build muscle.

For example, a lack of biotin can lead to brittle nails and hair loss. Not getting enough vitamin A can lead to permanent vision problems and even blindness. [11] Magnesium deficiencies can lead to diabetes and celiac disease. [12] Not getting enough vitamin D can lead to exhaustion, depression, and a weakened immune system. [13] [14]

Multivitamins help prevent all of these conditions, but they’re especially important for women. Adolescent girls and women who are menstruating are at high risk for iron deficiency and even anemia. In fact, an estimated 20% of women who are of child-bearing age have iron deficiency anemia. [15]

Magnesium, an electrolyte, is one of the most important minerals in the body. As women age, they become more at risk for magnesium deficiency, which is already a difficult mineral to get enough of because soil depletion has created lower magnesium levels in most of our crops. A magnesium deficiency is often the cause of anxiety, insomnia, muscle cramping, headaches, and digestive disorders. [16]

Most people are far more at risk for nutritional deficiencies than they realize, and lacking certain vitamins or minerals comes with great health risks. Taking a good daily multivitamin is an easy, convenient way to solve this problem.

Side effects of weight loss programs

It is actually possible to take too much of certain vitamins and minerals. While most multivitamins don’t contain enough to cause an overdose, if you’re taking multiple different multivitamins, you could experience problems.

As your body adjusts to increased consumption of vitamins and minerals, you may experience digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhea, or stomach cramps. On very rare occasions, some people do have allergic reactions to certain multivitamins.

Recommended dosage

Most multivitamins are one-a-day, meaning you only need to take one each day in order to get the full range of nutrition it offers. Make sure to read the instructions on the label carefully, as it is dangerous to take more than the recommended dosage.

Multivitamins for women FAQ

What do multivitamins do for you? Daily multivitamins fill gaps in your nutrition, which can decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, improve mood, and fight disease.

How long does it take for multivitamins to get into your system? Absorption rates vary depending on the product, but most multivitamins take at least 2-4 weeks to start producing results. Minerals can take up to 90 days to consistently be absorbed into your system.

What should be in a multivitamin? Most multivitamin formulas contain your basic required vitamins such as vitamin C, B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D2 or D3, and vitamin K. They should also have some potassium, magnesium, iodine, selenium, zinc, calcium, maganese, and iron.

Can you take a multivitamin at night? Multivitamins are best absorbed when taken with food, so it’s better to take them during the day with a meal. Many multivitamins also function to increase energy, so you should take them in the morning rather than at night to ensure they don’t disrupt your sleep.

Are taking vitamins worth it? A number of studies published in the Annals of Medicine have recently shown that taking vitamin and mineral supplements might not add any value to your health. However, this is largely depended on the quality of the multivitamin as well as your own nutritional needs. It’s important to find a pure, high quality multivitamin that is geared toward your body composition.

How long does it take for your body to absorb vitamins? While you may not see concrete results for 2-4 weeks, it only takes a few hours for your body to digest its stomach content. Your body fully empties most content it digests a few hours after your stomach digests it. Therefore, vitamins are completely absorbed by your body within 8 hours.

Can a multivitamin keep you up at night? It depends on the contents, but both vitamin B6 and vitamin B12, which are found in almost every multivitamin, can disturb your sleep if taken late in the day. Vitamin B6 causes vivid dreaming which can wake you up, and vitamin B12 affects your melatonin levels, which is a hormone that regulates your sleep.

Do multivitamins give you more energy? Many B vitamins do help increase energy, and they’re found in almost every multivitamin. Studies have shown that vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, and thiamine all help regulate the metabolism and boost energy.

What helps the body absorb vitamins? Many vitamins serve as “helper vitamins” that make it easier for your body to absorb other important nutrients. For example, vitamin C helps your body absorb more vitamin B. Certain oils and fatty acids can also help your body absorb dry nutrients, which is why the most effective multivitamins include them. Taking these multivitamins will also help your body to better absorb the nutrition in the whole foods you eat.

Can taking a multivitamin help you lose weight? Some evidence shows that multivitamins can help you burn more fat, as vitamins such as B6 and B12 boost the metabolism and help you convert carbohydrates into energy. However, you probably won’t see noticeable results from a multivitamin alone and should consider stacking your multivitamin with diet pills for women or fat burners for women if you’re serious about losing weight. Make sure whenever combining multiple supplements that their ingredients work together and won’t produce health risks.

Summary

Most people who rely solely on food for their vitamins and minerals suffer from nutritional deficiencies, and many may not even know it. Symptoms such as anxiety, tiredness, inability to focus, constant illness, and digestive problems can all be a result of not getting the nutrients your body needs.

Multivitamins for women are a convenient, effective solution for making sure that your body is getting the nutrition it needs. Taking the right multivitamin will optimize your body, making you feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

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