A wise man once said, “An apple a day keeps ketosis away”. He liked keto, hence no apples. But even though he forgot about doctors, he never forgot to get his vitamins and minerals.
Being a busy man, he opted for Ketolabs Keto Core Multivitamin, which gave him everything he needed with the best bang for his buck.
Was he right? Let’s find out.
(Spoiler: he was.)
Top 3 Choices for Keto Multivitamin
We’ve done an inordinate deal of research to boil it down to the three best options.
The Buyer’s Guide
Do You Need Multivitamins on a Keto Diet?
The short answer is yes, you do.
The long one is a bit more complicated. Let’s break it down.
Vitamins are chemical compounds that are essential for the proper functioning of the human body. So far, science knows 13 vitamins: A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble; vitamin C and eight B vitamins are water-soluble.
The word essential means you must get them from the outside because your body can’t produce them endogenously (the only exception is vitamin D). If you want to be as healthy as possible, you have to constantly monitor your vitamin intake.
When should you supplement vitamins? Obviously, when you’re deficient.
Can you determine whether you’re deficient in a particular vitamin? Without a blood test, most likely no. If you could, you wouldn’t be reading this.
This leaves you with an equation containing 13 independent unknowns, which are apt to fluctuate drastically when following keto.
The most efficient way to solve it is to buy 13 different supplements. The most effective one—to start taking a multivitamin.
Effectiveness of Keto Multivitamins
Looking ahead, all keto multivitamins are effective. Nevertheless, their efficiency differs dramatically.
Let’s explain this.
Effectiveness is goal-oriented. It’s about moving in the right direction to achieve your goal.
Efficiency is cost-oriented. It’s about doing things optimally, minimizing waste, time, or whichever criterion is important to you.
In our example, effectiveness is simply taking the right vitamins. Because multivitamins usually contain all 13 vitamins, they are all effective.
The efficiency of a multivitamin is a much more subtle matter. For example, if you have a minor vitamin deficiency, taking one serving of Ketolabs Keto Core Daily Multivitamin a day will most likely be the most efficient option for you due to the extremely high micronutrient content.
However, if you just want to support your daily vitamin intake, taking one serving per day might result in paying half of that money for a fancy pee-coloring pigment. In this case, taking one pill instead of three will be more efficient while still as effective.
If you’re deficient in just one nutrient, say, vitamin E, taking multivitamins is quite inefficient whereas they’re exactly as effective as taking a specific vitamin E supplement.
But while this efficiency-vs-effectiveness debate might be fun in a parallel universe, you most likely want to avoid nerding it down. That’s reasonable—you came to find a decent multivitamin without a thorough explanation of how the world seems to work.
Here’s what you need to know to choose the best multivitamin.
Choosing a Keto Multivitamin
When making a decision, you need a set of criteria to rely on. Something tried-and-true, like these:
- Nutritional value. What is the micronutrient profile of the multivitamin?
- Ingredient safety. If you exceed the RDAs, is it safe?
- Purity. Lead and mercury are highly toxic to the brain and nervous system.
- Label accuracy. If a manufacturer exceeds his claims, that’s a bonus. Otherwise, it’s a robbery.
- Price. Is everything above worth paying money for?
Once you have a set of criteria, you need a tool to make measurements. Unless you run a chemistry lab, this tool would be an independent company that tests supplements. For example, Labdoor.com.
Pick out the top 5–10 products and thoroughly examine what they bring to the table. Analyze how their price corresponds with their label, and whether they provide additional benefits.
(For example, Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Men is a multivitamin that also provides prostate support.)
Finally, make up your mind about why exactly you need a multivitamin. Only then make a purchase.
The next sections will help you make up your mind.
Benefits of Taking a Multivitamin During Keto
We’ve already mentioned that science knows 13 essential vitamins for humans, but it also knows at least 16 essential minerals.
What could be more fun than solving a puzzle with 29 unknowns? The good news: despite the name, multivitamins usually include a huge number of essential minerals and other nutritional elements like probiotics. But multivitaminebiotics just doesn’t sound too good, does it?
Speaking of the possible benefits, let’s move on to the most evident and useless paragraph ever written:
Multivitamins might help reduce the risk of cancer, prevent heart disease, increase bone strength, improve memory and eye health, soften skin texture, combat fatigue, improve sleep, increase muscle strength, whiten your teeth, silken your hair, reduce stress, and even double your salary.
That’s not even a lie, multivitamins can do all of that simply because vitamins and minerals are too important. For example, an extreme lack of magnesium (hypomagnesemia) might lead to death. Technically, this allows making claims as bold as you can imagine. (1)
But in real life, multivitamins are far from being a miracle.
Their only real benefit is that they help replenish any vitamins and minerals you lack. The degree to which this is important vastly depends on your diet.
And this is why keto multivitamins have the right to exist.
When Should You Take Your Keto Multivitamins?
Regarding supplements, the word “when” has at least two different dimensions: within a day, and within a certain part of your life.
Let’s start with the latter.
Generally speaking, taking your multivitamin is a good idea whenever you are in any of these phases:
You lose weight. When losing weight, you restrict calories and therefore physically reduce the amount of food you eat, in turn decreasing the number of vitamins and minerals you get.
(Many contemporary keto celebrities assert weight loss has nothing to do with calories. But in terms of science, weight loss is impossible without calorie restrictions; keto simply makes this process less noticeable.)
Your appetite is reduced. This one is tightly connected with the previous phase—you simply eat less for whatever reason and might start to lack essential micronutrients.
You fast for several days. Again, the origin is exactly the same.
You sweat a lot. Water-soluble vitamins are stored in your body in minimal amounts; mostly, they move around, dissolved in water. Whenever you lose any liquid, you lose some amount of water-soluble vitamins and minerals.
You have too many dietary restrictions. Many carbohydrate-rich foods are also rich in micronutrients. When your diet is lacking in variety and color, you’re at risk of not getting enough elements.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule about when you should take multivitamins. The general idea is to take them whenever you feel like something is lacking but you don’t want to dive too deep in search of the culprit.
Moreover, there’s no need to take the entire serving. You might start with a single capsule per day.
Now, let’s move on to the former question:
What is the best time to take a multivitamin within a single day?
The short answer is that it doesn’t matter.
However, certain nuances exist: water-soluble vitamins are best absorbed on an empty stomach, whereas fat-soluble vitamins are best absorbed in the presence of fatty foods. Given the most common keto deficiencies, supplementing multivitamins on an empty stomach seems a little bit more beneficial, but it vastly depends on a particular individual.
If you take more than one capsule a day, equally distribute them throughout the day for better absorption. Usually, this would mean one pill in the morning and one in the evening.
Controversy and Side Effects
At first glance, multivitamins might seem a bit controversial, but this is absolutely not true. In fact, multivitamins are just an over-the-counter no-brainer to treat minor vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Let’s put a double emphasis on the word “minor.” Severe deficiencies require medical treatment with special vitamin and mineral supplement forms.
The side effects are negligible if you follow the instructions. However, you should remember these two things:
1. Fat-soluble vitamins can accumulate in your body. As you might know, accumulation can lead to toxicity. Most importantly, you should watch your vitamin A intake.
Vitamin A comes in two principal forms: retinols (retinyl ester, retinyl acetate, palmitate) and carotenes (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, gamma-carotene). Excessive dietary intake of carotenes is nearly harmless and will at worst lead to cosmetic issues such as orange discoloration of the skin.
Retinols can be significantly more toxic. Acute toxicity can lead to hair loss, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, blurry vision, and many other unpleasant symptoms.
This was the bad news; now the good news: the average daily toxic dose is above 100,000 IU per day when constantly taken for at least 6 months. In rare cases, first signs might appear after long-term daily consumption of 25,000 IU.
But if retinol is potentially dangerous, why put it into supplements in the first place?
That’s because your body absorbs retinol much easier than carotene. Precisely, dietary β-carotene is absorbed 12 times less efficiently than retinol; dissolved β-carotene, 2 times less efficiently.
Let’s compare two of our best supplements to remove any lingering fears:
Ketolabs Keto Core Daily Multivitamin contains 5,000 IU per serving as retinol. This is at least five times less than the minimum long-term dose that can possibly show signs of any troubles.
Both versions of Garden of Life Vitamin Code contain 6,000 IU per serving as beta-carotene. This form of vitamin A is absolutely safe, but this also means these 6,000 IU are roughly two times less efficient than those 5,000 IU.
The verdict: keep in mind that vitamin A can be dangerous, but you have absolutely nothing to worry about if you don’t exceed the recommended numbers.
WARNING: You shouldn’t supplement any vitamins if you have severe liver disease or kidney failure.
2. Too much iron can be dangerous. And surprisingly, iron deficiency is the most common nutritional disorder in the world. (2)
This story seems to have been continuing for eons because even now humans lack physiological mechanisms to efficiently excrete excess iron. Consequently, iron poisoning is quite a common cause of overdose mortality in children.
That’s why supplementing it uncontrollably might be perilous.
Nevertheless, iron is important, especially for women. Getting an iron overdose from multivitamins is extremely unlikely unless you combine them with iron tablets and the complete absence of any common sense.
To help you see how rare this case is, Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women contains 8 mg of iron per serving, whereas the therapeutic dose for a 130 lbs woman is up to 390 mg/day, and toxic effects will begin to occur at 1,300 mg/day.
Yet, forewarned is forearmed. Now you know that iron can be dangerous not only when it’s shaped as a sword. As for multivitamins, you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
The Bottom Line
The wise man was wise indeed.
Not only did he opt for Ketolabs Keto Core Multivitamin for himself due to its high micronutrient content, comfortable serving size, and reasonable pricing, but also because he got Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Women for his wife due to its formula, tailored specifically for women.
Of course, if he were a little bit older, he would’ve also bought Garden of Life Vitamin Code for Men to support his prostate. Or, maybe he just foretastes those thrilling moments of his first thorough medical check-up?
Who knows with these wise men, who knows…