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Supplementing your keto diet with a comprehensive multivitamin ensures you get key nutrients for optimal, lasting health. Benefits of the keto diet are established and unquestionable, but so is the diet’s association with several vitamin and mineral deficiencies, such as B vitamins, vitamins D, and E, potassium, and magnesium. The following five multivitamins deliver a full array of key vitamins, minerals and trace nutrients required during your keto diet. Read beyond the list to discover what makes a great keto multi and why these five make the grade.
Why You Need a Multivitamin During Keto
Vitamins and minerals help your body perform many complex daily tasks, such as digestion, repairing muscle and burning fat. When you’re diet is nutrient deficient, your body’s metabolic pathways breakdown. Compromised metabolic pathways prevent your body from performing at its peak.
A daily multivitamin is a good idea, period, according to Bodybuilding.com. Subjecting your body to a diet such as keto, although beneficial overall, places your body under considerable daily stress. Consequently, your nutrient requirements increase despite all the healthy, new foods you’re consuming during the diet’s duration.
Taking a multi during keto is the fastest and most convenient way to ensure your diet supplies all of your nutritional needs. Fulfilling these needs helps your body function at its highest degree of efficiency, helping you burn more fat, preserve muscle and remain energized throughout each day.
Benefits of Taking a Multivitamin During Keto
A multi gives you a nutritional advantage during the keto diet. It helps you stay strong, alert and energized so that you maintain a healthy metabolism, keep burning fat and feel refreshed from day to day.
B vitamins, vitamin B12 in particular, help drive the engine of your metabolism, enabling your body to transform the food you eat into valuable energy and other useful substances, such as neurotransmitters. Fat-soluble vitamins D and E control the absorption of minerals, the integrity of brain receptors and minimize the damaging effects of free radicals.
Meanwhile, trace minerals (absent from the standard keto buffet) play a key role in the health of your bones and joints, muscular function (flexion/extension) and heartbeat regulation, confirms Pura Natura. A daily multi that includes these key nutrients prevents any debilitating deficiencies or associated health problems.
How do You Choose the Right Multivitamin for Keto?
To choose a keto-friendly multivitamin, look for supplements that supply the key vitamins and minerals keto diets tend to lack. Don’t stress too much about specific amounts of nutrients. They tend to vary from product to product. Some have as little as 50 IU of vitamin E per serving, which is adequate, whereas others offer as much as 200 IU per serving.
A good keto multi should have high amounts of B vitamins and vitamin C, according to Low Carb Support. The latter is a powerful antioxidant that combats the short and long-term effects of diet-related oxidative stress.
Your ideal keto multi should have little to no iron. Whether you’re vegan or carni, the keto diet’s rich selection of leafy dark greens and meats deliver more than enough iron. A good keto multi should also have plenty of electrolytes (minerals) and no sugar.
When Should You Take Your Keto Multivitamin?
As a general rule, take your keto multivitamin with whole food, preferably in the morning. Try to administer your multivitamin at least 20 to 30 minutes before or after you consume hot acidic beverages such as coffee. Coffee and tea contain tannins that can inhibit the absorption and potency of vitamins and minerals, as celebrity trainer Thomas DeLauer explains in one of many YouTube videos.
Be sure to consume fats and water with your whole food at the time of administering your multi. Vitamins and minerals are water soluble and fat soluble, which means your body absorbs them more completely when you combine them with healthy dietary fats and plenty of water.
Some People Say a Keto Vitamin is Unnecessary
In theory, a strict keto diet should supply you with enough nutrients to at least minimize (but not entirely) avoid deficiencies. A strict keto diet entails all whole foods (preferably fresh and cooked from scratch), tons of variety and the highest quality selections of veggies, meats, and fats. Very few busy modern lifestyles can sustain the planning, shopping, prep and packaging that a strict keto diet requires.
Most people balance out their keto buffet with a mixture of fresh, semi-homemade and pre-packaged foods. Fact: It’s impossible to gauge the nutritional soundness of even fresh foods, let alone store-bought pre-packaged foods. A multi simply makes sure you err on the side of a truly balanced diet rich in all the nutrients your body craves and requires.
Best Multivitamin for a Keto Diet
Pros: Keto Core contains plenty of everything to prevent deficiencies during a keto diet. Each iron-free, three-capsule serving boasts 100 IU of vitamin E, 2,000 IU of vitamin D, 500 mg of vitamin C, tons of B vitamins and a full spectrum of minerals.
Keto Core includes additional antioxidants CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid. A high antioxidant profile is helpful during keto since intense dieting and fat metabolism generate lots of free radicals that can compromise your overall health and your immune system. CoQ10 and alpha lipoic acid make sure this scenario never unfolds.
Cons: Although this product’s label identifies it as a keto multi, the array of nutrients is very basic, even sparse. This supplement’s sparseness influenced the choices that follow on this list. During our research, we found that there aren’t many differences between a keto multi labeled as such and a regular multi. In fact, the latter group turned out to be more complete. Which brings us to our next selection.
Pros: Dr. Tobias Multivitamin for Men & Women matches Keto Core blow for blow and then some. This iron-free product boasts the same amounts of vitamins E and C in a three-tablet serving, offering convenient dosing and deep immune support. Dr. Tobias goes even further with his zero-carb veggie and fruit complex, a melange of garden treats jammed full of antioxidants to fight free radicals.
This product has another complex full of enzymes from leafy greens and algae to aid your digestion. A touch of psyllium husk powder keeps you full while preserving intestinal hygiene. Dr. Tobias even threw in a bit of green tea to assist your lagging energy levels during those long, low carb days at work. Even better, this vitamin comes from whole food, which your body typically absorbs more readily than synthetic alternatives.
Cons: This product is manufactured in a facility whose machines come into contact with fish, so Dr. Tobias’ multi presents potential allergens to those affected. This product also contains soy and milk, which some vegetarians and vegans might seek to avoid.
Pros: Kirkland is a Kroger house brand, but the supplements are high quality and very complete. The Kirkland multi is extremely spartan, with 50 IU of vitamin E and low vitamin C. However, this product has high vitamin D to help you absorb minerals and properly utilize fatty acids.
Kirkland multi’s mineral spread is basic but to the point, supplying major minerals, trace minerals and even a few nutrient cofactors like molybdenum, copper, and zinc. Cofactors activate enzymes and drive key metabolic steps throughout your body, helping it transform raw material into useful substances.
This product also offers lycopene and lutein, two antioxidants that support everything from bones and eyes to brains.
Cons: This product is low on B vitamins, especially B12. Such low amounts of B vitamins could put a dent in your energy levels as you transition from glucose metabolism to fat metabolism.
Pros: Source Naturals Life Force Multiple is the only product on this list that offers 6 mg of iron per serving. Although strict keto diets are rich in iron, women, in particular, might still benefit from a multi that has some iron, since iron deficiency related anemia is very commonplace among women in the childbearing years, reports WebMD.
Life Force kicks butt in the key nutrient categories. It has 200 IU of vitamin E, 500 mg of vitamin C, high B vitamins, including 500 mcg of B12. The major and trace mineral assortment is highly respectable as well, ensuring you get everything from electrolytes to bone and neural support.
Life Force sets itself apart from the competition with the inclusion of nootropics. Nootropics are substances that enhance cognition, mental acuity, brain function, focus and mental stamina. Common nootropics include certain amino acids, such as N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine and N-Acetyl-Cysteine. Life Force contains both to help keep mental fog at bay during your more sluggish low carb days.
Cons: Serving size is four capsules, but Source Naturals advises up to eight capsules daily with food. Who has time?
Pros: Although targeted at meatheads, Animal Pak multivitamin ticks every nutrient box you require during your keto diet phase. This beast of a multi has a special performance complex bursting with protein to enhance fat metabolism, which comes in handy during a low carb diet.
This product also has an amino acid complex to improve the preservation of your existing muscle while helping your body build new protein (muscle). Animal Pak is engineered for active lifestyles, so it contains each nutrient in spades per serving: 1000 mg of vitamin C, 300 IU of vitamin E, 680 IU of vitamin D.
Best of all: Animal Pak is powdered, with a two-scoop serving. Mix it with water or your favorite green juice for a sweet low carb treat in mid-Keto. It contains sucralose, so there are no worries about sugar. Also, you can tweak the serving amount by adding more or less powder to suit your needs and tastes.
Cons: Contains every major allergen, including nuts, tree nuts, milk, soy, fish, shellfish, and wheat.
The best multivitamin for a keto diet is Dr. Tobias Multivitamin for Men & Women. Although this product contains some allergens, its strengths far outweigh its potential drawbacks as well as the strengths of other products in this category.
Dr. Tobias’ multi has something that no other multi in this category has: A natural, whole food base. In fact, Dr. Tobias’ multi consists of 42 raw whole foods, and raw whole foods have superior nutrient concentrations and higher bioavailability than synthetic equivalents.
Dr. Tobias’ multi treats you to five different plant-based enzymes for easy digestion and superior absorption of nutrients. All ingredients are non-GMO, manufactured in a cGMP facility for quality assurance, consistency, and potency, and third-party tested to corroborate efficacy and authenticity.
This multi is not a “supplement” per se; it’s actual food, condensed into a three-tablet serving. It’s appropriate for keto and for prolonged, everyday use. Considering its high quality, it’s also the best value for your money at 30 servings per bottle.