We can all agree that eating a well-balanced diet and making healthful choices are part and parcel of achieving athletic excellence. While these habits are commendable, they simply won't do the job of providing the nourishment the body needs for optimal performance.
This guide lists the best multivitamins for athletes that we believe could help bridge the gap between the key nutrients you get from food and the actual vitamins that your active lifestyle requires.
Your body goes through high amounts of stress when you train hard, necessitating the need to supplement with multivitamins.
We tested so many pre-workouts over the years and while working together with our resident dietitian at Total Shape, we were able to create this list of products that might help you get ahead of the competition in no time.
Our Top Multivitamins For Athletes
1 - Ritual Multivitamin (Editor's Choice)
Our top multivitamin product recommendation comes from Ritual for men and women, and as an athlete, I found the solid dose of B12 to be an attractive feature. But it also includes important minerals that should make it a great option to support muscle recovery.
You can also pick either the formula for men or women so that you get the ideal combination and amount of micronutrients.
And the formula also contains vitamin K2, which has been shown to help with heart and bone health through more effective calcium processing.
- Good source of B12 for boosted physical and mental energy
- Includes vitamin K2 for bone and heart health
- May support improved immune function with vitamin D
- Available as a male and female formula
- Not the cheapest option, but you get a great quality supplement
2 - NutriGenesis Multi - Performance Lab
The NutriGenesis Multi comes in two variants: one calibrated for men and the other for women.
It provides at least 100% of the recommended daily value of over 17 essential vitamins and minerals, making it one of the most highly concentrated multivitamins on the market today.
This multivitamin is created using a patented technology that replicates food nutrients molecule by molecule.
Since the key nutrients in this supplement are in food-matrix form, they will be recognized by your body as nature-identical, maximizing the bioavailability of nutrients and enhancing its health benefits.
- Comes in two gender-specific variants that are customized to fit the specific needs of men and women
- Free of additives and common allergens such as soy and gluten
- Contains a wide range of highly bioavailable minerals and vitamins
- Vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and filler-free
- Available only on the official Performance Lab website
The NutriGenesis Multi is manufactured in the company's own lab and is minimally processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other harmful synthetics.
3 - AnimalPak The Complete All In One Training Pack
Animal Pak is a reputable supplement brand that has been around since 1983. For over three decades, the company has been a trusted source of effective nutritional supplements by pro bodybuilders and weightlifters.
Containing over 60 key ingredients, its multivitamin packs are designed to deliver generous doses of multivitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, carnitine, and more.
With its vast arsenal of nutrients and complementary ingredients, this might just be the best multivitamin for serious athletes who want to become stronger so they can endure high-intensity training.
- Comes in 44 individually-wrapped multivitamin packs, each containing 11 pills
- Provides a wide variety of mineral and vitamins per single pack serving
- Increases energy levels and gives a general feeling of well-being
- Pills are huge and can be quite hard to swallow
4 - JYM Sports Multivitamin
This multivitamin for athletes is designed for both active women and men.
It contains over 25 active ingredients, including Vitamin A, B-Complex, C, E, K, iron, and chromium.
What sets JYM Sports Multivitamin apart from other multivitamins is its well-researched ingredient list.
While most supplements contain zinc, magnesium, and calcium, Dr. Stoppani, the maker of the multivitamin, deliberately skipped these components because they interfere with the uptake of other key micronutrients and amino acids in your body.
- A trusted brand founded by renowned sports nutrition and supplement expert Dr. Jim Stoppani
- Active ingredients are well-researched and backed by real science
- Doesn't contain calcium, zinc, and magnesium - elements that interfere with the uptake and utilization of other vitamins and minerals
- Some users experienced abdominal issues while taking this multivitamin
The brand also added BioPerine to further enhance the bioavailability of all ingredients.
JYM claims this supplement can support recovery from sports, increase testosterone levels, promote muscle growth, and increase strength levels.
5 - Old School Labs Vintage Base Multivitamin
Vintage Base is the first supplement on this list with a probiotic component. Designed to be taken with meals, the brand says the good bacteria from the probiotics will help maximize the absorption of minerals and vitamins from the food you eat and the supplement itself.
Aside from helping your body absorb key nutrients, the live probiotic strains in each veggie capsule can promote a healthier digestive system.
This non-GMO multivitamin is formulated for both men and women athletes and promises to enhance your immune function, metabolism, bone and tissue health, and recovery.
- Increases physical energy and mental clarity
- Probiotics component helps with the absorption of vitamins and minerals and digestion
- The company provides excellent customer service
- Might cause an upset stomach for some users
6 - Controlled Labs Orange Triad Daily Multivitamin
Formulated for both men and women athletes, this multivitamin from Controlled Labs promises to cover all your bases with its dynamic trio of benefits.
The Orange Triad contains potent vitamins and minerals that can promote digestive, immune, and joint health. It protects your joints by lubricating them and supports your cartilage while strengthening its connective tissues, so you can train hard with no inhibitions and recover fast.
Aside from delivering essential vitamins, this iron-free multivitamin contains complementary ingredients such as chondroitin and glucosamine that assist in building and maintaining the connective tissues in your joints.
- Supports digestive health, immune function, and joint health for the price of one
- Contains supporting ingredients like chondroitin, glucosamine, and echinacea that further enhance the supplement’s performance
- Genuinely increases energy and helps with recovery
- Pills might be too large for some customers
7 - Legion Triumph Daily Sport Multivitamin
This daily multivitamin for men and women athletes contains clinically effective doses of 21 vitamins and minerals and 14 phytonutrients.
TRIUMPH also incorporated 11 additional herbs, amino acids, and plant extracts, such as grape seed extract, Nigella Sativa, Ashwagandha, and CoQ10 to help enhance your athletic performance, heart health, blood flow, insulin sensitivity, mental health, immune function, longevity, and more.
Aside from its physical benefits, Legion claims this product is one of the few multivitamins for athletes that can boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Its unique blend contains ingredients that are hard to find in other multivitamins for athletes
- Helps users fall asleep faster and longer
- Alleviates feelings of anxiety and depression
- Some users reported getting “garlic burps” from this multivitamin
8 - Bodybuilding Signature Multivitamin
This multivitamin for athletes boasts 29 nutrients—including Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Zinc—which are delivered through one easy-to-swallow pill.
This blend of ingredients works to provide your body with energy to fuel your training, support your immune health, and improve muscle growth and function.
Signature Multivitamin also contains zinc, a nutrient known for its ability to improve your body’s natural testosterone levels .
- Made with high-quality, research-backed ingredients
- Total formula transparency
- Contains no fillers and gluten
- Niacin component may cause a tingling, flush effect to the skin when taken without food
9 - Evlution Nutrition VitaMode High Performance
This multivitamin for male athletes delivers a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, micronutrients, and phytonutrients that synergize to cover all the bases.
Vitamin C supports the immune system and fights free radicals. Vitamin A and vitamin E help minimize cell damage, lutein promotes eye health, and vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
Molybdenum supports metabolism, chromium helps regulate sugar levels in the body, biotin keeps your skin and hair healthy, and manganese promotes collagen production to help thicken your hair.
Folic acid and vitamins D3 and B12 help maximize muscle gains and performance.
- Provides a wide range of essential vitamins and minerals in high doses
- Gives a boost of clean energy and a feeling of well-being
- Great price-quality ratio
- The odor of the tablets might be too strong for some
With such a comprehensive line up of benefits, it's no surprise that VitaMode for Men made it to our list of the best multivitamins for athletes today.
10 - Sport Formula Multivitamin
If you're an athlete who hates taking tablets, you'd be glad to know that this product from Sport Formula 99 comes in powder form. The fact that it also tastes delicious makes this multivitamin an absolute joy to drink.
If you want to take it as is, that's okay too. Just pop a scoop of the product under your tongue, and you're good to go.
What I like most about this multivitamin is its rich blend of BCAAs and essential amino acids.
One scoop will give you a whopping 2,000 mg of these powerful amino acids, which is more than sufficient to increase your stamina and help you recover faster from intense workouts.
- Fruity flavor tastes great, and the powder dissolves easily in water
- Benefits can be felt almost instantaneously after consumption
- Contains BCAAs that support energy production in your body
- The large container is deceiving; actual product only goes about ¼ of the way full
This vegan multivitamin for active women and men promises to fuel your workouts and activate your metabolism without the jittery feeling with its electrolytes and natural B-complex component.
11 - MuscleTech Platinum Multivitamin
MuscleTech Platinum Multivitamin’s scientifically designed formula promises to deliver a comprehensive and advanced profile of vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that can help support your overall health, whether you’re an elite athlete, a fitness enthusiast, or a bodybuilder.
Its potent formulation is engineered to offer 18 vitamins and minerals that provide 100% or more of your daily requirements for vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, and B12.
This multivitamin for men and women athletes is packed with 865 mg of amino acids and an herbal matrix including green tea, saw palmetto, ginseng, echinacea, and ginkgo biloba, which work to promote energy production and increase your endurance.
- Gives a solid dose of essential vitamins and minerals per serving of three tablets
- Includes an herbal stack and a profile of digestive enzymes that aids with absorption
- Improves energy, focus, and sleep
- Some customers found the smell of the pills to be off-putting
What Vitamins And Minerals Are The Most Crucial For Athletes?
The vitamins and minerals most crucial for athletes are B Vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and iron.
- B Vitamins play a vital role in the production of energy in your body. It helps break down carbohydrates into glucose for energy and assists in the synthesis of fats and proteins. Deficiency in one or several B vitamins—such as vitamin B12—has been shown to harm exercise performance.
- Vitamin C is a major immune booster and antioxidant known for fighting off sickness and infections. Research shows that long-term exercise at a moderate intensity can actually decrease immunity, which means athletes and active people must supplement with this vitamin .
- Vitamin D and calcium work together to support bone health. While calcium alone can increase your bone strength, it won’t be fully absorbed by your body without vitamin D. See our list of recommended vitamin D3 supplements.
- Magnesium supports nerve and muscle function and plays a role in the synthesis of protein, fat, carbohydrates, and the balance of electrolytes. See our list of recommended magnesium supplements.
- Potassium and sodium are micronutrients that work together to maintain the balance of fluid in your body. When you exercise, you lose electrolytes through sweat, which can lead to muscle cramping and fatigue. But if you have an ample supply of potassium and sodium, these elements can help keep you hydrated to prevent those side effects. As one of the three major electrolytes, potassium works in conjunction with sodium to maintain proper muscle contraction, heart function, and nerve communication.
- Iron helps red blood cells transport oxygen to the muscles, making it a crucial mineral for improved endurance. Iron deficiency is commonly observed among athletes as daily endurance training causes a higher per day loss of this mineral . So if you're someone who undergoes intense exercise regularly, you should increase your iron intake to at least 30% to combat this gradual loss .
The best multivitamins will have most, if not, all of the components listed above.
What To Look For In A Multivitamin For Athletes
The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate supplements, so you must always do your due diligence before buying one.
To ensure the safety of a multivitamin, athletes must choose a product with third-party certification, like the NSF.
If a supplement is NSF Certified for Sport, that means the organization has determined that it doesn’t contain any banned substances, unsafe levels of contaminants, or masking agents. The group also verifies if what’s on the label matches the actual content of the multivitamin.
The best multivitamins for athletes are those with third-party certification, so I would highly suggest choosing a supplement that meets this criterion.
Essential vitamins and minerals content
Next, check if the multivitamin provides a good variety of vitamins and minerals. There are over 20 essential micronutrients, so make sure you're getting the most of them in one supplement to get the most bang for your buck. This is extremely important if you're on a strict diet like vegan or keto.
Related: Keto-friendly multivitamins
Essential vitamins and minerals can be divided into four categories:
|Water-soluble vitamins |
|Trace minerals |
Concentration and Potency
What To Avoid In A Multivitamin For Athletes
As with any other dietary supplement, you should avoid any multivitamin that has the following components.
- Fillers and artificial colors. Fillers affect the product’s potency, and dyes serve no function other than to make tablets look more “pleasant.”
- Artificial sweeteners. This includes sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium (acesulfame K) and high fructose corn syrup commonly found in gummy vitamins.
- Poor form of vitamins and minerals. Some brands use the cheapest form of nutrients in their supplements to save on costs. These nutrients aren’t bioavailable which means that your body can’t utilize them.
A common example would be using calcium carbonate instead of calcium and magnesium oxide instead of magnesium. The oxide and carbonate forms of these nutrients can't be absorbed by your body, which means it's a complete waste of money.
The best multivitamins for athletes surely won’t contain any of these elements, so be on the lookout for the ingredients mentioned above when shopping for one.
Related: Multivitamins for teenage athletes
What Is The Best Time To Take Multivitamins?
There is no definitive best time to take multivitamins. What’s more important is that you take them consistently.
However, taking some vitamins at a specific time of the day and with meals may reduce the possibility of adverse effects, such as nausea or an upset stomach.
Taking multivitamins first thing in the morning and before exercising might be a bad idea, as both can upset your digestive tract and cause your stomach to produce gastric acid that, in turn, will result in heartburn or reflux.
Most supplements provide specific directions on when to take the multivitamin, so it would be best to just follow what the manufacturer recommends.
Do Multivitamins Work And Are They Worth It?
Yes, multivitamins work when they are correctly taken.
However, you must remember that even the best multivitamins for athletes are no magic pills. Their primary purpose is to fill nutrient gaps so you won’t experience any vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Everyone can benefit from daily multivitamins, but active people will benefit from them more. Since athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters expend more energy and put their bodies under constant stress, they tend to use the deposits of vitamins and minerals in their bodies quicker. This necessitates the need for supplementing with multivitamins.
You will surely reap the benefits of multivitamins if you couple them with a healthy lifestyle and good eating choices and habits.
What Are Multivitamins Side Effects And Risks?
Most multivitamins are harmless when taken within the recommended intake.
However, some people who have ultra-sensitive stomachs tend to experience nausea and discomfort when they take multivitamins without food.
If you're one of these people, it's better to choose supplements meant to be taken with meals.
If you're taking any prescription medicines, be sure to check in first with your doctor to see if it would be safe to take a multivitamin alongside it.
Our Verdict: The Best Multivitamins For Athletes
After evaluating the best multivitamins for athletes on this guide, the Ritual Multivitamin came out as the most superior product.
This multivitamin provides a substantial concentration of nutrients, supplying a large dose of over 10 essential vitamins and minerals.
Not only do these elements come in generous doses, but they also come in highly bioavailable forms.
This multivitamin also contains no harmful fillers, additives and is minimally processed.
Given all of the above, we believe this might just be the best multivitamins for athletes, bodybuilders, weightlifters, and fitness enthusiasts today.
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