In most cases, a healthy man, whether he's working out or not, should be able to get all the necessary nutrients from the food he eats. But if you feel you need to take a supplement, the best multivitamin is one you remember to take and has adequate amounts, but not too much, of essential nutrients. Consult your doctor to discuss multivitamin options that best fit your lifestyle.
Consider a One A Day
If you need a multivitamin, you have to remember to take it. One that you only have to take once a day may be a good way to go, says the Arizona State University. Make it part of your daily routine and take your vitamin with a meal, which also improves tolerance. You can easily find once-a-day multivitamins at your local pharmacy, vitamin shop or big-box store. There are also once-a-day vitamins designed just for men, which you may feel is a better fit for your needs.
Keep It 100
While you do need more vitamins and minerals when you're working, says the American College of Sports Medicine, that doesn't mean you need to take mega-doses of any nutrients. The best multivitamin for a man, even when you're working out, is one that provides about 100 percent of the daily value for most of the essential nutrients, which includes vitamins A, C, D, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamins B-6 and B-12, copper, zinc and chromium.
Watch the Vitamin E and Selenium
Harvard Health Publications reports that vitamin E and selenium supplements may increase risk of prostate cancer in men. To reduce your risk, you read the label of your supplement to make sure it does not contain high amounts of these nutrients. For vitamin E, the Linus Pauling Institute suggests you look for supplements that contain 20 international units or less. There is no specific recommendation for selenium, but you might be better off with a supplement that contains 55 micrograms, which is the recommended dietary allowance, or less.
It's always better to get the nutrients you need from food, and while it's OK to take a multivitamin, you might want to consider a calcium supplement instead or in addition to your multivitamin.Bone health is as important for men as it is for women, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Men need 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day until age 71, when it increases to 1,200 milligrams daily. Because of the size and amount of calcium needed in a supplement, you can't get 100 percent of what you need in a multivitamin, so eating foods with enough calcium is probably the better option. Always check with your doctor before beginning a supplement, since too much calcium may be linked to heart disease in men, according to a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine in 2013.
- Arizona State University: Take a Daily Multivitamin
- American College of Sports Medicine: Vitamin and Mineral Supplements and Exercise
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Supplements and Men's Health
- Harvard Health Publications: Selenium, Vitamin E Supplements Increase Prostate Cancer Risk
- Linus Pauling Institute: Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer in Healthy Men
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Selenium
- JAMA Internal Medicine: Dietary and Supplemental Calcium Intake and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality: the National Institutes of Health-AARP Diet and Health Study