in Your Sports Nutrition Plan

Multivitamins or mineral supplements for women may fill in the gaps of your sports nutrition plan.

  • Do I need a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement?

  • A multi-vitamin-mineral supplement may be an important part of your sports nutrition plan. The recommendations for vitamin and mineral levels are for the average woman. As a woman committed to physical training, your nutrient needs may be slightly higher than the average woman. Also, if you are eating enough calories with variety from all the food groups, but are still unsure of your nutrient intake, a daily multi-vitamin-mineral supplement may be adequate. If you are allergic or intolerant to many foods within a food group, a multi-vitamin-mineral supplement will be necessary.

  • How do I select a multi-vitamin-supplement?

  • Look for a brand that provides iron if you are younger than age 50 (when the RDI level for iron drops). If you are low in milk/yogurt servings, you should add a calcium supplement. Most multivitamins don’t provide enough calcium…if they did the pill would be too big to swallow. Overall, look for a brand that provides no more than 100% of your RDI. Remember you’re getting nutrients in your food already!

  • When is the best time to take a supplement?

  • The best time to take a supplement is when you remember to take it, so, keep the multivitamin container by your toothbrush or car keys (or running shoes). Some supplements, like calcium are best taken 2 to 3 times a day rather than all at once, but if you only remember once, take it all at once.

  • Can I get too many vitamins and minerals?
  • Yes. You are getting nutrients from food, drinks, sports supplements and possible vitamin-mineral supplements. You won’t overdose on vitamins and minerals from food, but the levels of nutrients from non-food sources can add up quickly. You can easily check your levels using the nutrient facts from labels and compare the totals to the RDIs and Upper Limits.

    Learn more about the role of specific vitamins and minerals in sports nutrition.
    Looking for multivitamins in whole foods?