Vitamins and minerals are key nutrients required in relatively small amounts by the body to allow for optimal functioning. Deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can cause serious disease states and other health problems.
For example, lacking nominal intake of vitamin C can cause scurvy. Thus, supplementing with a proper keto multivitamin can help reduce the risk of certain nutrient deficiencies that may arise on the keto diet.
Supplements in the keto multivitamin category include micronutrients (specifically vitamins and minerals).
Read on below to learn the specifics about what vitamins and minerals do physiologically, what food sources to find them in, and which need to be supplement with on keto.
Vitamins are naturally-occurring compounds that primarily work by assisting with metabolic reactions throughout your body. Vitamins are broadly categorized as being either water-soluble or fat-soluble.
Your body does not readily store water-soluble vitamins, but it does store fat-soluble vitamins. Therefore, water-soluble vitamins (B Vitamins and Vitamin C) must be present in your diet daily. Consuming fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamins A, D, E, and K) daily may not be as important.
Vitamin deficiency on the keto diet can be quite common due to the inherent restrictive food intake. This can reduce physical and cognitive performance by interfering with energy processes and increase susceptibility to colds and infections by weakening immune function.
Minerals can be obtained in our diet from plant and animal foods. The basic functions of minerals are to help build body structures like bones, teeth, and muscles, regulate metabolic reactions and act as small particles that carry electrical charges (such as ions and electrolytes).
Depending on their dietary requirements, they are classified as either major minerals (macrominerals) or trace elements.
Keto Multivitamin: Which Vitamins and Minerals Are Best for Keto
Due to the inherent emphasis on green vegetables and nutrient-rich meats on the keto diet, you should be getting a good amount of vitamins and minerals every day.
However, since your carb intake is low on the keto diet, you are more prone to lack water-soluble vitamins and certain minerals that are excreted in your urine.
As such, you can benefit by supplementing with a proper keto multivitamin to ensure you get the necessary micronutrients for staying healthy and functioning optimally.
Vitamins to Supplement with on Keto
In general, you should not be lacking many vitamins while following the keto diet. (This is assuming you are eating at least five servings of green/leafy/cruciferous vegetables daily.)
However, a few water-soluble vitamins might be hard to meet your daily needs of while you’re on the keto diet. These may include vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6, all of which aren’t as abundant in fruits and veggies (but are typically found in organ meats, like beef liver).
Some fat-soluble vitamins might likewise be a little harder to take in enough of on keto. If any, you’ll want to use a keto multivitamin that has vitamin D3 (as cholecalciferol) and vitamin K2 (as menaquinone-7).
Furthermore, be sure to consume your keto multivitamin with food or a drink containing fat – like keto bulletproof coffee or MCT oil.
Overall, your emphasis should always be on foods and liquids for meeting your vitamin needs on keto. Fibrous fruits (in moderation) and low-carb vegetables are hands-down the best sources of vitamins.
It’s also to your benefit to consistently be eating vitamin-rich protein sources like whole eggs, steak, and organ meats.
If you’re new to the keto diet, you should definitely consult our Ultimate Keto Diet Foods List to see which are most appropriate for your nutrient needs.
Minerals to Supplement with on Keto
Minerals, especially electrolytes, have the highest risk for deficiency in keto dieters. As such, a keto multivitamin or electrolyte supplement that helps you replenish minerals such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium is certainly to your benefit. Being dehydrated is a major symptom of the keto flu, and can lead to multiple health ramifications.
Moreover, having low levels of essential minerals reduces your ability to exercise efficiently (due to impaired muscular contraction and cramping). Magnesium is also crucial for healthy cognitive function and gastrointestinal health.
The good news is that most BHB supplements actually contains highly bioavailable forms of calcium, sodium, and potassium, along with beneficial exogenous ketones to keep your energy levels high and hydration adequate.
You may also want to consider making keto bone broth and using sea salt in your cooking; these will both help ensure you’re getting the electrolytes you need. And of course, always be sure you’re drinking plenty of clear fluids (preferably mineral water). Most people should drink at least 100 ounces of water per day, if not more.
“Do I need a keto multivitamin?”
The short answer is: No, you don’t need a keto multivitamin. Remember, your diet is the first source of nutrients (and essentially, medicine) for your body. Many of the health benefits of the ketogenic diet arise from the emphasis on micronutrient-rich foods, like vegetables, nuts, and meat.
However, this is not to say that a proper keto multivitamin won’t be beneficial for you. If you’re not eating many green, leafy vegetables or meat on the keto diet, then you may very well want to use a keto multivitamin.
It’s also safe to say that most anyone on the keto diet can benefit from consuming extra electrolytes, as they are imperative for healthy function. (Electrolytes also tend to be rapidly excreted when following the keto diet.)
Keto Multivitamin Summary Points
- Keto multivitamin supplements should provide a sufficient amount of B vitamins (particularly vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6, D3, and K2).
- Supplementing with electrolytes is a wise idea for most people on the keto diet, especially if you’re not consuming bone broth daily.
- Food should always be your priority for meeting your nutrient needs. Emphasize low-carb vegetables, meats, nuts, and cheese for getting the necessary micronutrients.