As you all know, your body obtains all of the nutrients it requires just from food. Now this could be very tough to get when you undergo a diet, particularly fasting. To make matters worse, food quality isn’t what it used to be.
Nowadays, you may not receive the proper number of nutrients in your daily meals, which is why you need to take multivitamin and mineral supplements to cover the required amount of deficiency and keep you healthy and fit.
Taking multivitamin while fasting may vary to the length of your fast. Intermittent fasting can have an impact on how your body absorbs nutrition. Your best bet will likely be to take your multivitamins with food. But if you’re not sure, it’s always a good idea to speak with a medical practitioner.
To give you an idea if you can take multivitamins during your fast, we’ll go deeper into certain types of multivitamin formulas available, and see whether you need one to know which formula is ideal for you.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Essentially, intermittent fasting is the practice of shortening the duration between eating and fasting. In truth, this does not require calorie restriction – and yet it works. Intermittent fasting helps enhance metabolism, lower insulin levels, and may even add years to your life1,2,3.
If you’re looking for a different way to better your health with fewer rules and constraints, intermittent fasting just might be perfect for your. Moreover, it increases autophagy, the process through which your cells get rid of built-up waste4,5,6,7.
Fasting may also cause your body to generate a protein known as a fasting-induced adipose factor (FIAF), which communicates to your body that it is time to burn fat. Because of this secretion, intermittent fasting works as follows: when you are fasting, your body begins to utilize stored body fat for energy rather than glucose from food.
Consequently, intermittent fasting helps optimize the release of insulin. Fasting leads to a fall in insulin levels that inhibits excessive fat storage and helps your body metabolize stored fat. Keeping your insulin levels low and consistent is thus a vital step to weight loss8.
Taking Multivitamin While Fasting
It is understandable that when you fast, you would consume fewer vitamins and nutrients. Whether or not that reduction is big enough to have an effect on your health is determined by how long you fast and whether or not how physically well enough you were in any area prior to beginning your fast. Furthermore, fasting people frequently wonder whether supplements count as meals during a fast. Most experts say no, but time is crucial9.
Take also into consideration that if you’re simply drinking water and/or black coffee while fasting, several vitamins, from B vitamins to zinc, can cause nausea on an empty stomach. If you’re going to take any of these, you should definitely save them for your eating window.
Do Vitamins Break A Fast?
As a general rule, any supplement having a caloric value or those that cause an insulin response, has the ability to break a fast.
So, any supplement containing an artificial or natural sweetener should not be taken if you strictly follow your fast. Gummy vitamins, for example, may appear to be safe to ingest during your fast, but they will cause the release of insulin, thereby knocking you out of ketosis and autophagy.
Best Multivitamins While Fasting
The multivitamins are divided into two categories:
1. Fat-soluble Vitamins
Vitamins are necessary for modest amounts in your diet to promote growth, reproduction, and health. The fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, E, and K because they are soluble in organic solvents and are absorbed and transported in the same way that fats are10.
- Vitamin A (Carotenoids and Retinoids) – vitamin A is necessary for appropriate mucous membrane function as well as normal vision. It is found naturally exclusively in animal foods like liver, butter, whole milk, and egg yolks.
- Vitamin D – the active form of vitamin D increases calcium and phosphorus absorption in the gut and regulates bone mineralization. Vitamin D exists in two forms which are vitamin D2 and vitamin D3, both of which are equally well absorbed by your body.
- Vitamin E – vitamin E is a necessary nutrient for the correct functioning of numerous organs in the body. It also functions as an antioxidant. Natural vitamin E (RRR-alpha-tocopherol) differs from man-made vitamin E found in supplements (all-rac-alpha-tocopherol).
- Vitamin K – your liver requires vitamin K to produce various blood-clotting proteins. Plants produce vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), whereas bacteria produce vitamin K2 homologs (menaquinones). Vitamin K can be obtained by the human body from food sources as well as synthesized by the gut microbiota.
2. Water Soluble Vitamins
These vitamins are not kept in your body and are eliminated throughout the day if you consume fluids. They contain B-complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and so on, as well as folic acid, vitamin C, and many others. You can take these on an empty stomach, but they may upset your stomach. If you fast for a short period of time, you are unlikely to deplete enough of these to have a negative impact on your health. If you’re fasting for more than a week, you should consider supplementing9.
- Vitamin B1 – thiamin (thiamine), also known as vitamin B1, is a water-soluble vitamin that is found naturally in some foods, added to foods, and sold as a supplement. Thiamin is essential for cell growth and function. Because only a tiny amount is kept in the liver, a daily dose of thiamin-rich meals is required.
- Vitamin B2 – vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is found naturally in foods. It can be supplemented, and is added to foods. Small amounts of riboflavin can be produced by gut bacteria, but not enough to meet dietary requirements. Riboflavin is a coenzyme that is involved in cell growth, energy production, and the digestion of lipids, steroids, and medicines.
- Vitamin B3 – niacin functions in the body as a coenzyme, with over 400 enzymes relying on it for diverse processes. Niacin aids in the conversion of nutrients into energy, the formation of cholesterol and lipids, the formation and repair of DNA, and the exertion of antioxidant activities.
- Vitamin B5 – it is employed in the production of coenzyme A (CoA), a chemical substance that aids enzymes in the formation and breakdown of fatty acids as well as other metabolic processes, and acyl carrier protein, which is also involved in fat formation. Pantothenic acid can be found in many foods. Bacteria in the gut can make pantothenic acid, but not in sufficient quantities to meet nutritional requirements.
- Vitamin B6 – pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (PLP) is the active coenzyme form and the most often used metric for measuring B6 blood levels. PLP is a coenzyme that helps over 100 enzymes accomplish diverse jobs, such as protein, carbohydrate, and fat breakdown; homocysteine maintenance (high levels can cause heart problems); and immunological function and brain health.
- Vitamin B7 – biotin (B7) is essential for protein, lipid, and carbohydrate metabolism. Muscle soreness, heart difficulties, anemia, and melancholy can all result from deficiency. Furthermore, because biotin is a component of keratin, it has gained popularity as a supplement for improving the condition of hair, skin, and nails.
- Vitamin B9 – folate aids in the formation of DNA and RNA, as well as protein metabolism. It is important in the breakdown of homocysteine, an amino acid that, in excessive concentrations, can be detrimental to your body. Folate is also required for the production of healthy red blood cells, and it is especially important during times of rapid growth, such as pregnancy and fetal development.
- Vitamin B12 – vitamin B12 is important for many aspects of health, including bone health, red blood cell development, energy levels, and mood. Eating a balanced diet or taking a supplement can help you satisfy your nutritional requirements.
- Vitamin C – vitamin C (ascorbic acid, ascorbate) is required for collagen growth, wound healing, bone production, immune system enhancement, iron absorption, blood vessel strength, and antioxidant activity. Scurvy can arise when there is a deficiency, and symptoms include swollen and bleeding gums, tooth loss, poor wound healing, and poor tissue growth.
If you want to supplement, you could try L-Tyrosine. Tyrosine is converted by your brain into three important neurotransmitters: dopamine (related to your mood and reward centers), norepinephrine (which helps your body deal with stress and muscular repair), and adrenaline (which you need to get motivated and stay focused under pressure). While fasting, L-tyrosine may make you feel stronger and more intellectually alert.
The nutrients you’ll most likely need to replenish during a fast are electrolytes, which your body requires to regulate and sustain a variety of critical bodily functions and which are depleted by physical activity and fasting. The following are critical electrolytes to monitor (but not consume in excess).
- Sodium – it is required for normal muscle and nerve function. It also aids in the maintenance of a healthy blood pressure level. Check your recommended daily allowance for your weight and gender to avoid headaches and muscular spasms.
- Potassium – this supplement keeps your heart healthy and your energy levels high. Potassium is a non-caloric nutrient that does not break a fast. In fact, it can assist you to cope with the fast by restoring electrolytes.
Calcium is essential for both your bones and muscles. Calcium, in conjunction with vitamin D, provides benefits beyond bone health, such as protection against cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Calcium does not end a fasting window.
Among other things, it helps to control muscle and nerve activity and can regulate your sleeping routine. People with sensitive stomachs may notice loose stools early on. If you have stomach troubles, take your magnesium with food. It can lessen the chance of unpleasant side effects. If you’re taking magnesium to help you sleep, take it after your final meal of the day. Magnesium does not break a fast, however, it is healthier for your body to consume it with food.
Given that your body is able to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting naturally, there are many supplements available to maximize its effects. For your fast, focus on refilling your electrolytes and, if feasible, continuing to take your vitamins for additional health benefits.
Choose multivitamins that do not break your fasting window and take those that are right for you. The longer you fast, the more probable you will require supplementation; but, the most essential is to pay attention to how you feel and let your doctor know you’re fasting.
1 Mansell, P. I., Fellows, I. W., & Macdonald, I. A. (1990). Enhanced thermogenic response to epinephrine after 48-h starvation in humans. The American journal of physiology, 258(1 Pt 2), R87–R93. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.1990.258.1.R87
3 Barnosky, A. R., Hoddy, K. K., Unterman, T. G., & Varady, K. A. (2014). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational research : the journal of laboratory and clinical medicine, 164(4), 302–311. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trsl.2014.05.013
4 Kim, I., & Lemasters, J. J. (2011). Mitochondrial degradation by autophagy (mitophagy) in GFP-LC3 transgenic hepatocytes during nutrient deprivation. American journal of physiology. Cell physiology, 300(2), C308–C317. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpcell.00056.2010
5 Bagherniya, M., Butler, A. E., Barreto, G. E., & Sahebkar, A. (2018). The effect of fasting or calorie restriction on autophagy induction: A review of the literature. Ageing research reviews, 47, 183–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arr.2018.08.004
6 Mattson, M. P., Moehl, K., Ghena, N., Schmaedick, M., & Cheng, A. (2018). Intermittent metabolic switching, neuroplasticity and brain health. Nature reviews. Neuroscience, 19(2), 63–80. https://doi.org/10.1038/nrn.2017.156
7 Heilbronn, L. K., Smith, S. R., Martin, C. K., Anton, S. D., & Ravussin, E. (2005). Alternate-day fasting in nonobese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(1), 69–73. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/81.1.69
10 National Research Council (US) Committee on Diet and Health. Diet and Health: Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1989. 11, Fat-Soluble Vitamins. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK218749/