Best Multivitamins for Teens: Nutrition for Your Growing Young Adult

teen holding multivitamin while on computer


Good nutrition is an essential component of raising a healthy, active teen. In addition to the vitamins and minerals that adults require, adolescents need specific micronutrients to bolster them through puberty, growth spurts, and the stress of the teenage years.

Without a doubt, the best way for teens to achieve optimal nutrition is to eat a well-balanced diet. However, today's teens are on the go with sports, friends, and school, all of which make it difficult to consistently get enough vitamins and nutrients from their food alone. As a result, many choose to take a teen multivitamin to fill the nutritional gaps.

For growing teens, taking a daily multivitamin with key nutrients offers several health benefits:

  • Boosts energy levels
  • Improves eye health
  • Bolsters immunity
  • Supports bone and teeth development
  • Increases red blood cell production
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Improves cognitive function

Read on for the ACTIVE Reviews Team's top recommendations and all the info you'd want to know when selecting a multi for your teenager.

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Best Teen Multivitamins - Our Top Picks

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Best Overall Multivitamin for Teens - Ritual Essential for Teens Multivitamin

Ritual Essential Multivitamin for Teens

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor rating: 1
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 2 capsules daily
  • Serving size: 2 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: None

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While many teens are health conscious and strive to eat nutritious foods, with their hectic schedule, it can be difficult to achieve optimal nutrition from their diet alone. If you are looking to improve your teen's nutrition by supplementing key vitamins and minerals, a standard multivitamin is likely the best option. However, it is important to remember that multivitamins differ in the nutrients provided and in the quality of those nutrients.

We chose Ritual Essential for Teens as the best overall teen multivitamin because of its excellent price-to-quality ratio. Ritual Teen Essential Vitamins have highly bioavailable ingredients that focus on the key nutrients most likely to be missing from a teen's diet. Both the boy and girl formulas bolster the immune system by providing zinc and vitamin A and support cognitive function and brain health by providing omega-3s and vitamin B12. The primary difference between the girl's and the boy's formula is that the girls' formula includes iron because girls are at higher risk of iron deficiency anemia related to menstrual cycle blood loss.

What We Like

  • Contains the essential nutrients to support teens' health
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Third-party tested

What We Don't Like

  • Requires a monthly subscription
  • More expensive than other brands

BUY: Ritual Essential for Teens Multivitamin - for Him | for Her

Best Budget Multivitamin for Teens - One a Day Vitacraves Teen Multivitamin

One A Day VitaCraves Teen Multivitamins

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor rating: 1
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 2 gummies daily
  • Serving size: 2 gummies
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active Ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: Glucose syrup, sugar

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Although taking a daily multivitamin is one of the most cost-effective ways to fill in the gaps in nutritional deficiencies, the cost can add up. There are several economical teen multivitamins on the market, but they do not necessarily contain the most essential nutrients at the correct doses.

When assessing teen multivitamins in this price point, we selected One a Day Teen Vitacraves because of its comprehensive ingredient list at appropriate dosing levels. The goal of multivitamins is to complement a nutritious diet. Some multivitamins overcompensate and include high doses of vitamins and minerals. The One a Day Teen Vitacraves avoids this common pitiful by supplying all of its nutrients at a maximum dose of 100% of the RDA. Taking more vitamins is not necessarily better. For example, taking an excess of vitamin A can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.

The difference between the girls and the boys vitamins are minimal. They have the same ingredient list, but at slightly different doses.

What We Like

  • Contains the essential nutrients to support teen's nutrition
  • Third-party tested
  • Economical price

What We Don't Like

  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Contains gluten

BUY: One A Day VitaCraves Teen Multivitamins - for Him | for Her

Best Gummy Multivitamin for Teens - Smarty Pants Teen Formula, Daily Multivitamin Gummies

SmartyPants Teen Formula

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor rating: 1
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 4 gummies daily
  • Serving size: 4 gummies daily
  • Servings per container: 120
  • Active ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: Sugar

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There are many health benefits to taking a daily multivitamin, but swallowing a pill or capsule may be inconvenient. If your teen doesn't like to swallow pills, a multivitamin gummy is a good option.

When assessing teen multivitamin gummies, we selected SmartyPants Teen Formula Daily Multivitamin Gummies as the best because they offer a comprehensive list of nutrients in the most bioavailable forms. For example, teen vitamins contain folate as methylfolate, vitamin B21 as methylcobalamin, and vitamin D as vitamin D3.

The differences between the boys' and girls' versions are minimal: Both contain the 20 most essential nutrients for teens and include key supplements like lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health.

What We Like

  • Contains the essential nutrients teens need
  • Third-party tested
  • Gluten and common allergy free
  • Less expensive than other brands

What We Don't Like

  • Contains added sugar
  • Not suitable for vegetarians

BUY: SmartyPants Teen Formula, Daily Multivitamin Gummies - for Guys | for Girls

Best Organic Multivitamin for Teens - Codeage Daily Teen Multivitamin

Codeage Daily Teen Multivitamin

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor rating: N/A
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 2 capsules daily
  • Serving size: 2 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: N/A

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If your teen is health conscious and eats organic fruits and vegetables, then paying a little extra for an organic multivitamin makes sense. There are numerous health benefits to eating organic produce, and this carries over to taking organic multivitamins; our bodies process vitamin supplements differently depending on how the nutrients are sourced.

We selected Codeage Daily Teen Multivitamin as our pick for the best organic teen multivitamin because it contains the 25 most common vitamins and minerals plus a teen health blend to address the specific health needs of teens. The teen health blend includes omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10 to support cognitive function, lutein for eye health, and probiotics to support digestion.

What We Like

  • Capsules can be opened and poured into a drink
  • Sourced from organic produce
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free
  • Third-party tested

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than other brands
  • Does not contain boron

BUY: Codeage Daily Teen Multivitamin

Best Multivitamin for Active Teens - GNC Milestones® Teen Gummy Multivitamin

GNC milestones® Teen Gummy Multivitamin

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor rating: 1
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 2 gummies
  • Serving size: 2 gummies
  • Servings per container: 60
  • Active Ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: Sugar

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Active teens may benefit from a multivitamin that provides energy-boosting nutrients to support their active lifestyle.

We chose the GNC milestones® Teen Gummy Multivitamin to represent the best multivitamin for active teens because it contains the most common nutrients found in teen multivitamins plus added micronutrients for energy and bone health. Specifically, it offers 8 mg of niacin which helps convert food to energy, and 50 mcg of boron which is needed for bone strength.

What We Like

  • Economical price
  • Provides nutrients to increase energy production
  • Third-party tested

What We Don't Like

  • Not suitable for vegetarians
  • Contains added sugar

BUY: GNC milestones® Teen Gummy Multivitamin

Best Vegan Multivitamin for Teens - NATURELO Whole Food Multivitamin for Teens

NATURELO Whole Food Multivitamin for Teens

SPECS

  • Price: $$
  • Flavor rating: N/A
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 2 capsules daily
  • Serving size: 2 capsules
  • Servings per container: 30
  • Active Ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: N/A

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Supporting the dietary needs of teenage vegetarians can be challenging. In addition to the other challenges teens face, vegetarians need higher quantities of vitamin B12, omega 3s, and vitamin D.

We chose Naturelo Whole Food Vitamin for Teens as the best vegan teen multivitamin because of its comprehensive ingredient list with 25 essential vitamins and minerals, the quality of its nutrients, and the fact that it is vegan and allergen-free.

In addition to providing the 25 most common nutrients and meeting the specific needs of vegetarians, this teen multivitamin includes lutein and zeaxanthin to help filter blue light and protect teens from the damaging rays of computer, smartphone, and tablet screens.

What We Like

  • Sourced from fruits and vegetables
  • Can be opened and poured into a drink
  • Third-party tested

What We Don't Like

  • Does not contain boron
  • More expensive than other brands

BUY: NATURELO Whole Food Multivitamin for Teens

Best Multivitamin for Teens for Growth - Natures Plus Power Teen

Natures Plus Power Teen

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor rating: 1
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 2 chewable tablets daily
  • Serving size: 2 chewable tablets
  • Servings per container: 60
  • Active Ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: N/A

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Active growing teens may benefit from vitamins and minerals that support skeletal growth and muscle development. Although most teen multivitamins provide the necessary nutrients to fill in nutritional gaps, if you are specifically worried about supporting growth, choosing a multivitamin with vitamin D and calcium for bone support and zinc, magnesium, and amino acids for muscle growth is a good idea.

We chose the Natures Plus Power Teen as the best multivitamin to support teen growth because of its comprehensive list of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support growing muscle and bones. The primary difference between the girls' formula and the boys' formula is that the girls' supplements contain more iron to protect against iron deficiency anemia related to menstrual blood loss. The girls' formula also contains a cranberry extract that may protect against urinary tract infections.

What We Like

  • Contains the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids to support growth
  • Third-party tested
  • Vegetarian and gluten-free

What We Don't Like

  • Berry flavor can leave a bad taste in the mouth
  • Doses of some vitamins and minerals may be too high for certain populations

BUY: Natures Plus Power Teen - for Him | for Her

Best Multivitamin with Iron for Teens - Rainbow Light Active Health Teen Multivitamin

Rainbow Light Active Health Teen Multivitamin

SPECS

  • Price: $
  • Flavor rating: N/A
  • Dosage recommendations: Take 3 tablets daily
  • Serving size: 3 tablets
  • Servings per container: 90
  • Active ingredient: Multivitamin formula
  • Sweetener: N/A

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While most parents know the best way to have healthy, active teens is to provide all the vitamins and micronutrients they need, it is challenging to provide that with diet alone. Many teens benefit from a daily multivitamin that helps them fill in their nutritional gaps.

Depending on your teens' diet and physiological state, they may benefit from a multivitamin that contains iron. Iron is the building block of red blood cells and inadequate iron consumption is the leading cause of anemia, or low red blood cell levels. We choose Rainbow Light Active Health Teen Multivitamin as our pick for the best teen vitamin with iron because of the quality of its ingredients.

In addition to providing iron, this supplement provides B vitamins to strengthen nerves and cognitive function, vitamins C and E to support immune health, and niacin and vitamin B12 for energy production.

What We Like

  • Excellent source of iron
  • Provide nutrients to support cognitive function and boost immunity
  • Packaging is made from recycled plastic
  • Third-party tested

What We Don't Like

  • Requires taking 3 capsules per day
  • Doses of some vitamins and minerals may be too high for certain populations

BUY: Rainbow Light Active Health Teen Multivitamin

Why You Should Consider a Teen Multivitamin

Vitamin use is increasing in the United States for good reason. Multiple studies have shown that supplementing a healthy diet with vitamins has specific health benefits like improved cardiovascular health, improved cognitive function, and enhanced immune function.

The best vitamin supplements for teens depend on multiple factors such as dietary intake, allergies, and medical history. Most teens can optimize their nutrition with a high-quality multivitamin.

The goal of multivitamin use is to fill in nutritional gaps and provide nutrients that you can't easily consume in the average diet. Vitamin supplements are not a replacement for good nutrition. The fundamental basis of optimizing growth and development is eating a healthy diet, but augmenting a well-balanced diet with a high-quality multivitamin adds extra insurance.

A standard teen multivitamin will typically include:

Vitamins

  • Vitamin A: Improves eye health and boosts immunity
  • Vitamin B12: Helps release energy from food
  • Vitamin C: Increases immunity
  • Vitamin D: Supports bone development, boosts immune function, and reduces inflammation
  • Vitamin K: Promotes blood clotting

Minerals

  • Magnesium: Helps convert food into energy
  • Zinc: Catalysts in new cell and enzyme production
  • Boron: Helps maintain bone health
  • Iron: Is the building block of red blood cells

Tips for Selecting a Teen Multivitamin

When selecting the best multivitamin for your teen, there are four key factors to consider.

Bioavailability

Bioavailability refers to how much of a nutrient can be absorbed, or is available for use, by the body. How vitamins and minerals are processed impacts their bioavailability. For example

Methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B12 and is more bioavailable than the synthetic version of vitamin B12, cyanocobalamin. Researching which form of nutrients is in supplements helps determine the quality of the product.

Dose

The dose of vitamins and minerals varies depending on who the supplement is intended for. The food and drug administration determines recommended daily allowances, or RDAs, for the most common vitamins and minerals based on age and gender. When purchasing a multivitamin, verify the RDAs listed on the label are correct for the intended recipient.

Form

Multivitamins are available in multiple different forms. The most common forms are chewable gummies or tablets. There are also capsules and liquid drops. When choosing the form, make a decision based on what your teen is most comfortable taking on a daily basis.

Third-Party Testing

Third-party testing refers to the process of an independent lab testing a product for purity and quality. This process verifies the quality of the ingredient list by ensuring the product is free of contaminants or banned substances. A common certification of authenticity in the United States is the USP or the United States Pharmacopeia seal. It is always best to choose a vitamin that is third-party tested.

How We Rate Supplements

In addition to providing the pros and cons of each supplement, we break down key consumer concerns: price or affordability and flavor options.

Price/Affordability (scale of $-$$$)

$ = under $1 per serving
$$ = $1-2 per serving
$$$ = over $2 per serving

Flavor Options (scale of 1-3)

Having a good flavor does not influence the effectiveness of a product, but enjoying the flavor may make it easier to consistently take it. Therefore, we use the following scale to break down the flavor options for each product:

N/A = Unflavored
1 = 1-2 flavor options
2 = 3-4 flavor options
3 = 5 or more flavor options

FAQs About Multivitamins for Teens


Is it good to take vitamins as a teenager?

Yes, many teenagers benefit from taking a daily multivitamin. In general, eating a well-balanced diet is the cornerstone of good nutrition, but it is often difficult to consume all of the key nutrients from a diet alone.

What vitamin is good for a teenage girl?

A standard teen multivitamin is a good option for most teenage girls. Girls are at higher risk for iron deficiency anemia than boys, so selecting a multivitamin that contains iron is a good idea for girls.

What is the best vitamin for teenage boys?

A high-quality multivitamin helps support teenage boys through puberty and growth spurts. Look for multivitamins that contain zinc which is necessary for testosterone production, vitamin D for bone strength, and magnesium for muscle function.

Can teenagers take multivitamin tablets?

Teenagers can take multivitamin tablets, but they should take supplements that are formulated for teens. Teenagers should not take a standard adult multivitamin because the doses of key nutrients are different. If your teen doesn't like to swallow tablets, gummy multivitamins are a good option.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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