Bottle of Apsu with fruit

Fat soluble versus water soluble vitamins and why it is relevant

Understanding the misunderstood “expensive urine” multivitamin concept, we look at how vitamins behave by explaining the difference between fat and water soluble vitamins. 

We are in the process of writing about the various ingredients found in Apsu’s superfood multivitamin. So, it seemed like a good opportunity to understand how vitamins work and how different types behave once in the body.

One of the key differences is solubility. There are two forms of vitamins: fat soluble and water soluble.

Water Soluble Vitamins

Supplement cynics often use the phrase “expensive urine” when referring to people who take multivitamin supplements. However, only water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, the vitamin B complex group and vitamin A in its beta-carotene form can act in this way.

Water soluble vitamins are easily absorbed into the body but they are not stored. If you consume too much of a water soluble vitamin, the body excretes it through urine. And because these vitamins are not stored in the body, you must ensure you have a fresh supply of vitamin C and B on a daily basis, and vitamin A if you’re on a vegan diet.

Fat Soluble Vitamins

The majority of other vitamins are fat soluble. Vitamins A (in its palmitate, or animal-based form), D, E and K require an intake of fat in your diet if they are to benefit the body. They are absorbed into fat and then travel around the body through your intestines and blood. If your body doesn’t need it all, it will store it to use at a later time, mainly in your liver and fat tissues. These vitamins therefore don’t contribute to “expensive urine”.

Balancing your Nutrients to Suit You

It is very difficult to overdose on vitamins, and vitamin deficiency is a larger concern than vitamin toxicity. For example, an increasing number of people are getting insufficient Vitamin D.  We are a generation that has been  warned about the harmful effects of the sun (the key source) and we often work in office-based environments.

Understanding your body, the levels required and monitoring your diet and nutritional supplements to suit your lifestyle are the best ways to make sure you get enough of everything you need, without getting too much.

Most multivitamins use 100% RDA levels across the board but if you eat a well-balanced diet many of your nutrients will come through your food. However, a “well-balanced diet” is becoming a rarity as processed foot, fast food and convenience take priority in our busy lives. Moreover, people have very different needs depending on activity levels, weight, work life, age and other factors such as drinking, smoking, pregnancy and illness.

We created Apsu to support athletes by bolstering certain vitamins and nutrients through a superfood complex to help with energy levels, stamina, immunity and joints. Make sure your nutritional supplements are designed with you in mind.

Check out our posts on Vitamin A and Vitamin C, with more to come…

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