Do Vitamins Have Calories?

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

Vitamins and Minerals Are Calorie-Free

Essentially, in their purest form, isolated vitamins and minerals — like vitamin C or iron — are calorie-free.

While vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients, they are considered micronutrients — as in, they're only needed by the body in small, or "micro," amounts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

  • Carbohydrates: 4 calories per gram
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram

Most Supplements Have Minimal Calories

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Others are made from oil, which also has calories. "Some oil-based supplements, like fish oil, will have calories from the oil itself," Beale says.

That said, the calories provided by all of these supplements are minimal and will have a negligible effect on your overall calorie intake, Beale says.

But if you're curious or counting, the calories per serving for all vitamin and mineral supplements are disclosed on the Supplement Facts label as required by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Calorie Count From Protein Supplements

One class of commonly used supplements that does contain a significant number of calories is protein supplements. While these supplements often contain calorie- free vitamins and minerals, they are primarily designed to provide protein, which contains 4 calories per gram, according to the USDA.

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If you're tracking calories for weight loss or another reason, you'll want to make sure you track the calories you get from protein supplements if you take them because these can add up. Generally, protein supplements contain significant amounts of calories because of the protein they contain, according to Mayo Clinic.

Many of these supplements may also contain sugar or fat, which help to improve the taste and texture, which also add calories to the supplement, Beale says.

Protein supplements typically come in powder form or as premixed shakes or drinks, and, according to the FDA, you can check the number of calories per serving on the label.

But for the most part, your basic vitamin and mineral supplements won't be adding to your daily calorie count.

Read more: The Right Way to Dispose of OTC Vitamin and Mineral Supplements

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