Product Review: BariLife Complete Multivitamin Powder (Watermelon)


If you were around last year during the 2018 Bariatric Foodie Pledge,  you’ll know I had a grand old time reviewing their Complete Multivitamin Powder in the lemonade flavor.

Well, this year BariLife is back with a new flavor: watermelon!

Now I admit I am actually a BIG fan of watermelon flavored things. I do not think watermelon flavored things taste like actual watermelon, but I forgive them for that because watermelon flavor is just so yummy!

Will BariLife’s latest multi-vitamin offering hold up to that trend? Let’s dive in and see.

BariLife Multivitamin Powder: What the hell is it?

I think BariLife describes their product best on their website, so let’s see what they have to say:

This unique bariatric specific vitamin powder allows you to easily drink all of your essential daily vitamins and minerals after weight loss surgery. It is highly recommended for the first 4-6 weeks post-op because it allows for the easiest absorption while healing. We’ve taken the time to refine the texture and flavor while still delivering everything that you need after surgery.

Flavorful, but not too sweet. Bari Life’s new watermelon flavor will never get old and will make taking your vitamins effortless and delicious! Mix the powder into 8 – 10 ounces of water for a nice, mild taste. You can add as much or as little water (or favorite juice/beverage of your choice) to make it even more flavorful or more mild.

Ok…sounds promising so far, right? Let’s move forward!

The Nutrition

As in all vitamin reviews, I use the American Society for Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery post-op vitamin guidelines as my guide post for whether a vitamin product is up-to-snuff. You should always know how your vitamins compare to the recommendations and – I say this a lot, but it bears repeating – you should check with your surgeon or dietitian for the final decision on any vitamin product.

That said, even before we get into individual nutrition, there’s one thing that jumps out at me about this product. If you take this as your daily multivitamin (meaning, per ASMBS guidelines you’re taking it two times per day), it has both iron (45mg per serving or 22.5 mg per serving) and calcium (1,500mg or 750 mg per serving).

Many patients are advised not to take calcium and iron together. I asked Guinn Boyce at Barilife about the presence of both calcium and iron in their supplements and they said that, through their research, the issue of taking iron with calcium isn’t a black and white issue. She says clincal research has shown that the type of iron used in their multivitamins allows patients to benefit from their multivitamins and maintain good lab work.

As always, my official recommendation is to talk to your bariatric doctor or dietitian about any supplement you’re thinking of taking because they know you.

Moving right along…

For the purposes of this review not being 18 pages long, I’m going to run down the following nutrients and how they stack up against the ASMBS guidelines: Vitamins A, D, E, K, Vitamin B-12 and folate.

Please note that these amounts are per serving, which is one scoop. Depending on your surgery type, your recommendation maybe two scoops (or two multi’s) a day:

  • Vitamin A: the ASMBS recommends 5,000 – 10,000 IU per day (or 10,000/day for duodenal switch patients), BariLife has 1,500 mcg (which is a different unit of measure, which meant I had to do something I hate to do – MATH!) but that comes out to about 5,000 IU. #MyHeadHurts So if you took two doses of this powder per day, you’d get about 10,000 IU.
  • Vitamin D: the ASMBS recommends 3,000 IU per day, BariLife has 75 mcg, which equates to about 3,000 IU per serving. If you took two servings per day, you’d be getting about 6,000 IU.
  • Vitamin E: the ASMBS recommends 15mg/day across surgery types, BariLife Multivitamin powder has 67mg per serving. Two servings a day you’d get 134mg of Vitamin E.
  • Vitamin K: the ASMBS recommends 90-120 mcg/day for gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band and sleeve, and 300 mcg/day for duodenal switch patients. BariLife Multivitamin Powder has 120 mcg per serving. If you were to take two servings a day, that would be 240 mcg daily.
  • Vitamin B12: the ASMBS recommends 300-500 mcg/day for gastric bypass, adjustable gastric band and sleeve, and 350-500 mcg/day for duodenal switch patients. BariLife Multivitamin Powder has 300 mcg/serving. If you took two servings a day, you’d get 600 mcg.
  • Folate: the ASMBS recommends 600-800 mcg/day for everyone except pregnant women and women looking to become pregnant (in that case, the recommendation is 800-1,000 mcg/day. BariLife Multivitamin 667 mcg DFE (Dietary Folate equivalent), which equates to 400mcg Folic Acid. If you take 2 servings a day, you’d get 800 mcg of folic acid.

We already went over the amounts of iron and calcium but I want to point out that the ASMBS recommendation for iron is 18 mg/day for adjustable gastric band patients, while its 45-60mg/day for all other surgery types.

So far as calcium, the ASMBS recommends 1,200-1,500 mg a day for gastric bypass, sleeve, and adjustable gastric band, and 1,800-2,400 mg/day for duodenal switch patients, taken in divided doses. BariLife Multivitamin Powder has 750mg/serving, so if you take two servings, you’d get 1,500 mg/day.

You all know vitamins are not my forte. That’s why I just give you the numbers and get the hell out of dodge! Besides the calcium/iron thing (which may not even be a thing, I’m not sure), nothing really raised a red flag to me.

WHEW! That was a lot. But we got through it together, friends. If you want the full nutrition panel for this vitamin product (so that, again, you can talk to your doctor!) visit the BariLife website.

The Aesthetics and Flavor

So…this section is much easier for me to write!

Whether you buy the canister or the packets, beware. It’s a very fine powder! So have your water or whatever ready to go.

As I usually do, I first tried this all by itself. I opened it, sniffed it and…it smelled like a watermelon-flavored Now & Later!!! I was very pumped.

Next, I added it to 8 oz. of water in a glass. Just like the lemonade flavor this mixed pretty easily. Also like the lemonade, it has a cloudy, slightly opaque appearance immediately after stirring.

And just like the lemonade, if you let the glass sit for too long, stuff (the vitamins probably) will settle to the bottom. So drink fast!

My only beef with the lemonade flavor was that it wasn’t quite as tart as I wanted it to be. I was interested to see if that was the case with the watermelon. I mean, watermelons, in and of themselves, are not tart. But watermelon flavored stuff usually is. So it could go either way.

I did not find the powder to be tart. I was a little bummed. But that was easily remedied with a packet of True Lemon.

Otherwise, it was sweet, but not overly sweet. I don’t know that it tasted like watermelon, but the taste was pleasant and refreshing in a glass of cold water.

After I tried it alone, I tried it with a drink stick. A sugar-free Hawaiian Punch drink stick to be exact. That’s my absolute favorite kind! (I loved the full sugar kind as a kid.) I will say that while adding the powder to a 16.9 oz bottle of water made it easier to drink (because I have to finish the whole bottle anyway), the addition of the multivitamin powder dulled the flavor of the Hawaiian Punch a little (which probably could have been remedied with True Lemon but I was on the go).

So, I guess my request to BariLife is…a little more tart, please! But the rest of the flavoring is really good.

The Price

This product comes in two forms: a 60-serving canister ($31.99) and a 30-serving box of packets ($23.99). The canister is good for at-home use, in my opinion. The packets are great for on-the-go. Of course, there are special deals for recurring orders, which you can check out on their website.

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