Is essential to take a multivitamin. The answer…YES! Here’s a list of some key vitamins and what they do to help you in and out of the gym:
Here’s a List of the Major Vitamins and the Ways in Which They Will Aid You Both In and Out of the Gym
Vitamin A – Is crucial to the process of protein synthesis where individual amino acids are combined to form new muscle tissue. It also helps the body to produce glycogen, the stored form of carbohydrates within the body.
Vitamin B1 – Also known as “thiamine” and is heavily involved in protein metabolism as well as the production of hemoglobin which helps to carry oxygen around the body.
Vitamin B2 – Also known as “riboflavin” and aids in the fat burning process as well as helping the body to produce energy from carbohydrates.
Vitamin B3 – Also known as “niacin” and increases vasodilation within the muscle tissue, helping you to appear fuller and more vascular.
Vitamin B6 – Also known as “pyridoxine” and is very important because of its effect on protein digestion. Weight loss and muscle building diets require larger than normal amounts of protein, and this means that your body needs a higher amount of vitamin B6 than the average Joe.
Vitamin B12 – Also known as “cobalamin”, vitamin b12 ensures that the brain and muscle tissue are communicating efficiently and this has a direct effect on muscle growth and coordination.
Biotin – Helps the body metabolize amino acids and produce energy during workouts.
Vitamin C – Heavily involved in amino acid metabolism and the formation of collagen. Collagen is found in your connective tissue and keeps your joints strong and healthy. Vitamin C also plays a role in the production of hormones in the body and also enhances the absorption of iron. On top of all of this, vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which flushes out free radicals and prevents damage to your body cells.
Vitamin D – Helps the body to absorb calcium and phosphorus more efficiently. Calcium is very important during muscle contractions and also helps to maintain strong bones and joints. Phosphorus is involved in the synthesis of ATP, the most usable form of energy found within the body (especially when it comes to anaerobic exercise, which is what weight lifting is).
Vitamin E – A very powerful antioxidant which helps to hunt out and neutralize free radicals. This will help to flush out many of the natural metabolic waste products your body produces and maintain the health of your cell membranes.
As you can clearly see above, vitamins play a very important role when it comes to building muscle and gaining strength. Hard training bodybuilders certainly require higher amounts of these vitamins than the average sedentary Joe, as these vitamins are depleted during intense sessions in the gym. In addition, a calorie-dense diet requires a higher intake of vitamins to aid in the digestion process. In fact, being deficient in just one vitamin can literally affect thousands of small processes within the body.
The Importance of Enzymes
Up top I made mention of “enzymes” needing vitamins as a catalyst to work correctly; well the truth is when you raise your caloric intake, as a rule of thumb you should also supplement your diet with a multi-enzyme formula as well as taking the vitamins & minerals as suggested above. The reason for doing this is simple, your body most likely will not have enough enzymes to break down all the extra food you are taking in.
For example: have you ever noticed after taking in extra calories in the form of protein that you started to feel bloated ? Chances are an enzyme and specifically a vitamin B deficiency had something to do with that. That’s just one example of nutrition and the human body at work.
In actuality there are specific types of enzymes that break down different types of nutrients.
Recommendation: I highly suggest taking your multi-vitamins in liquid form if at all possible and the reason for this is that they are more readily absorbed so less goes to waste. Another reason is that in pill form binders are added to give the pill shape and strength and that’s something we don’t need to be ingesting. They taste a bit rough, but hey, so did all those shots you did in college! Toughen up!!!