Bodybuilders, Have You Taken Your Vitamins Today?
Life as a bodybuilder is tough. Often eating high quality protein six to eight times per day can become tiring, but there are effective ways to boost the health of the body without looking to diet as the only source.
Vitamins are essential for all bodybuilders. They keep the body in tip-top health. Bodybuilders often train their muscles to the edge of discomfort, and this can lead to over-training, infections, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Vitamins are essential for growth, maintenance, and proper metabolism. Without these, the body will struggle to maintain its health through the intense training that occurs during bodybuilding. If an essential component is missing in the body, a bodybuilder will suffer, often without the knowledge that a vitamin or mineral is currently low in the body.
Without essential vitamins, the body will find it difficult to sustain lean muscle mass, and the systems in the body will eventually fail. Obviously, vitamins do not supply the body with proteins, carbohydrates and essential fatty acids, hence the reason why many bodybuilders deem them as unimportant. But, water-soluble vitamins are essential to bodybuilders, as they are easily lost through bodily excretions.
Top Ten Vitamins for Bodybuilders
1. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). Vitamin C is high in antioxidants, which are necessary for the rebuilding of the body after tough weight training by reducing free radical damage.
Vitamin C will keep testosterone levels high by making the ratio of cortisol to testosterone decrease. This will help your body keep up that level of performance you demand.
Vitamin C forms collagen, the primary element of connective tissue. If you want to build muscle bulk and superior strength, you will eventually have to start lifting heavier weights. A good level of vitamin C in the body puts less stress on the muscular structure. The more muscle contained in the body, the higher the loss of vitamin C and subsequently, the more you will need to replenish.
2. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine).This powerful vitamin works on growth, protein metabolism, and carbohydrate utilization. A study on Vitamin B6 found that a bodybuilders performance enhanced with B6 supplementation.
Pyridoxine is essential for bodybuilders because this vitamin links to the intake of protein. If you consume a lot of protein, the levels of pyridoxine required by the body enhances greatly.
By taking just 2mg per day of vitamin B6, your body is able to make more than 60 different enzymes that help keep your immune system in top shape and your body functioning properly.
3. Vitamin B1 (Thiamine). Bodybuilders require extra vitamins and essential minerals in the body due to the strain the of intense training. Thiamine is required for muscle growth and protein metabolism. Hemoglobin, the transportation of oxygen through the body is also one of the main components of Vitamin B1.
As the body undergoes further intensive training, the oxygen transportation increases. Further research on thiamine found that Vitamin B1 is perfect for bodybuilders and athletes to enhance their performance. The higher the calorie expenditure required by the body, the higher the level of thiamine is necessary to refuel the body.
4. Vitamin D. As this vitamin works to absorb phosphorus and calcium, it is an essential component for a bodybuilder. During the intense activity undertaken by a bodybuilder, a lot of muscle contraction occurs, and calcium is essential to carry out this role.
If there are insufficient levels of calcium in the muscle, the muscle will struggle to sustain the contractions, and this could cause injury. Calcium also strengthens the skeletal system, which in turn supports the muscular system.
Phosphorus enhances the body to produce quick and powerful muscular contractions during intense training like bodybuilding. Phosphorus also synthesizes adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule utilized by the muscle during contraction.
Vitamin D is found in dairy produce, hence the reason why bodybuilders often overlook this essential vitamin. It is essential to drink non-fat milk and foods fortified with vitamin D. Alternatively, take a supplement.
5. Vitamin B3 (Niacin). As one of the most important vitamins in the B complex family, niacin works on almost all sixty metabolic processes necessary to produce energy. Without sufficient energy, a bodybuilder cannot perform safe and stable repetitions. The body undergoes such strain during bodybuilding. Turkey meat is abundant in the amino acid, tryptophan, and niacin can easily be formed from this amino acid if levels are low.
Nicotine acid is the more familiar form of niacin known by bodybuilders. Taken before a bodybuilding event, vasodilation occurs, making the bodybuilder’s muscles appear bulkier. However, nicotine acid should be avoided during intensive training as it weakens the body to burn off fat.
6. Vitamin E. A bodybuilder is putting his body under strain every time he/she trains intensively. Free radical damage then occurs in the body, and it is essential to add important antioxidant rich supplements to support the body’s defenses. Vitamin E is especially high in antioxidants.
Vitamin E protects the membranes in the cell walls, and so many metabolic activities occur in the body during weight training and afterward. The maintenance of the cell’s membranes allows for sufficient growth and recuperation of muscle cells.
7. Vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for vision, synthesizing protein, and producing glycogen, a form of energy required for high intensive training such as bodybuilding.
Studies on Vitamin A in American bodybuilders found that the levels of this essential vitamin are low. A low fat diet and tough exercise lowers the levels of this vitamin. During bodybuilding events, keep a check on your current vitamin A levels, and take a supplement if necessary.
8. Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin). This essential vitamin for bodybuilders enhances the energy production that occurs in the body during intense weight training. It oxidizes fatty acids, shuts down the hydrogen ions via the Krebs cycle, and metabolizes glucose.
Riboflavin also works on protein metabolism. The more lean body mass contained in the body, the higher the levels of vitamin B6 in the body. A study performed on female bodybuilders found that it is necessary to increase the recommended daily allowance of riboflavin because, after exercise, the blood levels of riboflavin take longer to return to normal.
9. Biotin. A staple for many bodybuilders is raw egg whites. However, raw egg whites build up levels of avidin, a substance that halts the absorption of biotin.
Biotin is critical to produce energy from a variety of sources, and it is essential to metabolize amino acids. It is better to take a biotin supplement than let the limited supply in your body affect your performance.
10. Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). A bodybuilder requires a healthy body and nervous system in order to complete each repetition safely. If the muscles connect effectively with the nervous system, each contraction will enhance muscle growth.
In the diet, vitamin B12 is only available from animal sources, so a vegetarian bodybuilder will benefit from a supplement or B12 shot.
The life of a bodybuilder is incredibly difficult to maintain. A good diet full of vitamins, plus knowing your body inside and out is essential to success in this field. Feed your body with essential vitamins, minerals, and a nutritionally tailored dietary plan, and you will be well on the way to becoming the best.
Before taking anything beyond the daily recommended doses of these or any vitamins or supplements, it is always best to check with your physician.