Most Important Vitamins Minerals Bodybuilding
How many vitamins and minerals can you name?
Multi-vitamins have gained huge popularity over the years, now there's all different kinds. From cheap store brands, to high quality "bodybuilding" multi-vitamins and minerals and many in between, it can be easy to feel lost in this world of RDAs and chemical compounds, but what do the individual vitamins and minerals actually take care of? That's what we're going to be discussing in this post, so don't go anywhere!
The vitamin alphabet
Vitamin A? Vitamin B? Vitamin C? Does this go on all the way up to Z? No. It doesn't, but there are still plenty of them, and some are more important to supplement than others. Let's begin, shall we?
Vitamin A - This is mainly used in the development of cells, vision and immunity support. Adequate levels of vitamin a reduce oxidative stress during intense exercise.
Vitamin B6 - also known as pyridoxine, used in the metabolism of proteins and production of red blood cells.
Vitamin B12 - also known as cobalamin, used for red blood cells like B6 and for the nervous system.
Vitamin C - This is probably one of the most widely used vitamins, there's a folks tale that it can be used to prevent colds, but I've seen no studies with conclusive results. Using in Collagen formation and bone retention. Vitamin C is also the most water-soluble anti-oxidant, which fight against free radicals.
Vitamin D - This vitamin is incredibly important, not only because of what it does, but because an incredible amount of people are deficient in it. This is because you can only get it from being exposed to the sun, and food. It is used in the bone, nervous system and muscles.
Vitamin E - Important for red blood cells like B6 and B12, and the bodies main fat-soluble anti-oxidant, good for fighting free radicals like vitamin C.
Vitamin K - Not very popular as deficiency is incredibly rare, helps with cell growth and general bone health.
(I am aware there are others, but that's a topic for another day)
Mining for minerals
You'll have heard of the basics like calcium (I bet your mother always told you to drink your milk or you won't grow up, I sure know mine did!) and maybe a few others, but do you know what they actually do? Here's a list of the main ones.
Calcium - A vital component of your bones as you most likely know, also controls a variety of activates including muscle contractions. Studies have also shown that it can increase free testosterone levels.
Iron - Vital for red blood cell function. Iron deficiency is very serious and often associated with illnesses such as anemia. Thankfully it's rare in men (sorry ladies!).
Magnesium - Very important to the bones, central nervous system and muscles, especially contraction.
Phosphorous - Involved in an incredible amount of bodily functions and activities, may increase exercise endurance.
Potassium - Used for regulation of the bodies water balance (you'll hear a lot about it in bodybuilding), vital for the functioning of muscles (including the heart).
Selenium - Used in the functioning of the thyroid gland.
Zinc - Used in testosterone synthesis. Zinc deficiency is rare, but when you don't have enough, your testosterone production is impaired and that's no good! Make sure your intake is enough. However, too much can interfere with cholesterol and copper absorption.
Quality of Vitamins
Multi-Vitamins are one of the supplements I would not skimp out on, the one-a-day supermarket brands use very low quality compounds. If you're looking for a good brand, I recommend either Optimum nutrition's Opti-men (this turns your pee neon-green, which alone is worth the price) or Controlled Lab's Orange Triad.