While most natural bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts already have a supplement stack that includes staples like whey protein and creatine, many people forget about the importance of vitamins. Even though taking a standard multi-vitamin is better than taking nothing at all, a typical multi-vitamin may not have every element that fitness athletes need in order to maximize the effectiveness of their workouts and minimize the amount of time it takes them to recover.
Since vitamins can have a real impact on your overall performance, let’s take a look at the ones that should definitely be in your stack:
Vitamin C: Although you may assume that this is at the top of the list since you have to be feeling well in order to get in a good workout, that property of vitamin C is actually just the tip of the iceberg. Because this specific vitamin has antioxidant properties, it can actually help to protect the cells in the muscles and thus lessen the amount of time that it takes to recover from a hard training session. Another key property of vitamin C is it makes it easier for your body to absorb iron. Because iron plays a role in the body’s ability to transport oxygen, not having enough can prevent your muscles from getting exactly what they need during exercise.
Vitamin B1: While B1, which is also known as thiamine, doesn’t get as much attention as the other B vitamins, it actually plays a direct role in the process of protein metabolism. Recent research has also found that due to their higher than normal caloric expenditure, athletes are a group that can directly benefit from the supplementation of this specific vitamin.
Vitamin B12: This vitamin isn’t just for giving you a boost of vitality. There are two functions it provides to anyone who works out on a regular basis. The first is to help maintain the integrity of the tissue throughout the nervous system. The second is to help metabolize carbs. Both of those functions can impact your ability to give your all during a workout.
Vitamin A: If you know anything about this vitamin, it’s likely the fact that you’ve heard doctors or other medical professionals say that it can help your vision. While that’s true and definitely a benefit most people care about, the vitamin packs additional benefits for fitness enthusiasts. Not only does it play a part in glycogen production, but it’s also involved during protein synthesis. Since you’re well aware of how both of those processes impact your performance and physique, ensuring you get enough vitamin A is a no-brainer.
Keep in mind that if you can’t stand the idea of swallowing multiple pills on a daily basis, many vitamins and blends are available in liquid form. While they contain the exact same vitamin amounts as pills, many people find this method of delivery to be more convenient and appealing.
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George Smithy is an avid body builder and personal trainer that writes on the benefits of liquid B vitamins, as well as other areas of health and fitness.