This is quite a big topic, so I am going to try and summarise what i have learnt over the years about vitamins. What are they, why do I need them, what's the recommended daily allowance, what are the main vitamins, and how can they benefit me.
You see cartons of juice and boxes of cereal trumpeting their vitamin and mineral content, but why are these microscopic nutrients so important? From helping the body turn food into fuel, to fortifying bones and eyesight, vitamins and minerals are health superstars for sure. While the average diet usually includes adequate amounts of the essential nutrients without issue, it doesn't hurt to be a little more aware of the vitamins and minerals that keep us living and smiling.
Do any of you currently take a multivitamin.. If so have you questioned that you're actually getting from this, everyone of our bodies is different our lifestyles are different are nutrition and eating habits are different so we all fall into this sliding spectrum.
Not everyone is active or athletic therefore you requirements are going to be completely different, many active people will require higher doses of certain vitamins and minerals than a standard multi applies, coming up short on these needed elements could mean diminished results in strength, recovery and fat loss - From my own personal experience this was a tried and tested approach.
I am going to zone in on what i think are the main seven vitamins and why they are crucial for anyone looking to maximise their health, physique goals and athletic achievements. Remember add good whole-food sources to your regular diet of clean eating and consider supplementing with these stand along vitamins only when they are deficient in your diet.
But first let's learn the Lingo - :)
- Vitamins: Organic substances required for normal cell function, growth, and development. There are 13 essential vitamins.
- Fat-Soluble Vitamins: Fat-soluble vitamins are those that bind to fat in the stomach and are then stored in the body for later use. We are less likely to become deficient in these vitamins (A, D, E, and K), but more likely to build up to toxic levels, usually due to extreme overconsumption or overzealous supplement use.
- Water-Soluble Vitamins: The rest of the vitamins are water-soluble, meaning they can be absorbed directly by cells. When in excess, these vitamins are flushed out of our system with each bathroom break. The water-soluble vitamins — biotin, vitamin C, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid, and the four B complex vitamins — need to be restored more frequently, but the body can tolerate higher doses.
- Minerals: Minerals are inorganic substances (meaning they contain no carbon), and all hold on place on the good ol’ periodic table . They’re also necessary for normal body function and development. There are two groups of minerals: macrominerals (which the body needs in large doses) and trace minerals (only a pinch required).
I could write a list as long as my arm of all the different types of minerals, but i am going to whittle this down to what i believe is the 7 most talked about and tested:
- Vitamin C:
Also known as ascorbic acid, vit c is a powerful water-soluble antioxidant that works to rid the body of harmful free radicals,thereby supporting faster recovery from exercise, it also bolsters your immune system to stave off short and long term adverse effects such as colds and infections, it helps support connective tissue keeps capillaries healthy and aids absorption of iron.
Timing and Dose; your body cannot synthesize or store vit c, it must be part of your dietary regular intake , aim for 500m milligrams per day.
Whole Food Sources: Strawberries, pineapple and Brussels sprouts..
Folate B9 is a crucial water soluble vitamin in its synthetic form many of you might of heard of folic acid. It encourages the production of new cells by helping your body replicate DNA and RNA, it also helps replace damaged cells with new health one's, its worth considering taking this along side arginine, an amino acid that encourages production of nitric oxide, to increase the blood and nutrients to the muscles if your training intensely.
Timing and Dose: 400-800 micrograms once or twice a day
Good whole food sources: Lentils, Avocado, Liver
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body an is crucial for many physiological processes, the main role is to support bone health. When you are deficient, your body removes calcium from bones to support intense workouts, putting you at greater risk of fractures and other bone related injuries - which can lead to osteoporosis further down the line, Calcium is also an electrolyte, helping regulate heart rate and blood pressure and improving the speed and intensity of muscle contractions.
Timing and Dosage: 600- 600 milligrams 2-4 times a day with food or inbetween, avoid taking with other stand alone minerals e.g. magnesium and zinc as they compete for absorption.
Good whole-food sources: Dairy, chia seeds,sardines beans and lentils.
To save you from Vitamin bombardment i am going to continue this topic In my Next Blog where i will be covering the next 4 Vital Vitamins: