Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! First of all, I’m 99.389% sure you thought I meant a different kind of pills. Simmer down meat heads. I can see those salivating pituitary glands dripping all over your keyboards like some porn addicted adolescent glued to their IBM.
It’s your favorite superhero science geek here….SUPERMANIMAL!!!!!
I’m talking about MULTIVITAMINS! Boring. I know. But here’s how I know ahead of time that this article is going to influence each and every one of you to go buy some the minute you’re done reading. Broscience. This is the process whereby one meathead teaches another meathead about the tricks taught to him by some other meathead, all the while horrifically mangling the pronunciation of actual scientific words. Don’t lie. You all do this without regards for further research. Lucky for you, I believe in science and the principles of physiology.
If amino acids are the body’s transformers, then multivitamins are the power rangers. Several things happen during periods of intensive training. Muscle is broken down, oxygen is depleted, and catabolism is ignited. Yes, read this last sentence again. This process is further magnified when we find ourselves dieting, often times negating vital nutrients the body requires in order to carry out certain functions. They serve as protective agents against illness. The harder you train the more susceptible you are to getting sick. They build strong bones, ligaments and tendons, necessary for lifting heavy weight. They provide the body with resources necessary in to metabolizing of carbohydrates and fats into energy, as opposed to storing them as fat. Perhaps most importantly, they provide oxygen via hemoglobin and blood plasma protein. This factor alone should scare the bejeezus out of you. Oxygen transfer throughout the body, especially in the form of blood, is the primary method of transportation for amino acids to wherever the body requests them. Without certain minerals, this process is slowed, to say the least.
There’s a popular saying in bodybuilding, and fitness in general that goes something along the lines of, “you can’t out train a poor diet.” I don’t care how much creatine, glutamine, whole eggs, or red meat you eat, the fact is, you’re not going to build muscle, or burn fat for that matter, if you’re not properly intaking critical vitamins and minerals such as B complex, vitamins D and E, zinc, magnesium, and my personal favorites, iron, chromium and potassium. I’ve provided a chart below with some of the primary effects each of these provide, but I remind you, this is only a fraction of what the body requires.
As I previously mentioned, when we cut out calories we begin to deplete our bodies of nutrients necessary for continued muscle maintenance. Chances are we have a specific goal in mind. I cannot sanely fathom, otherwise, why anyone would want to restrict food intake just for the fun of it. By doing so we limit the nutrients we provide our bodies from food, and while this is surely the most natural and effective way of replenishing the body, it’s almost impossible to get 100% of your daily iron requirements, unless of course, you feel like feasting on 8 ounces of raw chicken liver every day. My guess is, unless you’re training for Fear Factor, or you’re one of the true, last of the Mohicans, you probably have no intention of doing so.
Too often guys come up to me at the gym and ask “bro, what do you take?” Youngsters are the best. The look in their eyes, so eager to learn. Glimmering with hope, sprinkled with a delicate desire to blossom into the butterfly they were meant to be, all the while flexing so as to fill their veins with blood in a demonstration of an uncontrollably cute attempt at male dominance. Most of the time they look more like they belong on National Geographic during “frog week” than the gym, but that’s another story.
Where was I? Oh, right. Multivitamins. The answer is boring and while most people expect me to say something extremely cliché within the muscle and fitness world, the truth is, my regimen is stapled by a powerful multivitamin, as should yours. Furthermore, the right multivitamin for males will also contain additional herbs which synergistically help naturally increase testosterone and GABA production while decreasing the effects of estrogen; yes, men produce estrogen too. For women, proper supplementation should include healthy amounts of biotin, beta carotene, and flax seed.
I hope that after my cynical attempt and redirecting some commonly misunderstood information, those of you who found this piece educationally relevant have changed your opinion about what to establish as the cornerstone of your supplementation. Of course, you could just walk into any local vitamin store and listen to the guy behind the counter, who happens to actually not have a gym membership. See my info below. If you have questions, I’ve got answers.
|Vitamin A||Eye sight, immune system functioning.|
|B3/B6/B12||Digestion and energy production, break down of proteins and sugar, increases good cholesterol, aids in cell division and the production of red blood cells.|
|Vitamin C||Strengthens the immune system, protects cells from damage, and produces collagen (connective muscle tissue).|
|Vitamin D||Strengthens bones and teeth, helps break down and absorb calcium.|
|Vitamin E||Antioxidant, helps protect cells from damage and involuntary break down.|
|Folic Acid||Cell development, helps produce red blood cells, and promotes overall heart health.|
|Vitamin K||Helps blood clot and promotes overall bone health.|
|Calcium||Strengthens teeth and bones, supports communication between cells, aids in overall muscle function.|
|Chromium||Insulin production and maintenance of blood sugar levels.|
|Iron||Carries oxygen throughout the body through blood protein and hemoglobin.|
|Magnesium||Improves muscle and nerve function, improves bone strength, and facilitates proper heart rhythm and energy production.|
|Phosphorus||Important in making new bone structure, helps red blood cells deliver oxygen, and aids in overall cell function.|
|Biotin||Strengthens skin, teeth and nails, and aids in the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats into energy stores.|
|Beta Carotene||Overall growth and development, vision, and immune system health.|
|Zinc||Overall immune system health and strengthens the nervous and reproductive systems.|
|Selenium||Helps protect cells from damage and is responsible for thyroid regulation.|
|Potassium||Helps maintain blood sugar, aids in the reduction of muscle cramps, balances water within the body, and acts as a protective factor for the brain.|
|Lycopene||Protects prostate, strengthens cardiovascular system, acts as an antioxidant, and improves eye sight.|
Author: CIRO VISONE