Bodybuilding Vitamins – During bodybuilding, everyone focuses on eating right and juggling the three important food groups just right. But, somewhere in this race to get ahead and focusing on the macronutrients, we lose out on the micro (vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids). Although there are countless sites crawling the internet giving advice on the ‘perfect’ combination of supplements, the vitamins that must be taken during bodybuilding are vastly different. This is because while training, a lot of vitamins and minerals are lost as sweat. If not replaced soon, the body will not be able to rehydrate and set back the training process by weeks. Muscle growth will slow down and serious health issues can also occur.
Here, we’ll list ten essential micronutrients that you must include in your diet:
Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Importance: This is a water-soluble vitamin that is needed for maintaining the Central Nervous System (CNS). The CNS stimulates muscles and brings about muscle co-ordination. As it is water soluble, it cannot be stored in the body for long and hence must be taken externally
Source: This can only be obtained from foods derived from animals products like milk, curd, etc.
Importance: Being a water-soluble B vitamin, even this needs to be replaced via your diet. Biotion is necessary for metabolizing amino acids, and producing energy.
Source: Biotin can be found in chicken egg yolks, kidney, milk, berries, and carrots.
Vitamin A (Retinol)
Importance: This group of compounds plays an important role in bone growth, vision, cell division, cell differentiation, and reproduction. These also help regulate the immune system by aiding the production of white blood cells.
Source: Chicken eggs, milk, cheese, and liver
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
Importance: Vitamins of the group help the body to convert food into energy, assisting the body in the metabolism of protein and fat. This is water soluble, and thus must be harvested regularly from your diet.
Sources: Vitamin B12 can be found mushrooms, organ meats, shellfish and chicken egg yolks. 30% of your daily Vitamin B2 requirement can be sourced from one 250ml glass of milk.
Importance: Vitamin E has antioxidant properties, which is to say that they basically protect your cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. They can also contribute to cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Sources: Vitamin E can be found in fortified breakfast cereals, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Importance: Like other B Vitamins, Vitamin B3 releases energy from protein, carbohydrate, and fat. It is involved in around 60 metabolic processes, like controlling blood sugar levels, maintaining healthy skin and the function of the Digestive and Central Nervous Systems.
Source: dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, and eggs
Importance: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is produced by the body when ultraviolet rays from the sun come into contact with the skin. It is needed for absorbing Phosphorus and Calcium, and for healthy bone growth.
Source: Is found in Sardines, yogurt, milk, liver, salmon, mackerel and eggs. Exposure to the sun is essential for this vitamin to work.
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)
Importance: This vitamin is needed for protein synthesis and growth. Being water soluble, it needs to be regularly replenished in the body. Due to its functions, the amount of Vitamin B1 that the body needs is proportional to the amount of training that you undergo. As its intensity and duration increases, so should the amount of this vitamin
Source: Vitamin B1 is to be found in nuts, bananas, bread, spinach, liver, beef, and pork.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
Importance: This is the only vitamin directly related to the protein intake. The more protein you consume, the more of this vitamin you should add to your diet.
Source: Vitamin B6 is present in chickpeas, beef liver, yellowfin tuna, salmon, bananas, and spinach.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Importance: This vitamin is responsible for growth and recovery in muscle cells. As you gain muscle mass, that amount of Vitamin C that you need to take in will increase. This also helps produce collagen in the body that helps supports and connects bodily tissues. So, if this vitamin is not present in adequate amounts, intensive weight loss – training will put your body under a lot of stress, thereby increasing the chances of injury.
Source: High quantities of citrus fruit and fruit juices should give you the amount of Vitamin C that you need
4 COMMON MYTHS ABOUT BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENTS
Myth #1: Whey Protein Makes You Fat
The Truth – Whey protein certainly doesn’t make you fat. Like with any food item, only eating an excessive amount of it can make you gain weight. When consumed in adequate amounts every day, it will ensure maximum muscle gains. At the same time, not eating enough proteins will harm your body by making it difficult for it to add muscles.
Myth #2: Creatine Causes Massive Weight Gain
THE TRUTH: Creatine is present naturally in the human body. Its primary use is that of an energy source. It pulls water with it into the muscle cell, making them grow in size. Such cells tend to be healthy and can actually make your muscles look bigger.
The reason for this myth is that most people bunch a creatine supplement with carbohydrates when creatine can cause subcutaneous water gain.
Myth #3: All Protein Powder Is the Same
TRUTH: There are many different types of protein powders available for consumption: soy, casein, egg and whey (among many others). As each of these powders work a little differently, and each kind of protein has a different amount of carb, fat, cholesterol, and calories in it, we advise you to choose one that is right for what you wish to achieve and is also easy on the pocket.
Myth #4: Fruit Is The Healthiest Snack Ever That Can Never Make You Fat
TRUTH: Fruits have a lot of easily accessible carbs, which when presented in excess quantities to you body will make it stop burning fat for fuel. Thus, a lot of fruits can actually make you gain and not lose weight.
FEMALE BODYBUILDING SUPPLEMENTS
Women who are bodybuilding are in equal need of supplements like their men counterparts. Figuring out which supplements to the club with which diet and what other supplements can very well be called a science in itself. So, given below are five essential supplements that every who is weight training should incorporate in her diet.
Proteins boost muscle synthesis. Although your diet has protein sources like chicken and legumes, if not bolstered with protein powder, muscle gain will be slow. After workouts, getting protein to your muscles as fast as possible will directly increase the chances and efficiency of muscle growth. Latest research shows that a combination of whey and casein proteins directly after working out spurs the greatest increases in lean muscle mass.
Directions: 30 minutes before training, take 10-15 grams of protein; immediately after training, take 20-30 grams.
This can withot doubt be called one of the most popular supplements ever. This is produced naturally by muscles and leads to the development of fat-free mass. It also increases endurance and helps make your muscles look ‘full’ at the end of a workout.
Directions: 30 minutes before training, take 3-5 grams of creatine; immediately after training, take another 3-5 gram.
#3 Zinc Magnesium Aspartate (ZMA)
The amount of diet that a normal diet provides is just not enough. Studies performed indicate that people who took this supplement experienced increased amounts of two muscle-boosting hormones: testosterone and Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1). Also, zinc is known to be involved in protein synthesis, and magnesium works on the pathways influencing muscle growth. A point to be taken care of in the dosage is that the upper limit of zinc and magnesium in the body is 40mg and 350 mg, resp. Take care not to exceed that via your supplements.
Directions: Before bed, take two capsules of standardized ZMA, which will deliver 20 mg of zinc and 300 mg of magnesium.
#4 Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
This refers to three essential amino acids that have a similar molecular structure and are taken together for optimal effect. Of the three—isoleucine, leucine and valine—leucine is the most effective when it comes to muscle building because it increases the production of insulin while boosting protein synthesis. Taking all three together is highly recommended because they’re easily converted to glucose, which gives you a helpful extra surge of energy while exercising.
Directions: Pre- and post-workout, start off by taking 2—3 g BCAAs per dose and slowly increase the dosage to 5 grams.
A month after adding BCAAs, add the following supplement to the cocktail.
This is a gas produced in our body itself that dilates blood vessels. Wider blood vessels mean more blood flow, which translates directly to more nutrients, supplements and most importantly oxygen getting to the muscles. But, you can’t just pop a NO pill and wait for miracles to occur. To increase your NO levels, you have to take arginine, an amino acid that the body breaks down into another amino acid, called citrulline, and NO together.
Directions: Pre- and post-workout, take 2—3 grams of arginine.