Sunday, 16 November 2014

13. Best Vitamins and Minerals for Body Builders

 Many bodybuilders give little thought to those elements in their diets that don't provide calories. That's a big mistake, because your diet contains plenty of vital components that do more than just provide energy, like supporting muscle tissue, enhancing growth, etc. In fact, these nutrients, called micronutrients, may be more important for bodybuilders than calorie producing nutrients precisely because of these other physiological functions.

Ok, sure, they probably work out with heavier weights and more likely than not are genetically gifted for bodybuilding, but if you get a chance to hang around the greatest athletes in the sport, you come to realize that it's their concern for the little things, like dietary and training details, that separates them from the average Joe in the gym.

These details include really warming up before a workout, actually weighing food, planning the day's meal in advance and so on. From studying many of these athletes, it's easy to conclude that this attention to seemingly insignificant minutiae is what makes great bodybuilders stand out from the rest. Let's have a look on best vitamins and minerals for body builders.

13. Best Vitamins and Minerals for Body Builders

1. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Enhances recovery and growth in muscle cells. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant.Involved in the formation of Collagen, the primary constituent in connective tissue (connective tissue holds your bones and muscles together). As you lift heavier weights, you put more stress on your structure. If your connective tissue is not as strong as it should be you have a much higher risk of injury. Helps in the absorption of Iron. With an Iron deficiency, the amount of oxygen that gets bonded to hemoglobin in the blood decreases and muscular performance is greatly reduced. Diffuses very rapidly in water. Since a muscle cell is mostly water, the more muscular an athlete becomes, the more vitamin C disperses and the lower the concentration of this critical substance becomes in body tissues. So vitamin C requirements are greatly increased for bodybuilders. Finally: Vitamin C assists in the formation and release of steroid hormones, including the anabolic hormone testosterone. Dietary sources: The largest sources of vitamin C are present in citrus fruits and fruit juices.

2. Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Involved in 3 main processes: 1) Glucose metabolism, 2) Oxidation of fatty acids, and 3) The shuttling of Hydrogen through the Krebs cycle (also known as the citric acid cycle where certain molecules are broken down into energy in the form of ATP).? For bodybuilding purposes, riboflavin is related to protein metabolism. There is a strong relationship between lean body mass and dietary riboflavin. ? Foods rich in riboflavin: liver, almonds, soy nuts, shellfish, milk and other dairy products, and eggs.

3. Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

Protein metabolism, growth and carbohydrate utilization are all made possible in part by the presence of vitamin B6. Like Thiamine, studies on Pyridoxine in athletic performance show a definite increased need for athletes and possible performance enhancement from supplementation. The vitamin makes the number two spot for a very good reason: It's the only vitamin directly tied to protein intake. The more protein you eat, the more Pyridoxine you need. Of course, this, coupled with Pyridoxine's role in growth, had profound implications for bodybuilders, though it is generally not known or discussed in sports nutrition circles.

4. Vitamin E

Used in protection of cell membranes since it is a powerful antioxidant. Recuperation and growth of muscle cells is dependant on healthy cell membranes. Vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fortified cereals are the most common food sources of Vitamin E.

5. Vitamin D

? Vitamin D is necessary in the absorption of Calcium and Phosphorus. If adequate stores of Calcium are not available in the muscle, full and hard muscular contractions will not be achieved. ? Quick, powerful muscular contractions are provided by Phosphorus. Phosphorus is also required for the synthesis of ATP. ? Dietary sources: No-fat or low fat MILK.

6. Cobalamin (vitamin B12)

Although the functions of vitamin B12 are numerous, those important to bodybuilders include carbohydrate metabolism and maintenance of nervous system tissue (the spinal cord and nerves that carry signals from the brain to muscle tissues). Stimulation of muscles via nerves is a critical step in the contraction, coordination and growth of muscles.

Vitamin B12 is available only from foods of animal origin; therefore,it is very important for athletes following a strict vegetarian diet to consult a physician about vitamin B12 supplementation. In fact, B12 shots are popular with countless athletes, vegetarians and nonvegetarians alike, many of who swear it helps them perform better.

7. Vitamin K - recommended intake 125 mcg/day

Essential for blood clotting functions and helps strengthen bones.

Best sources of vitamin K are: green leafy vegetables, fruit, dairy products, and grain products.

8. Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps with vision. Important in the synthesis of protein (muscle growth!!!).
Involved in the production of Glycogen (the body?s form of energy for high intensity activities). Very important for contest preparation. Dietary sources: there are many, see the link below and click on (at the top, under table of contents) ?What foods provide vitamin A.? Notice that milk is mentioned again. So far out of 5, milk is mentioned in 4 of the main vitamins? Coincidence? I think not?

9. Iron

 You may be aware that the mineral Iron is a constituent of hemoglobin and is responsible for oxygen transport and, indirectly, subsequent oxidative energy production. What does this have to do with bodybuilding? Well, your ability to recover between sets is related to the efficiency of your aerobics system. The more oxygen you can supply to your working muscles, the quicker your muscles can recover in time for another hard set.

Moreover, Iron is particularly critical for female bodybuilders. Women lose some Iron in their menstrual flow every month. As well, female weight trainers, who typically don't consume much red meat, which is high in  iron, may not readily replace vulnerable iron stores. Therefore, female bodybuilders run the risk of anemia if they're not careful about iron intake.

10. Potassium

This mineral is an important electrolyte found within muscle cells and works closely with sodium to regulate body water levels. As well, Potassium plays a critical role in facilitating the electrical potentials across nerve and muscle cells that result in muscle contraction. Potassium is even involved in glycogen storage (for high intensity muscular energy). A poor potassium / sodium balance can lead to improper fluid levels, dehydration, muscle cramps and weakness. Fortunately, dietary intake of potassium is generally not a problem for most people, but bodybuilders should become familiar with its role and the foods where it can be found.

11. Folic Acid

Folic Acid Helps To Prevent Neural Tube Birth Defects. Folic acid is an especially important vitamin for females who are expecting or who are trying to become pregnant because it helps to prevent neural tube birth defects. In addition to this, it will also help with the reproduction of new cells in the body and prevent anemia.

Where To Get It: One cup of lentils proves to be a very good source of folic acid providing almost 90% of your daily needs. Other food sources for this nutrient include pinto beans, asparagus, spinach, and black beans.

12.  Zinc

 Think Zinc for growth. That's right, the mineral zinc is involved in virtually all phases of growth. Even more critical for bodybuilders, studies have shown that high intensity exercise stimulates excessive zinc loss. Further, diets of some athletes have been found to be low in zinc. This potential double edged sword, excess loss coupled with possible low intakes, moves zinc into our number three position. If you're not mindful of your zinc intake, your growth may be stymied.

13. Vanadium
This is a nonelectrolyte mineral that has received much recent attention in the bodybuilding community due to the perceived effects of one of its salt forms, vanadyl sulfate. Vanadium is to sea creature what iron is to humans; it makes a jellyfish's blood green like iron makes our blood red. Although the vast majority of research on Vanadium supplementation has been carried out on diabetic rats, the published results tend to show a promising glycogen storing effect on muscle tissue. This may explain the subjective analysis of some bodybuilders who swear the feel 'harder' after taking vanadyl sulfate. Problem is, we really don't know much yet about vanadyl sulfate's effects on athletic performance. Nor do we know much about the long term effects of supplementation with vanadium salt, but there is a theoretical mechanism of action and at least some promise.