Monthly Archives: August 2016
You’ve seen the headlines. One day no one needs to take vitamins, the next day, it turns out everyone needs them.
Just how important is it to take vitamins anyway and which ones are we to choose for best results?
If you’re a high performance athlete then you know you can be more vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies than the average person.
Bodybuilders and other athletes place a heavy demand on their bodies and often restrict certain nutrients/foods to get lean. But doing this can actually create a barrier between you and that muscle growth you’re striving for.
So if you’re struggling with muscle growth, energy replenishment or even positive performance outcomes then you might just have a poor micronutrient intake.
WHAT ARE MICRONUTRIENTS?
Micronutrients, which include vitamins, minerals and additional co-factors such as co-enzymes, are essential to life. Micronutrients make myriad biochemical processes happen. Pound down all the protein and carbs you want but chances are if your micros are not in the correct balance, you can forget about building quality muscle.
Frequently neglected among athletes are vitamins. There are 13 in the human body: 4 fat-soluble (A, D, E and K – stored in the body for long periods) and 9 water-soluble (8 B-vitamins and C – rapidly flushed from the body and excreted in urine).
As of 2009 more than 2 billion people globally were affected by micronutrient deficiency.14With 50% of the general population at risk of vitamin D deficiency2 and 1 in 4 adults deficient in vitamin B12 it is clear that even in developed countries, the right nutrient balance can be very difficult to achieve.9
People with no vitamin deficiency symptoms, many believe they are getting their required vitamin intake through a well-balanced diet. But such diets are, in reality, less than optimal.
Related: Top 5 Supplements You Need to Be Taking
In fact, over time, the suboptimal intake of vitamins may result in a breakdown of the cellular metabolism required for the proper growth and functioning of bodily tissues and organs. Disease and illness may result. Physical capabilities will certainly decline.
Some people are at greater risk of vitamin deficiency. For example, aging populations are less capable of absorbing vital nutrients. In addition, athletes continue to suffer micronutrient depletion due to the rigors of intensive training.
Those vulnerable to vitamin deficiencies may simply choose to increase their intake of wholesome foods. While a well-balanced diet devoid of processed foods undoubtedly provides a solid foundation for continued good health, such an approach can still lead to subclinical vitamin deficiencies.
Today’s farming practices and pest control measures have been shown to significantly reduce the mineral content of soil and the vitamin content of produce.15, 16 Un-ripened fruits also lack certain nutrients. Processing and preservation can strip fruit and vegetables of valuable vitamins.