Yes, the best bodybuilding supplements may just be your multi-vitamins.
While supplementation with these micronutrients won’t be directly responsible for putting pounds of muscle on you, having adequate levels will be the base that allows the rest of your nutrition program to be successful.
Without this base, you will not be maximizing your weight gain program’s potential.
As an athlete, your body must have access to all the vital nutrients in order to perform at its maximum potential.
With the goal of building big muscle, you don’t want to take any chances here. All the millions (literally millions and millions) of ongoing biochemical reactions that occur to keep your body functioning at a high level are assisted by the micronutrients.
Processes Positively Influenced By Sufficient Micronutrients
- Protein Synthesis (aids in your body’s ability to use protein to build muscle)
- Hormone Regulation (it would be nice to have a healthy dose of testosterone working with you, eh?)
- Metabolic Regulation (controls such things as energy levels, growth and repair of muscle).
With the above being just a tiny sampling of the role vitamins and minerals can play in helping achieve your gain weight and muscle goals, you can see that multi-vitamins can lay serious claim to being the best bodybuilding supplements.
To even begin to list all the benefits that can be attained from getting the proper mix of vitamins and minerals, for everyone and in particular for the bodybuilder, would take a book of a thousand plus pages and have all of us asleep by page six.
Your first dollar spent on supplementation should be on making sure you have adequate coverage for the best bodybuilding supplements – the micronutrients.
What To Take and How Much To Take
A quality multi-vitamin should be enough to satisfy most trainers’ vitamin and mineral needs. Trainers who are using meal replacements may be able to skip the multi-vitamins (quality meal replacements usually include an impressive array of micronutrients).
Some multi-vitamins provide basically the RDA. Others go beyond these guidelines and provide vitamin and mineral amounts that are many times beyond the RDA in an attempt to increase the antioxidant and general health benefits to be derived from the nutrients. It is these multi-vitamins that should be of the most interest to the athlete.
Outside of those who, without supporting evidence, predict doom for those who go much beyond the RDA in vitamin supplementation, most would agree that placing excess stress on the body such as is done in intense weight training will require a need for additional vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Just how much additional need for micronutrients is created by the athlete in order to maintain optimal performance is a highly debated topic. You can find a wide range of theories and amateur prescriptions on all of the micronutrients but there lacks sufficient study to give an absolute standard.
On the two extremes, you have the vitamin freaks who spend half their days popping the things and then you have those who fervently maintain that you get all the micronutrients you need from a good diet.
Rest assured, as with most things, the truth lies somewhere in between the extremes.
Understand, though, that to maximize your weight and muscle gain potential, you DO NOT want to minimize your intake of vitamins and minerals. Do not be led astray by the contentions of some that a good diet is adequate for vitamins and minerals. Considering today’s food sources, this idea is outdated or unreasonable at best.
On the other hand, in order to maintain their title as the best bodybuilding supplements, you don’t want to excessively supplement with vitamins and minerals. To do so would wreck your bodybuilding budget as well as have you wasting time popping pills. It could also prove harmful.
Hey, what about the RDA? (Recommended Dietary Allowance)
The RDA is a guideline for the amount of vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain health for the average person. Achieving the RDA by diet or supplementation should leave you relatively comfortable that outside of disease or inherent difficulties you should stay clear of any problems associated with deficiencies.
The purpose of the RDA is not to determine the amount of micronutrients for optimal health. And it follows that the RDA is not an attempt to determine the necessary micronutrients for top athletic performance.
What Makes For a Quality Vitamin?
All vitamin supplements are not created equal.
- The ability of the vitamin to be absorbed.
- The purity of the ingredients.
You are not likely to find a vitamin manufacturer who doesn’t claim their vitamins are easily absorbed or their raw materials are of the greatest quality. There is no mandate that the vitamin content shown on the label be the actual content in the vitamin. 1000mg of vitamin C can mean 800mg of vitamin C and 200mg of sugars.
Really, for the most part, nobody’s checking.
Most vitamins are made with the assistance of lubricants. These lubricants keep the machines going and the costs down. They also inhibit absorption. Additives and preservatives can also affect absorption. To get your vitamins completely free of these contaminants can be quite costly and probably won’t justify the cost.
So where does this leave you? Blah, blah, blah.
- Leave this stuff to the vitamin freaks. Realize that brand X vitamin may not be your best buy even if it lists the same contents on its label as the slightly more expensive brand Y (buy at reasonable cost, not least expensive… there is always a reason for cheap).
- Accept the fact that your vitamin may not contain the exact contents it claims. And your body may not absorb all that it does contain.
- Buy from a company with a good reputation, a company you can trust.
In other words, don’t get hung up on this stuff, just take a quality multi-vitamin, your best bodybuilding supplements and…
Get To Building Muscle Instead
What about the various specific vitamins and minerals bodybuilders supplement with?
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, the B-Complex Vitamins and Calcium are some of the popular choices for bodybuilders who decide to increase their vitamin intake beyond a multi-vitamin.
You can learn more about the roles these vitamins play in the muscle building process and why it can be particularly critical to make sure you are supplying your body with adequate supplies of them here – More on Bodybuilding Vitamins.