Is taking a multivitamin really necessary to work out at your peak potential? Even with an excellent diet, your fit body won’t be able to maintain itself without taking in the high levels of essential nutrients you’ll find in expertly designed multivitamins like Feel.
- Take a daily multivitamin to make sure that you don’t get vitamin deficiencies, which could make it hard to summon the energy to exercise every day
- Observing a good diet and taking a daily supplement can give you more energy to meet your fitness goals
- Remember that your body needs more than just protein to build and maintain muscle
- Taking a multivitamin every day can fight back against loss of bone density and improve your recovery times
- Check in with your GP or sports doctor to get a better idea of how much of each essential vitamin and mineral you need to consume on a daily basis to meet your fitness goals
There are lots of reasons why you should take a multivitamin every day. Your body need vitamins and minerals to protect you from disease and keep your days and nights running smoothly.
From a fitness enthusiast’s perspective, however, there are three reasons why you should take a multivitamin every morning before you work out: Vitamin deficiencies can ruin your workout, you can’t build muscle with protein alone, and nutrients also improve your recovery times. In this guide, we’ll give you all the important details on these three benefits of multivitamins for workout champions.
1. Vitamin Deficiencies Sap Your Energy
Your body uses systems called metabolic pathways1 to deliver energy throughout your body. These pathways consist of various vitamins, minerals, and other substances that essentially relay energy from your lungs, stomach, and other intake organs to your muscles, tendons, and other active, moving body parts.
When you become deficient in essential vitamins and minerals, your metabolic pathways get blocked, which means that your body becomes incapable of delivering energy to where it’s needed most. To sum it up, vitamin deficiencies make your body work harder to make muscle tissue, and they significantly decrease your energy levels. Here are some examples of the vitamin and mineral deficiencies that can destroy your metabolism and make you too tired to work out:
Your blood is the vital pathway that your body uses to deliver energy throughout your tissues. Left without freshly circulated blood for just a few minutes, your bodily tissues will start to die, and decreased red blood cell counts harm your entire body.
A component in your blood called hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen through your body, and your body can’t create hemoglobin without a type of iron called heme iron2. Unfortunately, plants don’t contain heme iron, which means you’ll need to supplement with heme iron if you’re a vegan or vegetarian. Even if you eat plenty of meat, you still might want to supplement with heme iron to avoid the fitness-killing effects of anemia.
According to some estimates, anemia affects up to one-quarter of the world’s population3, and this condition can have disastrous effects. Anemia is when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to properly energise your body, and the results of this condition include fatigue, dizziness, and muscle weakness.
Anemia can also decrease your brain functioning4, and it weakens your immune system. If you want to stay sharp and on top of your game, getting plenty of iron in your diet is the only way to go.
Not only does iodine deficiency cause weight gain5, but it might also depress you so much that you won’t feel like working out. To operate effectively, your thyroid gland needs plenty of iodine, and without enough of this essential mineral, all your body’s rhythms get thrown out of whack.
Your thyroid gland controls your metabolism. From the beating of your heart to the digestion of food, this butterfly-shaped gland in your neck determines how fast everything is done in your body.
When you don’t consume enough iodine every day, you get a condition called hypothyroidism, which slows down your metabolism and causes you to gain weight. Hypothyroidism also slows down your heart rate, which causes energy-carrying hemoglobin to circulate through your body more slowly. Iodine deficiency fights back against your fitness goals by robbing your energy and killing your motivation.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vegan and vegetarian fitness buffs need to be especially careful to get enough vitamin B12 every day. This essential vitamin is only found in meat sources, which means that people who don’t eat animal products will have to supplement with vitamin B12 to stick to their fitness goals. Some estimates suggest that more than 85 percent of vegans and vegetarians are B12-deficient6.
When you don’t have enough vitamin B12, your body won’t be able to make enough blood. As a result, you could develop a type of vitamin B12 anemia called megaloblastic anemia, which is just as dangerous as iron anemia. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also decrease your nervous system functioning and cause neuropsychiatric diseases7, which could pose serious setbacks to your fitness goals.
The main symptom of magnesium deficiency isn’t decreased energy or muscle weakness. This type of deficiency is more well-known for increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and heart disease.
However, magnesium deficiency also causes metabolic syndrome8, which leads to slower metabolism and increased body fat. Fulfilling your fitness goals might not be your primary motivation for getting plenty of magnesium every day, but avoiding deficiency in this essential mineral will certainly improve your ability to exercise effectively.
THE BOTTOM LINE: You need lots of energy to stick to your fitness goals. Don’t ruin your workout routine by becoming deficient in essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Your Body Needs Nutrients to Build Muscle
Pop culture may have taught you that all you need to build muscle is lots of protein, but generating long-lasting, strong muscle is more complicated than just loading up on whey protein powder and calling it good. Your body actually needs a few different vitamins and minerals to make muscle, and without these nutrients, all your protein-binging will be for naught.
You may already understand that you need lots of calcium to maintain healthy bones and teeth, but your body also needs calcium to promote proper muscle contraction9. When you don’t have enough calcium in your system, your body has to work overtime to contract your muscles, which can cause tissue damage. If calcium deficiency becomes too severe, you could become incapable of flexing your muscles at all.
Your body needs biotin to transform fat and protein into energy10. Without enough biotin in your system, your metabolism will slow down, and your energy levels will decrease.
Copper serves a lot of purposes in the human body. For your purposes as a fitness enthusiast, however, the most important fact about copper you need to know is that this mineral serves a vital role in keeping your tendons strong and healthy11.
Your body uses zinc to make testosterone12. Whether you’re a man or a woman, your muscles need testosterone to grow, which means you’ll need to take plenty of zinc to keep your muscles firm. Your body also uses zinc in muscle recovery13, which means you’ll need to replenish your systemic levels of this essential mineral if you want your muscles to recover effectively.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Essential nutrients aren’t only necessary for fighting back against energy-sucking deficiencies. Your body also needs nutrients every time you work out to provide your body with proper energy.
3. Getting Plenty of Nutrients Helps You Recover and Protects Your Tissues
Getting buff is only half the battle; if your body can’t adequately recover after you exercise, you will have thrown your workout out the window. Studies show that supplementing with vitamin D helps your muscles recover14 after you work out, and getting adequate levels of vitamin D also protects you from muscle weakness.
If you remain deficient in vitamin D for too long, you could lose bone density, which can be disastrous for fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes. Even though they seem hard as rocks, your bones are made from tissues similar to those that compose the rest of your body, and when you work out, you damage your bones.
Decreased bone density harms the ability of your bones to recover from exercise. Prolonged vitamin D deficiency could even lead to osteoporosis, which would cause your bones to break during a strenuous workout.
Your body also needs plenty of calcium to keep you from losing bone density. Especially as you age, calcium deficiency can cause osteoporosis15 since your body needs calcium to replenish your bone tissues. According to one survey, however, less than 15 percent of girls and less than 10 percent of women16 consume the amount of calcium your body requires each day to prevent bone loss.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Don’t rely on an average diet and fortified foods to provide you with all the vitamin D you need. As a fitness buff, you’ll need to supplement with a safe multivitamin like Feel to give your bones and muscles the support they need.