If you’re not on the right diet, your workout will only have a limited effect. Amazingly, many people don’t realzse that what they put in their bodies directly relates to the progress they see in the gym. That’s why we’ve collected the most crucial vitamins that should be in your diet.
Take a look through this guide and see if there’s anything integral you’re missing. It might just help you over that hurdle you’ve been trying to pass.
First and foremost, there are several vitamins necessary for the development of your body that are almost exclusively found in animal products. If you’re on a vegan diet, you’ll need to resort to taking supplements to replace the natural sources of these vitamins.
Exercise creates oxidative stress, causing free radicals to wreak havoc on your body. Thankfully antioxidants are able to prevent any detrimental effects of these free radicals. Vitamin C just so happens to be jam-packed full of antioxidants, which make it excellent at protecting your body. Not only that, but it also helps with strengthening the immune system and repairing damaged tissue.
Vitamin C is ideal for combating any negative effects that could damage your body, and is most commonly found in citrus fruits. Of course, if this isn’t something already in your diet you can either switch it up or take liposomal Vitamin C supplements. A severe Vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy, which if left untreated can be fatal.
While all the B vitamins are beyond beneficial for your body (especially for promoting muscular development and fitness) there are a couple which your body needs more than the others. These are the vitamins B2 and B12.
Vitamin B12 has a multitude of uses in the body. It’s used to make red blood cells, retrieve the energy from our food, keep our nervous system healthy, and use folate (Vitamin B9, also used for building red blood cells and limiting the risk of certain birth defects). Not only is B12 essential for keeping the body in optimal condition, but a lack of it can cause a whole host of negative effects including mouth ulcers, muscle weakness, disturbed vision and cognitive issues.
Vitamin B12 is one of the aforementioned nutrients found almost entirely in animal products (including meat, fish, dairy and eggs). Alternative methods of getting sufficient B12 can be from some specialised fortified breakfast cereals, or through B12 supplements.
Needed to help your body’s immune system fight against illnesses and infections, Vitamin A is also needed to keep your skin and bones healthy, while also promoting bone synthesis. Vitamin A is also responsible for helping your eyes to see in low light conditions.
Unfortunately, it is possible for the levels of Vitamin A in our bodies to be reduced. Drinking significant amounts of alcohol, low-fat diets, and even diabetes (and some other illnesses) can result in a reduced concentration of Vitamin A.
While Vitamin A is predominantly found in oily fish, eggs and dairy products, your body can also create Vitamin A from Beta-Carotene (which is found in spinach, carrots, peppers, and mangoes). As long as your diet is balanced and varied, you should be able to get enough Vitamin A from the food you eat without having to rely on supplementation.
While Calcium is a mineral and not a vitamin, the two often go hand in hand. We all know that Calcium is used to build strong bones and teeth. However, were you also aware that it is used to ensure your blood clots properly? Or that it regulates muscle contractions, such as your heartbeat?
With regards to exercise, you need strong bones as well as strong muscles in order to keep building your strength and fitness. Making sure you have enough calcium in your diet is one way to ascertain that you can keep progressing. On the other hand, not getting enough Calcium can lead to Osteoporosis, which is also known as brittle and fragile bones.
Calcium can be integrated into your diet through a number of means, including milk and other dairy products, leafy greens (such as kale and spinach), sardines, and calcium-fortified bread and soy.
Vitamin B2 (or Riboflavin) is the vitamin necessary for extracting the energy from the food we eat – but that isn’t its only use. Vitamin B2 is instrumental in keeping various organs healthy (like our skin, eyes and nervous system), and reducing muscle soreness. It’s these properties that make it so useful when taken prior to exercise.
The additional energy and reduced soreness allow athletes to train harder, with a shorter rest period between sessions. Likewise, if you wish to improve your fitness, then using Vitamin B2 to aid in your recovery should increase your rate of progress.
Like Vitamin B12, it can be difficult to get enough Riboflavin if you avoid animal products. This is because the primary sources for it are in milk, eggs, and yoghurt. You can, however, find B2 in both mushrooms and fortified breakfast cereals, though Riboflavin supplements can aid with this if you don’t have enough in your diet.
Getting a wide range of vitamins and minerals is essential to develop and maintain a healthy body. The best way to accomplish that is by eating a balanced and varied diet, which includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, fruit, and vegetables.
Limiting your diet can result in not getting the required nutrients to maintain a healthy body. While supplements can help correct this, you may have to consume several different supplements to compensate for a gap in your diet.