Supplementation is one of the most confusing issues for most athletes and bodybuilders. Finding the right regimen as well as how much and when to take it can be so frustrating that one veers off track on their bodybuilding strategy. Many bodybuilders tend to overlook vitamins because they don’t provide energy like other nutritional components do. But vitamins are absolutely crucial because they support biochemical reactions that cells need for proper metabolism, growth and maintenance.
Virtually any process that revolves around muscle growth and energy production relies heavily on certain vitamins. A deficiency of any one of these vital substances could hugely dent one’s progress. By learning what vitamins are crucial for bodybuilding and properly incorporating them into diet, one can ensure that various bodily systems remain functional and effective.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
This vitamin has been widely studied in sports nutrition and has proven itself to be crucial to bodybuilders in a number of ways. Being an antioxidant, vitamin C prevents muscle cells from getting damaged by free radicals, hence enhancing growth and recovery. Ascorbic acid is involved in the formation and release of steroid hormones like testosterone. It also aids absorption of iron, a blood component that is crucial in the transportation of oxygen to muscles.
Vitamin C is also used in amino acid metabolism, especially in the formation of Collagen. This is the basic constituent of connective tissue that holds muscles and bones together. As one lifts heavy weights, they exert heavy stress on their structure. The connective tissue therefore needs to be sufficiently strong and healthy to reduce the risk of injury.
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
This is essential in protein metabolism, carbohydrate utilization and growth. Although it’s not widely known or discussed in sports nutrition, this vitamin is vital for a good reason. It’s the only vitamin that’s directly linked to protein intake. This, coupled with its role in growth, has a huge implication for bodybuilders.
Also known as Vitamin B1, this is crucial when it comes to growth and protein metabolism. It’s also involved in hemoglobin formation, a protein that transports oxygen throughout the entire body. Thiamine is also one of the few vitamins that boost performance when supplemented.
This plays a vital role in the absorption of phosphorous and calcium. The former is essential for muscular contraction, while the latter is used in the synthesis of a high energy molecule known as ATP. This is used by muscle cells when contracting.
Many of these crucial components of growth and performance are often overlooked in bodybuilding. One thus needs to analyze their diet to ensure they’re taking enough of the essential vitamins. Even with the best diet in the world in terms of calories and fat, one cannot succeed without adequate levels of these metabolic agents.