Vitamins are an essential component of a healthy balanced diet to ensure your body functions at its optimal ability. Active people require more vitamins as certain nutrients are vital for your muscles to work efficiently, and exercise increases the loss of some minerals, mostly through sweat. So being active could mean your stores are totally tapped out.
However despite the abundance of food options available these days, getting the recommended daily allowance of vitamins remains tough as few meals contain the full spectrum of vitamins we need. This is especially true for people on a calorie restricted diet as the vitamins in food vary in concentration so it might require a lot of food to get the full recommended daily allowance, making diets tough.
Vitamin supplements are a great option to to make sure you get your recommended daily requirements with the added benefit of skipping the added calories. We've done the research and here's a concise list of the five best vitamins you can take to keep you healthy as you go along your fitness journey.
What it does: Helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorous for stronger, healthier bones. This lowers the risk of joint pains, especially for those who participate in intense sports or bodybuilding.
Where to get it: Vitamin D is innately manufactured within your body when exposed to natural sunlight. Aside from that, fortified milk, eggs, salmon and shrimp contain Vitamin D in small doses.
What it does: Vitamin E is essential for helping your muscles repair and recover after a workout. It is also an antioxidant, allowing your immune system to keep healthy.
Where to get it: Almonds, papaya, spinach and olives are excellent sources for Vitamin E, but the best way to achieve it is to eat a cupful of sunflower seeds — that alone equates to 90% of your daily requirements, and it's a low-calorie snack too.
What it does: If you exercise regularly, biotin is essential. It helps your body fully maximise the nutrients from the food you consume, and keeps your red blood cell count constant, so your body receives a steady supply of oxygen.
Where to get it: It is commonly found in multivitamins, as not many foods contain high enough quantities of biotin required by your body.
What it does: As the most common vitamin, C helps you strengthen your immune system, and fight off viruses when you're unwell. It is an antioxidant that protects your body from free radicals, as well as ensure proper connectivity between your muscle tendons and bones.
Where to get it: Contrary to popular belief, orange juice does not contain copious amounts of Vitamin C. You're better off eating broccoli, strawberries, papayas, or taking a Vitamin C supplement. See the Vitamin C supplements we have on offer here.
What it does: Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, is a water-soluble B-vitamin that helps your body break down protein, fats and carbs, ensuring your body maximises the nutrients it obtains. You need B2, especially if you're eating a diet catered for competition, as well as bettering certain physique or performance goals.
Where to get it: Calf's liver is incredibly rich in Vitamin B2, but it isn't to everyone's tastes. Milk is a more palatable option.
With the plethora of options available, when in doubt go with a Multivitamin. They are formulated to cover a large range of the vitamins that you need in a convenient format that you can take any time of day. See the Multivitamin supplements we have on offer here.
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