The road to gains is paved with protein, and other amino acids-based supplements, and that's been very clear. However, vitamins and other minerals your body needs are typically ignored in favour of more protein.
These vitamins aren't just important for your health, but it also impacts your performance, recovery and ability to gain muscle. Once you leave the gym, your body goes into recovery mode, and thats where your body reaps the benefits from the vitamins you consume. Not only do vitamins speed up recovery, they also contribute to how much muscle you can effectively build.
Don't skimp on your diet. Be sure to include these crucial vitamins for optimum gains.
As the most popular vitamin, everyone knows what vitamin C is good for — boosting immunity. And yet, it has a number of benefits for muscle growth and recovery. Vitamin C an antioxidant that defends your muscles against damage from free radicals. It also helps your body create testosterone and anabolic hormones which are imperative to boosting muscle growth. It also improves your body's collagen formation, which protects your joints from sustaining injury, especially while lifting. Take vitamin C and you're bound to feel less sore after a workout too.
Found in: Oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli and more.
People generally don't pay much attention to their vitamin A intake, and for little good reason. Vitamin A is traditionally known to improve eye health, but it is also highly beneficial because it supports protein synthesis — the foundational process your body undergoes to create lean muscle mass. Vitamin A also increases testosterone production, which is crucial as it is your body's most dominant muscle building hormone.
Found in: Beef liver, carrots, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, eggs and more.
When it comes to testosterone production, though, there's none other more important than vitamin D. You can typically get vitamin D from direct exposure to sunlight, which is not an issue in a tropical climate like Singapore, but those stuck in an office all day or living overseas in temperate climates might have to rely on external supplementation. Vitamin D significantly increases testosterone production, and because of this, it is crucial to protein synthesis. You can get as much as a 20% increase in testosterone just by getting a dose of vitamin D.
Found in: Natural sunlight and supplements.
There's a broad spectrum of B vitamins, but the most crucial ones are B6, B12 and folic acid, also known as B9. B vitamins are directly involved with protein metabolism. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin Bs you ought to consume so that your body can convert the ingested protein into lean muscle. The other benefits of B vitamins include aiding your body's production of red blood cells, and improving your immune system, which is related to improving muscle recovery. Also, vitamin Bs can also increase your body's capacity to produce nitric oxide, which is a fantastic help to improving your performance and strength as you train.
Found in: Meat, fish and dairy.
As you exercise, your body does produce free radicals which are toxic. These can accumulate over time, and while they are natural waste products due to energy expenditure, they are nonetheless unhealthy and impairs your performance, decreasing your body's recovery rate. With Vitamin E as an antioxidant, your body flushes out all these toxins, and your muscles sustain less oxidative stress.
Found in: Almonds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado and more.
If you can't keep track of your vitamin intake through whole foods, opt for a multi-vitamin supplement. It's convenient, easy to consume, and easily becomes a part of your daily supplementation routine. See our multivitamin supplements here.
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- October 07, 2017
- Beatrice Bowers