You’ve got the basics covered, right? Whey protein at breakfast and before the gym, a pre-workout with creatine and caffeine, BCAAs while you train, glutamine when you’re done and a casein protein shake at bedtime. Sports nutrition supplements support all your efforts, but without a clean diet to supply the nutrients your body needs, you’re not going to get very far. It’s always best to fuel up with vitamins, minerals and other essentials from real food, but for back up, bodybuilders should consider taking a multivitamin.
Why multis matter
Whether you’re a bodybuilder, athlete or just someone serious about fitness, your increased activity levels mean you have different nutritional needs than the average non-active person. Multivitamins make it easy to get the essentials, with some formulas supplying even more””antioxidants, digestive enzymes, amino acids and phytonutrients””for complete coverage of what your diet may be lacking.
What to look for
Think any old multi off the store shelves will do? Think again. You want to give your hardworking body a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals at optimal levels””in forms that are easy to recognize and digest. While all A to Z nutrients are important for health, bodybuilders may want to pay particular attention to the following:
Vitamins A and D
Why? Both contribute to bone health, and vitamin D supports proper immune function.*
Vitamins B6 and B12
Why? B vitamins are needed for healthy metabolism (the body’s process of converting food into energy). B6 is needed for the function of enzymes involved in protein metabolism, and B12 is essential for energy production and carbohydrate metabolism.*
Why? It’s not made or stored by your body, so getting vitamin C through diet is crucial. Besides helping to repair of body tissues and supporting healthy immune function, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals, which are harmful compounds generated during exercise.*
Calcium, magnesium and zinc
Why? Zinc is an essential mineral that also functions as an antioxidant.* Calcium and magnesium are important for bone health, while magnesium also helps support normal muscle and nerve function.*
Why? This essential trace mineral is necessary for normal protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism.*
When to take your multi
Because some of the nutrients in multivitamins, such as vitamin D, are fat soluble, they’re best absorbed when taken with a meal that includes a small amount of healthy fat (olive oil, nuts, nut butters, etc.). Get in the habit of taking your multi right after one of your main meals of the day, and you’ll be well on your way to having a solid nutritional foundation to support your bodybuilding goals.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.