I see all types of claims for every supplement and vitamin under the sun.
What are the basic vitamins that one should take when actively working out (cardio and weights) to help stay healthy.
- Vitamin C ?
- Other ??
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If you eat a balanced diet rich with fruits and vegetables you probably don't even need a multivitamin or other supplements. Recently there even has been controversy on the safety of multivitamins in general.
I personally take a multi-vitamin, 2-3 mgs of fish oil a day, and 3000-5000iu vitamin D. I occasionally supplement with an electrolytes drink that contains vitamin C such as Emergen-C.
Overall, it will really vary from person to person. I don't get a lot of sun exposure which is why I take such a high dose of vitamin D, on the other hand, someone who works all day in the sun probably wouldn't even need to supplement it.
At the end, supplements will never replace real food. A lot of them don't really do anything, some have a minor effect, but at the end what matters a lot more is your actual lifestyle.
Zinc - 30mg a day for testosterone replenishing. Zinc is diminished easily through a workout.
Protein - bodyweight in pounds x 1gram. ex if you weigh 150lbs take 150 grams protein per day. naturally or in supplement form. EVERYDAY, EVEN ON YOUR OFF DAYS.
Omega 3 - Cardiovascular health
B Complex Vitamin - Metabolizing fats proteins and carbs
Magnesium - 400mg for muscle and bone. When combined with B complex (b6) and zinc, it creates ZMA or a natural testosterone booster.
Vitamin E - 200iu per day for antioxidant health.
There are very few evidence based benefits for taking vitamin supplements other than for diagnosed deficiencies. The one with probable benefits is vitamin D depending on how much you spend time in the sun. I live in Scandinavia so I take 400-800iu per day. In general moderately balanced diet should be enough to get pretty much all the required vitamins.
I take vitamin b-complex to help me out during weightlifting and running.
Before I started taking this, whenever I go to the gym in a lazy mode, I really lack the energy to complete my sets.
After starting taking this vitamin b-complex, even when I in a lazy mode, when I start lifting, there is a surge of energy where I pull from, its even hard to deplete all of the energy as it would require me to work hard for me to feel tired. I really observed the big difference. In my opinion, this is better than taking coffee, as drinking it in the evening (I work out at 7pm) wouldn't let me sleep and sometimes gives me palpitations. I also take this when I am REALLY stressed out at work and it relieves me. Lastly, from what I understand since this is water-soluble, it is not as harmful compared to fat-based vitamins.
This article gives you some idea.
Stay away from antioxidant vitamins, at least C and E. There is a study from 2009, suggesting that vitamin C and E supplementation negate some of the beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity of exercise. Also linked from that post is another paper showing that vitamin C supplementation decreases endurance gains from exercise.