Bodybuilders follow strict diets based on lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, and it is clear why. Specific nutrients and vitamins can help athletes achieve their goals, and one study by researchers at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University has shown the importance that just one vitamin (Vitamin E) brings to the body.
Without Vitamin E, one part of the cell (its membrane, which controls what moves in and out of the cell) cannot heal. In other words, Vitamin E plays an important role in helping build strong muscles, since it aids in post-workout repair.
Muscles Tear And Repair
One of the ways muscle is built is to naturally tear and repair itself. As stated by P McNeil, author of the above study, “if that repair doesn’t occur, what you get is muscle cell death. If it occurs in the long-term the result is muscle-wasting disease.” Vitamin E ‘saves’ the cell membrane by attacking the free radicals that threaten its integrity.
The question as to whether or not athletes need supplementation is directly dependent on their diet. That is, those consuming a diet that is rich in the required vitamins and minerals can arguably rely on diet alone, but those who have less time to prepare healthy meals may benefit from supplementation, provided they obtain their doctor’s approval or recommendation.
Vitamin D And Muscle Efficiency
Many studies have also been carried out into the importance of Vitamin D for optimal muscle health. One 2019 study by researchers at Trinity College Dublin found that low Vitamin D levels are linked to poor muscle function in older adults.
Research published by The North American Menopause Society, meanwhile, showed that Vitamin D3 supplementation helps women help build muscles - even after their menopausal years. Yet another study showed that Vitamin D is linked to muscle power in young women.
Studies on different vitamins have all shown that they have a distinct role to play. For instance, Vitamin B3 has been found to be an effective treatment for specific muscle diseases. The above studies are one reason why lipotropic injections - containing a combination of vitamins, minerals and amino acids - have grown in popularity with bodybuilders in recent years.
Lipotropics often contain a combination of components such as Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, Methionine, L-Carnitine, choline, inositol, methylated folic acid, Vitamin C, and more. Some of these components (for instance, L-Carnitine) provide muscles with the energy they need for movement.
Others (such as Vitamin D) are excellent free radical scavengers. Injections are seen as a ‘short-cut’ to obtaining a wide variety of benefits at once.
The Importance Of Diet
Even if you do opt for doctor-supervised supplementation, ensure your diet is of the highest quality. Aim to source optimal quality macronutrients such as protein. If you are a carnivore, for instance, choosing organic meat will ensure you obtain up to 50% more Omega-3 fatty acids, which keeps inflammation at bay.
Organic fruits and vegetables, meanwhile, have been found to contain higher antioxidant levels (and lower heavy metal quotients) than conventionally grown produce.
Achieving your aims in bodybuilding should begin with a nutritious diet that is personalized to your caloric and nutritional needs. The combination, amount, and quality of the produce you consume will determine whether or not your vitamin levels are up to scratch.
If your food intake is irregular or you have been run down lately, talk to your doctor about specific vitamins and lipotropic injections, which contain an array of vitamins your muscles need to grow and repair damage experienced during workouts.
Feature Image: by Pexels
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