When you consider supplements for fitness, what are the first ones you think of? For many of us, it’s fat burners, whey protein, creatine, or maybe a pre-workout for a quick burst of energy before your workout. Ads for these products are everywhere, and there’s no doubt they can have a place in any fitness routine.
But the most important supplement to have in your fitness arsenal often gets overlooked. It may not be very sexy or glamorous, but a high-quality multivitamin should head up your supplement regimen. If you’re not already taking one, you’ll want to change that immediately if you want to meet your fitness goals.
Here’s the link between daily vitamins and fitness and why it matters what you take.
Here’s Why You Need a Daily Vitamin
Our bodies require a wide variety of vital nutrients to complete important tasks from day to day. And those needs can change based on your stress level, the intensity of your workouts, if you’ve been sick, your age, and so much more.
Becoming deficient in any of these vital nutrients can not only affect your general health but can also lead to a breakdown of the metabolic pathway that influences your performance and efficiency. Obviously, that’s not what you want when you’re trying to get fit.
Taking a high-quality multivitamin every day ensures that those essential nutrients are available when your body needs them for thousands of metabolic processes. And if you’re someone who’s into working out, sports or you lead a more active lifestyle than the average person, you probably need more nutrients than the average couch potato.
What To Look for in a Multivitamin and Why
Of course, grabbing just any old multivitamin off the shelf isn’t going to cut it. Choose a high-quality multivitamin that’s specifically formulated for your age and gender. Smartypants Organic Vitamins are an excellent example of a competitive multivitamin that contains all of the important nutrients for fitness without any of the fillers, dyes, and preservatives that are so common in other brands.
Here are the nutrients you need to look for in a daily vitamin and why it matters.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D is often called the sunshine vitamin because we get it from exposure to sunlight. But if you spend most of your days indoors or don’t live in a sunny climate, it’s tough to get all the vitamin D your body needs for protein synthesis and to keep your bones healthy and strong. Vitamin D is also essential for mood balance, nutrient absorption, and regulating insulin levels.
- Vitamin B12: The body uses B12 to produce red blood cells. This is especially important for fitness because red blood cells deliver oxygen to the muscles. That makes it a key play for endurance and building muscle.
- Vitamin B3: Niacin, or vitamin B3, is essential for muscle growth. It also supports glucose metabolism, increased good cholesterol, and promotes healthy hormone production.
- Vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 is another power player for muscle growth and repair. It also supports the production of red blood cells. But even more than that, B6 promotes healthy levels of nitric oxide in the body, which improves performance and endurance.
- Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2 is a key player in energy production. It can also reduce muscle soreness after a workout to get you back in the gym sooner.
- Folate: Folate, or Vitamin B9, is essential for muscle growth. When combined with B12, it supports energy production, muscle growth, and repair. Folate is also necessary for the synthesis of new cells and repairing damaged tissues.
- Vitamin E: We’ve all heard that vitamin E is great for the skin, but the benefits don’t end there. This powerful antioxidant slows down the aging process by scavenging free radicals. When we work out, we actually create more free radicals which can contribute to illness and premature aging.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is incredibly important for fitness because it supports protein synthesis and the creation of glycogen, which is fuel for the muscles. It’s also important for strong, healthy bones, good eyesight, and fighting free radical damage.
- Vitamin C: You’ve probably been hearing “Take your vitamin C!” since you were a child. This vitamin is an amazing antioxidant for supporting immune function, but it also supports the healing of damaged tissues, which is super important when you’re working out regularly.
- Minerals: Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, sodium, and potassium are called major minerals. Zinc iron, copper, manganese, chromium, selenium, and iodine are called trace minerals. Major minerals are needed in larger amounts than trace minerals, but they’re all important for bone and muscle health, producing important hormones, and a variety of other body processes.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3s are amazing for post-workout recovery because they reduce inflammation, which means they can speed recovery and reduce post muscle soreness. They can also boost muscle growth and support cardiovascular, joint, brain, eye, and skin health.
Wrapping Things Up: When is the Best Time to Take Your Multivitamin?
You’re not going to find a multivitamin marketed to increase your bench or add miles to your run. And that’s why many fitness enthusiasts overlook adding one to their supplement regimen. The thing is, you can’t build a house without a strong foundation, and a multivitamin is the foundation of any supplement regimen.
Without a good multivitamin, your other vitamins might not be as effective if your body does not have the nutrients it needs to optimize function and endurance. Take your multivitamin first thing in the morning and you’ll set your body up for success with whatever you plan to tackle that day. Not only that, but you’ll find that you recover from your workouts more quickly too.
Nicole is an experienced content writer with a passion for all aspects of wellness. She worked a side gig at a yoga studio for years before becoming a mom, and absolutely fell in love with holistic and alternative therapies during her first pregnancy. She’s been proclaimed the “health nut” amongst family and friends, and when she’s not writing, Nicole can be found studying to become a health coach and reading up on all aspects of healthy living.