In today’s machine-centric life where physical activity has become a rare thing, obesity and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases are wreaking havoc on the population. Losing weight and staying in shape is important not just for looking good, but for a better life in the long run. But for those who see bodybuilding and increasing lean muscle mass as a passion, the total intake of body building proteins, calories, vitamins, carbohydrates and fats plays a very important role in their diet.
Importance of Vitamins and Minerals for Bodybuilding
The best way to gain muscle in a healthy manner is to combine weight training with a diet rich in essential bodybuilding vitamins and minerals that improve performance and maximize the benefits of workouts.
- Stocking up on vitamins and minerals is important because strenuous physical activities lead to loss of these essential nutrients from the body.
- Having healthy levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in the body ensures proper health.
- Deficiency of vitamins and minerals in the body can slow down the growth of muscles and hinder performance in the gym.
Top 8 Vitamins for Improving Muscle Mass
Selecting the right vitamins for muscle growth and including them in your bodybuilding diet can help in maximizing the benefits of the strenuous workout sessions and boost up the growth of lean muscle mass.
Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin has numerous benefits for the body and deficiency of vitamin B12 can cause anemia and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential vitamins for bodybuilding because it maintains the proper functioning of the nervous system that carries impulses to the muscles from the brain and stimulation of muscles through nerves plays a critical role in coordination and growth of muscles. In addition, it also helps in carbohydrate metabolism. Natural sources of vitamin B12 mostly include non-vegetarian foods such as organ meat, red meat, fish, poultry, dairy products therefore vegetarians can use muscle gain supplements that contain vitamin B12.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as one of the most effective natural bodybuilding vitamins supplements. Vitamin B2 plays a critical role in energy production by aiding glucose metabolism, oxidation of fatty acids and shuttling of hydrogen through the citric acid cycle. It helps in protein metabolism that has a close connection to increasing lean body mass. Riboflavin supplementation is extremely beneficial for athletes as it improves muscular hyperexcitability. Natural sources of vitamin B2 include oily fish such as mackerel, salmon, tuna, almonds, cheese, eggs, mushrooms, etc.
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin also known as retinol that is an important nutrient for improving eyesight and maintaining the proper functioning of the immune system. But vitamin A is one of the most essential vitamins for body building as well. Vitamin A is integral for protein synthesis – the basic mechanism that leads to muscle growth. In addition, it is also important for the production of glycogen, the stored form of energy in the body that is required for high-intensity exercises. Some of the food sources of vitamin A include vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, red bell peppers, romaine lettuce, leafy green vegetables, fruits such as cantaloupes, mangoes, apricots, etc.
Vitamin B3 or niacin is one of the most important muscle supplements that are important for providing the energy or fuel for high-intensity exercises and resistance training. It plays a critical role in over 60 metabolic processes that lead to energy production. Although there are several natural food sources of niacin, it can also be produced in the body from the amino acid tryptophan. Some of the natural sources of vitamin B3 include fish such as mackerel, tuna, salmon, chicken and turkey, pork, beef, organ meat, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, avocados, etc.
The health benefits of biotin need no new emphasis. It helps in maximizing the utilization of the available nutrients and maintains the level of red blood cells in the blood that helps in transporting oxygen throughout the body that is vital for strenuous physical activities and exercises. It plays an important role in amino acid metabolism and production of energy. Some of the natural sources of biotin include mushrooms, fish like tuna and salmon, eggs, turkey, organ meat, cheese, sunflower seeds, etc.
Vitamin E also makes it to the list of essential vitamins for muscle growth because it is not only an amazing antioxidant, but also helps in protecting the cell’s membranes which plays an important role in growth of muscle cells. In addition, it also improves blood flow throughout the body and recovers the damaged tissues and cells after workout. Some of the best natural sources of vitamin E include almonds, seeds such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, tofu, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, mustard greens, turnip greens, kale and olive oil.
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because it can be produced by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. The most important health benefit of vitamin D is the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body to improve strength and density of bones. From the point of view of bodybuilding, vitamin D is important because without adequate availability of calcium in the muscles, muscular contractions during exercise cannot be sustained. In addition, phosphorus is essential for powerful muscular contractions that are the basis of movements in weight training.
Last but not the least comes vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, one of the most essential vitamins for bodybuilding because it is directly related to protein intake. The more the protein intake, the more is the requirement of pyridoxine by the body. In addition, the health benefits of vitamin B6 also include protein metabolism and maximizing the utilization of carbohydrates in the body that also play an important role in bodybuilding. Some of the best natural sources of vitamin B6 include seeds such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts, chicken and turkey, pork, fish such as tuna, salmon, herring, dried fruits and bananas.
Now get the chiseled and muscular body you always wanted by combining your resistance training with a diet rich in these essential vitamins and proteins.
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