For the past several years, I've helped hundreds of clients get in the best shape of their lives.
And one thing I always tell them—aside from keeping a healthy diet—is to never skip their multivitamins.
Every serious bodybuilder I know has a stockpile of multivitamins at their disposal because these supplements are an essential part of bodybuilding.
Why You Need Multivitamins In Your Diet
Whey protein powder is probably the most popular bodybuilding supplement, followed by creatine, glutamine, BCAAs, and fat burners.
However, these sports nutrition supplements can only do so much.
An often overlooked product that can significantly benefit bodybuilders—or anyone, really—is a multivitamin.
Taking a multivitamin supplement is good for bodybuilding as it offers a convenient way of bridging any nutrient gaps you may have, helping you establish a solid nutritional foundation that, in turn, will support your bodybuilding goals.
A balanced diet can give you most of the essential vitamins, minerals, and other essentials that your body needs, but sometimes, it's just not enough.
Though you may not know it, cases of nutrient deficiencies are relatively common, even if you think you're eating well enough.
Some formulas supply even more antioxidants, digestive enzymes, amino acids and phytonutrients, ensuring complete coverage of substances that your body isn’t getting enough of from food.
When it comes to nutrition and supplementation, the guiding principle is that the more you put out, the more you need to put in.
Luckily, there are many multivitamin options available on the market that are tailored to the fitness needs of both men and women.
Here's what taking a daily multivitamin can do for your body.
The Benefits Of Multivitamins For Bodybuilders
#1: Boosts energy production
If you're not getting enough essential nutrients, your body has to work harder during training or exercise. When coupled with a lack of micronutrients, that can lead to fatigue and other health problems, which can be a significant roadblock to any bodybuilder.
That's why taking a performance multivitamin for bodybuilding is necessary. It will increase your fitness level and keep you full of energy, so you're always ready to pull off those massive lifts.
#2: Improved mood
Bodybuilders are usually on a strict calorie-controlled diet, which can have detrimental effects on their mood. Luckily, daily vitamin intake can curb these unpleasant consequences.
Research shows that getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals can help improve brain functions responsible for a person’s mood .
#3: Lessens the symptoms of stress and anxiety
When a person is under a lot of stress, their cortisol levels increase, which can then inhibit weight loss.
Taking a multivitamin with the right vitamins and minerals can significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels. To enjoy this benefit, choose a product that contains Vitamin B.
B vitamins convert food into energy, keep the nervous system functioning properly, and boost cognitive function.
#4: Maintains muscle strength
Taking a multivitamin daily may also help you maintain muscular strength, which is a significant part of bodybuilding. Free radicals are harmful compounds associated with aging-related muscular problems.
Consuming multivitamins with vitamins A, C, and E can help minimize damage to cells, proteins, and DNA and stabilize free radicals before they can cause harm and hurt your bodybuilding goals.
#5: Strengthens immunity
Bodybuilding can take a toll on your body and central nervous system, leading to a weakened immune system.
Taking multivitamins with vitamin C can improve your immune function as it is a potent antioxidant .
Vitamin D and vitamin E can also boost your immunity as they help minimize allergy symptoms.
#6: Improves heart health
Like athletes, bodybuilders train a lot, so taking care of their cardiovascular health is a must.
Adding a high-quality multi to your supplement regimen may reduce heart disease because of the wide range of vitamins that it provides.
Most multis often contain vitamins B1, B2, B6, K1, Niacin (B3), CoQ10, and magnesium—all of which play a role in keeping your heart healthy.
#7: Keeps your skin and membranes healthy
The fat-soluble vitamin E is a staple ingredient in many multivitamins. This antioxidant helps protect cell membranes, blood circulation, heart, nerves, red blood cells, and muscles, which are all essential to maintaining healthy skin.
The key ingredients in a woman's multi can contain nutrients that keep the skin, hair, nails, and teeth looking healthy, while the ingredients for men can have nutrients like horny goat weed aimed at enhancing prostate health.
Vitamins and Minerals A Bodybuilder Needs
A high-quality multi can do a great deal for your well-being, and you'd be hard-pressed to find any reason not to add it to your supplement stash.
Here are the best vitamins and nutrients for building muscle and the other benefits they provide.
- Vitamin C: Bolsters immunity and increases antioxidant levels. It also plays a role in connective tissue health, which is essential for wound healing.
- Vitamin A: Vitamins help build muscle, and vitamin A is one of the key nutrients that can help it grow. Your body needs this vitamin for protein synthesis, a process that is essential in increasing muscle mass.
- Vitamin D: This one plays a major role in the absorption of calcium for bone health. Vitamin D also reduces inflammation.
- Vitamin E: This vitamin is used by the body in the form of alpha-tocopherol and protects it from free radical damage.
- Vitamin B2: Reduces post-exercise soreness and speeds up muscle recovery.
- Vitamin B3: Supports muscle growth and promotes healthy production of hormones.
- Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12: These vitamins are essential for a healthy metabolism. B6 is needed for the function of enzymes involved in protein metabolism, while B12 is necessary for energy production and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that also works as an antioxidant. It is also known to boost the effects of vitamin A.
- Magnesium: Aids muscle contractions and calms the nerves. A lack of this mineral can lead to low testosterone levels.
- Calcium: This one regulates muscle contractions and keeps your bones strong.
What To Look For In A Bodybuilding Multivitamin?
As with any supplement, you should always view the product from different angles to make sure you're getting what you really need.
Here are three main things you should look for.
First, check the ingredient list on the label to make sure there's a good variety of vitamins and minerals in it.
Pay particular attention to the key nutrients listed above. Next, look at the daily value column to check the concentration of each ingredient.
Anything between 66 and 100% is already a reasonable range for most vitamins and minerals.
“Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet, and they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits.”
- Dr. JoAnn Manson, Physician
Finally, try to source your multi from a brand with an excellent reputation for quality. Researching their manufacturing practices and skimming through actual user feedback can be helpful, too.
Are You Going to Start Taking Multivitamins?
Taking your pre-workout or protein shake before going to the gym is great, but without a multivitamin, you're far from achieving your true fitness and bodybuilding potential.
That's because multis are the foundation of an effective supplement program. Without it, the other supplements you take may not be as effective.
No matter what type of athlete you are, you can maximize your gains by adding a multivitamin to your arsenal. Just make sure you don’t treat it as a food replacement. Instead, combine it with a proper diet to get the results you want.
What’s your current multivitamin lineup? Let us know in the comments below!