Boost health and fitness with vitamin supplements
Are you on a summer health kick? Sticking to your fitness regime? Did you know that taking the right vitamins and minerals can help strengthen bone, build muscle, prevent injury, and aid recovery — ideal whether you’re into cardio or resistance training.
If you’re into the gym at the moment and want to get fitter and stronger faster, there are ways to ensure your body has the nutrients it needs to reduce risk and boost recovery. Don’t underestimate the importance of nutrition — check out how vitamins and minerals can help you push harder in your next work-out session.
Vitamin D3 is taken by many Brits due to the lack of sun we typically get throughout the year compared to many other countries. Did you know that, if you don’t get enough vitamin D over time, your body can actually start drawing calcium out of your bones? This means you have an increased chance of a fracture.
About 50% of adults in the UK may be deficient in vitamin D. Unfortunately, a lack of this nutrient can mean weaker bones and muscles — not what you want when working out!
During an intense gym session, you need a sufficient amount of oxygen delivered to your major muscles if you’re going to push through and beat your personal best. Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen to your cells and removing carbon dioxide, so how well you recover between sets or sprints relies on how efficient your aerobic system is — and iron is a major part of providing adequate oxygen to working muscles.
If you take iron tablets regularly, you may even hold back the development of ‘sports anaemia’ — a condition that causes fatigue during training. Pack a dose of iron into your diet and help energise your work-out to prevent you from becoming exhausted mid-session.
Do you do a lot of running? This is a great way to stay fit and healthy, but it also sometimes puts stress on your joints and bones. Therefore, you need supplements that strengthen bones and tissue. One of the best supplements you can take to help achieve this is a daily dose of calcium, which will aid your body in protecting the 206 bones and 200 connecting joints that make up your skeleton.
Magnesium will help your body make the most of any calcium supplements you’re taking, especially if you opt for the carbonate and hydroxide acetate forms of magnesium. Magnesium works in sync with calcium, so it’s important to achieve the right balance of these minerals if you want to capitalise on their benefits in the gym.
Sometimes, all you need to execute a successful workout or run is a touch of extra energy to keep you going. This is why all our cells benefit from a vitamin-like substance called coenzyme Q10. Some of this is found in food but most is produced within our bodies. However, the challenge is that our natural Q10 levels decline from our mid-twenties onwards. This means that a coenzyme Q10 deficiency can leave your muscles feeling tired and weak, increasing your chances of injury. Taking a Q10 supplement offers the potential to boost your energy levels and push you to the next level of your work-out regime.
You can’t exercise properly if your muscles feel sore, which is where omega 3 tablets come in handy. Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid that helps to protect against injury and improve recovery rates. Ingesting an omega 3 supplement can both prevent and alleviate strain injuries by keeping your joints and tissues well lubricated and reducing any inflammation. Another benefit of Omega 3 is that it can boost your body’s energy supply for a longer and more effective session.
Silica and BSM
Silica and MSM are two other vital supplements that can reportedly boost recovery rates and help fortify bones. According to a study carried out by the UCLA School of Medicine, 58% of athletes taking MSM for an injury reported a recovery compared to only 33% from a placebo group.
You may not have heard of these two supplements before, but they’re common in many foods. MSM is in fruit and vegetables, while silica is plant-based and found in unrefined cereals and rice. However, the easiest way to get these into your body is via supplements, as these nutrients are readily lost from foods during food processing.
Not just for beauty, vitamin E supplements can enhance your exercise sessions. This nutrient helps blood flow around the body, delivering red blood cells where they’re needed to help with each muscle contraction during intense cardio and resistance training.
Faster tissue recovery is another benefit of taking vitamin E tablets on a regular basis. Plus, it is commonly used by medical professionals to help people with muscle conditions including arthritis and cramp. On top of these pros, vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it promotes muscle mass by reducing the amount of harmful free radicals in your system that hinder tissue growth.
If you’ve ever pulled or torn a muscle or tendon, you’ll know how big of an impact this can have on your fitness regime. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy connective tissue across all your body’s cartilage and tendons, and helps alleviate muscle soreness for a smoother, less painful work-out. Even better, Vitamin C reduces the production of cortisol. This hormone is a headache for people who want to keep fit, as it breaks down muscles to use for energy, lowers muscle recovery post work-out, tampers with the transportation of nutrients to muscles, and stores extra fat around the abdomen. Not ideal if you’re dedicated to getting or staying fit!
Aside from performing warm-ups, there are other ways you can prepare your body for exercise. Firstly, eat plenty of protein and carbohydrates (e.g. eggs, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice), which helps to build muscle and deliver energy. Lower your alcohol intake as it has the potential to dehydrate you, leaving your muscles susceptible to cramping. Secondly, adding nutritional supplements to your diet is another great way to improve your health. While ginkgo biloba supplements can reportedly help improve concentration, ideal for middle to long distance runners.
Bear these easy-to-buy supplements in mind if you want to give your workout session a boost in 2018. Check with a medical professional before incorporating these supplements into your diet.