Vitamin deficiencies affect our overall health. This includes the ability to maintain normal body function and recover from exercise or stress. For those living an active lifestyle, vitamin intake is paramount. Exercise can reduce the absorption of vitamins and minerals and causes increased excretion. Your body also has greater requirements for vitamins and minerals in order to repair muscle tissue. Here is a list of recommended daily vitamins and supplements to keep you going strong.
Multivitamin + Multimineral: A well balanced diet can provide the recommended daily intake of the essential vitamins and minerals. However, taking a multivitamin and multi-mineral supplement will ensure that you get a variety of vitamins that may not be contained in your diet while also making up for those lose through sweat. You may want to consider (or consult your doctor) on getting multivitamin with Iron if you are a vegetarian, female endurance athlete, or have a history of anemia in order to prevent a deficiency. An inadequate iron level is characterized by low energy levels.
Vitamin B Complex: B Vitamins help with the conversion of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in to energy. Since they are primarily found in animal products supplementing is especially important for vegetarians. A deficiency may cause anemia and fatigue, which can result in the inability to maintain a training program.
Fish Oil: The Omega-3 fatty acids found in Fish Oil have been shown to reduce inflammation, lubricate joints, promote recovery, lower cholesterol, improve your cardiovascular system, and enhance brain function. Need I say more? When choosing a Fish Oil supplement pick a quality and sustainable brand to avoid contaminates. I recommend Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega. Make sure you buy regularly and keep it in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.
Calcium + Magnesium + Vitamin D: Calcium is well known for maintaining bone structure, but it is also important for blood clotting and muscle contractions (including your heart). Magnesium helps with the absorption of Calcium and aids in proper muscle function/relaxation and energy metabolism. Vitamin D also helps with the absorption of calcium while supporting proper immune function and reducing inflammation.
Probiotics: Probiotics are great for your digestive health in addition to your immune system.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and supporting your body’s hormonal response to stress. Supplementing with Vitamin C will also aid in the recovery of connective tissue and promotes Iron absorption to prevent anemia.
By Lauren Anderson – Boulder, CO