Diet and Fitness: Which Vitamins Are Most Important?
If you don’t follow the right diet, your exercise will have limited effect. Amazingly, many people fail to realize that what they put into their bodies is directly related to the progress they see in the gym. That is why we have collected the most important vitamins that should be included in your diet.
Check out this guide and see if you are missing anything integral. It might just help you overcome the hurdle you were trying to overcome.
First and foremost, there are several vitamins that are necessary for the development of your body and are almost exclusively found in animal products. If you are vegan, you will need to resort to supplements to replace the natural sources of these vitamins.
Exercise creates oxidative stress, which causes free radicals to destroy your body. Fortunately, antioxidants can prevent the harmful effects of these free radicals. Vitamin C happens to be packed full of antioxidants which make it great for protecting your body. Not only that, but it also helps in strengthening the immune system and repairing damaged tissues.
Vitamin C is great for combating negative effects that could harm your body and is most commonly found in citrus fruits. If this isn’t already in your diet, you can either switch it over or take liposomal vitamin C supplements. Severe vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, which if left untreated can be fatal.
While all of the B vitamins are more than beneficial for your body (especially for promoting muscle development and fitness), there are a couple that your body needs more than the others. These are vitamins B2 and B12.
Vitamin B12 has a wide variety of uses in the body. It’s used to make red blood cells, get the energy from our food, keep our nervous systems healthy, and use folic acid (vitamin B9, which is also used to build red blood cells and limit the risk of certain birth defects). Not only is B12 important for keeping the body in optimal condition, but a B12 deficiency can have a number of negative effects, including mouth ulcers, muscle weakness, blurred vision, and cognitive problems.
Vitamin B12 is one of the above nutrients found almost exclusively in animal products (including meat, fish, dairy products, and eggs). Alternative ways to get enough B12 can be from some special fortified breakfast cereals or from B12 supplements.
Vitamin A is needed to help your body’s immune system fight disease and infection. It’s also needed to keep your skin and bones healthy while promoting bone synthesis. Vitamin A is also responsible for helping your eyes see better in low light.
Unfortunately, it is possible that the vitamin A level in our body is reduced. Drinking significant amounts of alcohol, low-fat diets, and even diabetes (and some other diseases) can lead to decreased levels of vitamin A.
While vitamin A is found primarily in fatty fish, eggs, and dairy products, your body can also make vitamin A from beta-carotene (found in spinach, carrots, peppers, and mangoes). As long as your diet is balanced and varied, you should be able to get enough vitamin A from your diet without relying on supplements.
While calcium is a mineral and not a vitamin, the two often go hand in hand. We all know calcium is used to build strong bones and teeth. However, did you also know that it is used to make sure your blood clots are correct? Or that it regulates muscle contractions like your heartbeat?
In terms of exercise, you need strong bones as well as strong muscles to continue building your strength and fitness. Making sure that there is enough calcium in your diet can ensure that you can keep moving forward. On the other hand, insufficient calcium supply can lead to osteoporosis, also known as brittle and fragile bones.
Calcium can be incorporated into your diet in a number of ways, including milk and other dairy products, leafy greens (like kale and spinach), sardines, and calcium-fortified bread and soy.
Vitamin B2 (or riboflavin) is the vitamin necessary to extract energy from the foods we eat – but that’s not its only use. Vitamin B2 helps keep various organs (such as skin, eyes, and nervous system) healthy and relieves muscle soreness. It is these properties that make it so useful when taken before a workout.
The extra energy and reduced pain allow athletes to train harder with less rest time between sessions. If you are looking to improve your fitness, using vitamin B2 to aid your recovery should increase your rate of progress.
As with vitamin B12, getting enough riboflavin can be difficult when you avoid animal products. This is because the main sources for it are milk, eggs, and yogurt. You can find B2 in both mushrooms and fortified breakfast cereals, though, though riboflavin supplements can help with this if you aren’t getting enough in your diet.
A wide range of vitamins and minerals is important to develop and maintain a healthy body. The best way to achieve this is by eating a balanced and varied diet that includes meat, fish, dairy products, eggs, fruits, and vegetables.
Restricting your diet can prevent you from getting the nutrients you need to maintain a healthy body. While nutritional supplements can help correct this, you may need to consume several different nutritional supplements to fill a gap in your diet.