Muscle Sport Magazine

Vitamins and Muscle Growth: The Basics

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The science of building muscles has never been as advanced or as understood as it is right now. When we want to get bigger and stronger, we have access to more supplements and muscle-building aids than we have at any point in history. There are so many options out there that it’s almost hard to know where to start or what to do for the best. With so many different potential routes to go down, we sometimes lose sight of one basic fact:- unless we get the right balance of vitamins and nutrients into our bodies, the supplements will do us no good at all.

When you take away all of the protein shakes and other consumable enhancers and aids, building muscle is still about putting in work in the gym and preparing your body to gain mass as efficiently as possible. Supplements are a bonus. Putting supplements into your body is like playing online slots. If you’ve ever played online slots for any length of time on website such as, you’ll know that you have no idea which of the coins or tokens you put into a slots game is the one that will lead to success – you just know one of them will do so eventually. The joy of not knowing and being surprised is what keeps a lot of people coming back to online slots. It might even be what keeps a lot of people coming back to supplements time after time! Before you even consider supplements, though, you need to consider the appropriate vitamin balance – and these are the five most important vitamins to get into your system for building strength.

Vitamin B12

It might not have as catchy or memorable a name as some of the other vitamins, but vitamin B12 does one of the most important jobs of any of the vitamins your body needs – it assists with the creation of new red blood cells. Those are the blood cells that deliver oxygen to your muscles, and if your muscles aren’t getting enough oxygen, they won’t grow no matter how much work you put in. For all the supposed health benefits of a vegan or vegetarian diet, people who exclude meat and fish from their diets often develop a B12 deficiency, and that makes it hard for them to put on mass. You’ll find B12 in almost all fish and poultry food products, as well as the majority of dairy products. While B12 can be taken as a supplement (and often is), there’s no real reason to do so unless you’ve been medically advised that your body isn’t producing enough red blood cells on its own.

Vitamin E

On the surface, you might think that a model would have more use for vitamin E than a bodybuilder or an athlete. That’s because vitamin E is known for its skin-enhancing properties, but the fact that it helps to keep your skin clear is just a by-product of its main task. This clever vitamin purges free radicals from your body and slows down the aging product. There have even been some clinical trials that suggest it might be capable of reversing some of the effects of aging. Although exercise is good for us, the process of exercising creates free radicals within our bodies in the form of oxidative stress. Vitamin E removes that stress, and assists with the removal of metabolic waste at the same time. Again, you can take vitamin E as a supplement, but there’s no real reason to do so when it’s so freely available in nuts.

Vitamin D

People from California or Florida probably don’t have much cause to worry about how much vitamin D they have in their systems – it’s produced naturally when we come into contact with sunlight. If you’re not lucky enough to live in such a bright and sunny environment, though, fatty fish should give you a plentiful supply. Cheese is also a great source, so don’t feel as guilty about eating pizza as you probably do when it happens! The vitamin is important because it kickstarts the process of protein synthesis, and without protein synthesis, we not only wouldn’t be able to build muscles; we’d literally waste away completely. As well as doing that vital job, vitamin D helps the body to absorb nutrients. To put it another way, this is the vitamin that helps you take on and retain the positive effects of all the other vitamins.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is so useful that some doctors suggest that everyone should take supplements whether they feel the need to or not. While there’s no such thing as a magic bullet that kills off illnesses, viruses, and infections, vitamin C does a lot of heavy lifting in terms of the way it boosts our immune systems and increasing the levels of antioxidants within our bodies. If you regularly suffer from aches and pains after a heavy gym session, you might find that vitamin C is a lot more useful to you than developing a painkiller habit. That’s because vitamin C aids tissue repair. Painkillers mask the pain, but vitamin C helps heal the damaged tissue that’s causing the pain in the first place. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than a cure. With strong, healthy tissue, damage caused through exercise becomes less likely and doesn’t last as long when it does occur.

Vitamin A

The good news about vitamin A is that it occurs naturally and in abundance. The bad news is that it’s the easiest vitamin to expel from our systems by accident. Drinking alcohol saps your vitamin A levels, and so does low-fat food. A heavy night of partying followed by a modest choice of meals the following day can sometimes make the damage worse rather than start the process of repairing it! We need vitamin A because, like vitamin D, it assists with protein synthesis and also helps to maintain bone strength and density. If you’ve ever heard it said that eating lots of carrots will help you see in the dark, it’s because carrots are rich in vitamin A, and vitamin A is important when it comes to having healthy eyes. To make sure you’re getting all the vitamin A you need, eat plenty of eggs and fatty fish – and, of course, carrots.

So there we have it – maintaining a healthy balance of vitamins within your body isn’t quite as simple as A, B, C, but nor is it a million miles away! Whatever you’re doing in the gym, and whatever complex supplements you take to boost the effectiveness of your workouts, always keep the basics of vitamin intake at the forefront of your mind. Without them, you’re not allowing yourself the best possible chance of success.

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