The effectiveness of Vitamins & Supplements
Millions of Dollars are spent every year by Americans on Vitamins and Mineral Supplements for our body. The annual amount of money spent is increasing rapidly year on year, so just how effective are these supplements?
The preferred source of our nutrients are from food, in fact there are very few people that aren’t athletes who would need to take any sort of supplement for their day to day use. We normally retain everything we require from our diets, but athletes may need a quick boost of vitamins to aid them.
Vitamin B aids in helping create and maintain muscles during physical activity. This group of vitamins are needed to help keep our body going during high intensity physical activity. In fact if we carry out physical activity without enough Vitamin B in our bodies then we run the risk of heart disease in later life. A lack of Vitamin B also causes anaemia, which is dangerous for an athlete.
Vitamin D can help prevent muscle and bone injuries. The main source of Vitamin D is from sunlight, and there are places in the world where you will not get enough sunlight to provide enough vitamin D. Research has shown that Vitamin D improves the overall performance levels of an athlete. I suggest that you obtain Vitamin D supplements as you will not be able to obtain it from your day to day diets and it is fairly vital for our needs.
Vitamin E is not generally needed for athletes, and taking additional supplements may do your body more harm than good whilst training.
Vitamin C again is not necessary as a supplement for those interested in health and fitness. The reason for this is that the majority of these people promote healthy diets and will get enough vitamin C from vegetables and fruits, any vitamin C after that will be expelled from the body in Urine. Therefore this is not an effective supplement.
Calcium Supplements are needed for athletes; they help prevent injuries to the bone as well as repairing injured muscles. Athletes generally need more calcium than a normal person and therefore they will be ideal supplement to have.
Iron is needed to transport oxygen around the body. You can see where the problems may lie for endurance athletes that will be carrying out a lot of exercise. These people need 70% more iron than a standard person and therefore Iron supplements are very effective.
Whilst Zinc is important for building up muscle strength I suggest not using supplements. This is because excess zinc can cause havoc when your body is trying to absorb other minerals. Eat a lot of beef, pork or fish to increase zinc levels.
Magnesium is vital for helping your body burn off excess fats. Supplements may be ideal for those that are training for weight loss, this is where they may be the most effective.
Remember that vitamins and supplements are not effective if they are expired, you will be able to take them without any ill effect but they will not help your body in any way shape or form.
I always suggest obtaining as many vitamins and minerals through your diet before turning to supplements, however there are times when you may need that extra boost. This is when they are most effective.