Vitamins and Supplements Guide

28

Vitamins and Supplements

A billion dollar industry .

From products that will help us “lose inches off our waist” or gain a dramatic amount of size for the hard gainer.

I can tell you now a majority of supplements will not be a benefit to us unless first our nutrition is  in order and our training is in line with our goals.

Guys in order for us to grasp a basic understanding on vitamins and supplements.

I’ve written a summarization for each commonly found supplement and vitamin out there in the market.

Through this guide I hope we can make a better judgement as to what products will be a benefit to us and provide us with the most value for money

 

Vitamins

Vitamins, a component of our diet which is commonly found in small quantities of food.

There is a total of 13 different vitamins we will come across. Vitamins are classified into two categories fat-soluble and water-soluble.

Fat -soluble, vitamins A,D,E, and K are found within fat and also stored within fat molecules in the body.

Water soluble, Vitamin C and the B vitamin group aren’t stored within the body and as a result can pass through us.

Each individual vitamin plays a key role within the body. Since vitamins are found to be a very essential to us.

A deficiency in any one of these vitamins within our body can cause us to develop illnesses and diseases.

In the general population today as we move forward the number of individuals supplementing with vitamins has greatly increased.

Fat-Soluble Vitamins

 

Vitamin a

The function of vitamin A is to assist with bone growth, vision and the cell formation on the surface of our skin and the lining of our gut.

Vitamin A can be found in either animal sources such as dairy products, eggs, and liver.

Non-animal sources of vitamin A can be found in fruits and vegetables which are deep yellow, orange and green in appearance (Carrots, Spinach, and Sweet Potato).

Deficiencies in vitamin A can lead to a lack of vision, stunted growth, and poorer immunity.

But it is found deficiencies in vitamin A are rare since most western diets contain sufficient amounts of vitamin A already.

 

Vitamin D

The way in how vitamin D works is unique as it is produced in the liver following exposure to sunlight.

The major function of vitamin D is to increase the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestine, resulting in the encouragement of bone formation.

Vitamin D can also be found in small quantities in eggs and fatty fish.

Deficiencies in vitamin D are particularly common amongst elderly and infants who live in areas with limited sunlight or are confined to their homes during long periods of time.

This can result in the contribution of osteoporosis in the elderly and rickets in children.

In conjunction with this statement, those who are suffering from liver disease may also be deficient in vitamin D.

As the body has reduced its ability to produce vitamin D. Supplementation for those individuals may be necessary.

 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E’s primary role is due to its antioxidant properties.

Which is that it can help prevent oxidative damage to cells caused by the interaction between oxygen and free radicals.

Vitamin E also plays an essential role in nerve and muscle function.

Sources of Vitamin E can be found in peanuts, oils, seeds and fish.

Deficiencies may be rare but if present can cause problems to nerves and muscles.

Vitamin K

 

The  most important role vitamin K plays in our body is to contribute to the blood clotting process.

This vitamin can be largely produced in the body but may be present in some foods including green leafy vegetables, carrots, and soybeans.

This being said there is no dietary requirement for vitamin K unless taking medication which may kill bacteria (Since Vitamin K is synthesized in the intestine by bacteria).

Then a large amount of vitamin K may be required in the diet.

 

Water  Soluble Vitamins

Vitamin C

VITAMIN C has the broadest range of functions within our body.

Including assisting in the formation of connective tissue,metabolism of folic acid,improving iron absorption and like vitamin E acting as an antioxidant.

Sources of vitamin C include black currants,green capsicum,strawberries,pineapple,oranges and lemon.

All the sources of vitamin C are great  but cooking can destroy a large part of its content.

Deficiencies in vitamin C can result in  “scurvy” ,gum disease and bruising.

 

Vitamin B  complex

 

Vitamin B1 – Thiamin

Particularly important for carbohydrate metabolism  and assisting with optimal functioning of the nervous system and heart. Sources of vitamin B1 can be found in whole grain bread, pasta, brown rice, oats, and pork. Beverages such as tea, coffee, and alcohol can impact negatively upon the absorption of Thiamin. Deficiencies in vitamin B1 can lead to conditions such as ‘Beri Beri’ which can lead to loss of appetite and vomiting.

 

Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin

Particularly essential for the metabolism of proteins. As well as the repair of tissues and healthy skin. Sources of Riboflavin can be found in milk, cheese, yoghurt, breakfast cereals, chicken and lean meats. Deficiencies of vitamin B2 can cause stunted growth, dermatitis, cracked lips and decreased immunity.

 

Vitamin B3 – Niacin

Essential for the metabolism of all three macronutrients. It further assists with the development of healthy skin. Sources of Niacin can be found in vegemite (Aussie breakfast brand), Breakfast cereals, liver, fish, meats, poultry, and peanuts. Deficiencies in Vitamin B3 can cause dementia, dermatitis, and diarrhoea.

 

Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine

Like Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 also significantly  aids in the metabolism of proteins and assisting in the regeneration of haemoglobin.

Sources of Pyridoxine can be found in potatoes, walnuts, bananas, fish, eggs, chicken and legumes. Like vitamin C cooking can easily destroy this vitamin. Signs and symptoms of deficiencies include dermatitis, irritability, insomnia and decreased immunity.

 

Vitamin B9 – Folic Acid

Functions which folic acid insists in include formation of red blood cells, DNA formation and assisting in enzyme production.

Sources of vitamin B6 can be found in fresh foods including leafy vegetables, nuts, citrus fruits, and avocados. Note, like other vitamins cooking or exposure to prolong periods of sunlight can destroy its properties. It is advised folic acid should be consumed in its freshest form. Deficiencies will occur through anaemia, insomnia and irritability.

 

Vitamin B12 – Cyanocobalamin

Like vitamin B9 it’s also essential in the formation of DNA. Vitamin B12 can however, assist in the production of red blood cells and the metabolism of Folate.

Sources of vitamin B12 can be found in all animal foods.

Thus for vegetarians, it’s important to supplement with this vitamin. Deficiencies can result in weight loss, loss of appetite and shortness of breath.

 

SUPPLEMENTS

Whey Protein

Is a form of protein which is the water soluble part of milk. I would suggest taking in whey protein if it’s difficult to hit your daily protein intake goals.

In that sense,it’s very useful. Whey protein is also a lot faster into the body compared to other protein sources.

There have been a few claims that whey protein aids in fat loss. But whey protein itself does not reduce fat but protein intake diet actually aids in the fat loss effect.

There are three main types of whey protein.

  • Isolate (WPI)–Defined being more than 90% protein by weight.
  • Concentrate (WPC) –The least processed form of whey protein and is actually 35%-80% protein.
  • Hydrolysate (WPH) –The most filtered form of whey and the fastest absorbing

How much protein should I consume?…………

A good goal to target for an athlete or highly active people 1.5-2.2g of protein per kilogram. 0.1g of protein per pound of bodyweight.

Creatine Monohydrate

In comparison to any other supplement product, Creatine is the most researched. Research has shown that that creatine does increase power output and increase weight.

Creatine is a molecule produced in the body where it is stored as energy in the form of creatine phosphate.

Notable strength increases will be present after taking creatine while training for strength.

Creatine also can be found in foods such as fish,eggs and mostly meats.

What are the downfalls?

Stomach cramping can occur if insufficient water is consumed. If this happens spreading your creatine intake throughout the day with meals is highly recommended.

The use of vitamins and supplements can be very helpful in attaining your  health goals,but they should be used  wisely.