Something I see far too often is guys who train a lot and get a tonne of protein in, yet put little thought into other supplements or foods that may have a positive effect on their training.
So, in this post, we’re going to take a quick look at the most beneficial vitamins and minerals that are sure to improve your performance in and out of the gym.
Personally I’ve started supplementing with all of these and have noticed an increase in stamina, and as a side benefit I’m suffering from my chronic migraines a lot less.
None of this stuff costs a bomb, but anyone taking lifting seriously should look at overall health and wellbeing as well as just gains, and minerals play a big part in that.
Magnesium is a vitally essential mineral involved in over 300 chemical reactions within the body.
It’s actually quite common for western diets to be deficient in magnesium, which can result in increased blood pressure, lack of sleep, muscle and movement issues, and, more commonly, ‘neural excitation’ (headaches).
Foods like nuts, leafy green veg, seeds and mineral water contain decent doses of magnesium, but it’s advisable that anyone training hard should supplement with magnesium due to the low levels of minerals in our modern diets (yes, even in expensive organic foods!).
Supplementing is the simplest way to increase magnesium other than diet.
A good recommended dose is 400mg per day.
You can easily pick up magnesium in any health food stores, on Amazon, or in a pharmacy for reasonable prices, and I’d recommend supplementing in the morning and evening with a quality form like magnesium bisglycinate.
Vitamin D is often considered a hormone by many nutritionists due to the sheer amount of hormonal processes it is required for in the body, but nonetheless is still classed as a vitamin.
Much like magnesium, western diets are hugely deficient in vitamin D (yes, even if you go out in the sun a lot) and this is for sure the vitamin I get the most positive feedback about.
You may know vitamin D for its most obviously useful function: boosting testosterone.
Yep, increasing vitamin D in your diet can help increase test, which results in bigger lifts, more muscle growth, and hopefully stonking erections right into old age.
It’s best to get a vitamin D supplement that also contains vitamin K, as recent research has suggested vitamin K is heavily involved in its uptake.
My personal fave vitamin D blend is Aminoman as you get vitamin K and zinc included, as well as magnesium, but you can pick up vitamin D on Amazon or from a pharmacy pretty cheaply.
Calcium needs no introduction as it’s pushed into our heads from a young age that calcium strengthens bones.
This is certainly true – but it’s lesser known that calcium is also completely essential for all muscle contractions, making it immediately obvious it’ll be beneficial for those who weight train.
The best sources of calcium are leafy green vegetables, broccoli and dairy products.
Old school bodybuilders like Arnold and Franco wrote about the benefits of supplemental calcium, but we now know that it’s essential to take vitamin K with your calcium supplements so they don’t cause issues with arteries.
It’s important to realise that taking things like magnesium, calcium or vitamin D are not just short term benefits, and that you should supplement with these for most of your life.
That being said, let us know if you see any increases in strength or size from supplementing with these essential vitamins and minerals!