We all know that vitamins are good for our overall health and well-being. That’s just something that was constantly preached to all of us growing up.
Your body literally needs vitamins and minerals to function at its peak. Plus, vitamins and minerals can help with so many different things:
• Energy production
• Hormone function
...and this is really only to name a few of the important processes vitamins play a role in.
But are there vitamins that can help with workout performance?
Actually … yes, there are a ton of vitamins and minerals that can help with your workouts.
Studies show that vitamins and minerals are involved in many different reactions that relate to exercise. These are reactions like carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, tissue repair, and more.
Needless to say, they do a lot, and certainly have their benefits during your workouts.
In this article, I'll discuss some vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help with your workouts ... and the specific benefits they can provide for you!
What Vitamins Help You During a Workout?
So, what are the best vitamins for working out? The reality is, they're all important.
With that being said though, there are some that can offer very specific benefits for training. I'll cover some of the most important vitamins and nutrients to prioritize for your workouts...
First up is vitamin D, also known as the "sunshine vitamin." It gets its name because your body can utilize sunlight to manufacture vitamin D.
As it applies to your workouts ... vitamin D is essential for optimal muscle function. It works with other minerals to help promote healthy muscles tissue. This is a huge part of what makes it so important for both muscle growth and recovery.
You see, Vitamin D plays a key role in supporting protein synthesis. This is largely due to the impact it has on producing testosterone. On top of that, Vitamin D can help support strong and healthy bones. One way it does this is by enhancing the absorption of calcium and phosphorous.
It can also help strengthen your immune system, reduce inflammation, support insulin sensitivity, and improve your mood. What's not to love about vitamin D?
Have you heard how great vitamin A is for eye health? Chances are, you have, but there's much more to vitamin A than just that. As far as workouts are concerned, vitamin A is key for muscle growth and strength. That's because vitamin A can help support muscle protein synthesis.
Vitamin A can also help with creating glycogen. Since glycogen is the energy stored in your muscles ... it can be used for fuel during your workouts. This is how vitamin A can help increase your strength and workout performance.
While there are 8 different B vitamins in total, I only want to highlight 4 of them today: Vitamin B3, B6, B9 and B12! Together, these vitamins are super important in muscle growth and recovery.
In general, B vitamins are important for utilizing the energy in our foods. This gives your muscles the fuel they need to repair and recover. On top of that, B vitamins can help with cellular health.
As if that's not enough, B vitamins are also known for their help with metabolizing protein. This is important because your body needs protein in order to repair muscle tissue.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
Vitamin B3 is best known for converting nutrients into energy. Of course, this extra energy can be great for helping you get the most out of your workouts. Vitamin B3 can also help support healthy cholesterol levels and the production of several important hormones.
B6 is important for circulation and heart health. It helps with this by encouraging red blood cell production and maintaining nitric oxide levels in the blood.
This can increase blood flow, which helps shuttle more oxygen and nutrients to the muscle during training. This increased blood flow can be a great way to increase endurance.
Vitamin B9 is important for energy production, muscle tissue repair, and creating new muscle cells.
B12 is essential for red blood cell production and delivering oxygen to the muscles. Once again, this can help with endurance during your training.
Vitamin B12 and B6 have a direct role in protein metabolism. The higher the protein consumption, the more Vitamin B6 your body needs to help support the increased intake.
B6 is also required to support the absorption of Vitamin B12.
Now when you throw B9 in the mix, it can help reduce homocysteine levels, improve nitric oxide production and endothelial function. This can result in improved blood flow and nutrient delivery to working muscles!
CoQ10 is an important antioxidant used throughout the body. So no, it's not a vitamin. However, it can help regulate inflammatory pathways in the body. These pathways can increase during and after exercise ... impacting performance. It is also beneficial for your cardiovascular health and can be useful for reducing muscle fatigue.
This is the vitamin we all hear about when it comes to keeping our immune system strong when we are sick. You've probably taken vitamin c when you've been sick! Most of us do. So yes, it can help support your immune system.
It's a powerful antioxidant that can help protect muscle from free radical damage as well.
It aids in forming collagen for your skin and supporting connective tissue health and repair. Vitamin C can also contribute to the formation of testosterone and other anabolic hormones ... all of which can help improve workout performance.
Vitamin E is best known for helping with the health of our skin, but that's far from the only thing vitamin E is good for...
It can also be beneficial for recovery and performance! After all, it can help repair the plasma membrane in muscle cells. This, of course, can help with building strong muscles.
Vitamin E can also help regulate blood pressure, allowing more blood to reach the muscle during workouts.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Again, not a vitamin ... but Omega-3 fatty acids are best known for their anti-inflammatory benefits. Because of this, they can help reduce muscle soreness and inflammation in the body post-workout. It's also beneficial for cardiovascular health, joint health, cognitive function, and more.
Other Important Nutrients For Training
Obviously, there are a ton of different vitamins, minerals, nutrients, foods, and supplements that can help with your workouts ... but two of the most important nutrients you can prioritize for your workouts are protein and carbohydrates.
Protein and carbohydrates are the king and queen of pre- and post-workout fuel sources.
This is because 2 main things happen during your training:
1. You are breaking down and creating micro-tears in the muscle.
2. You deplete your muscle's fuel source: glycogen.
The more quickly you can address these two issues after exercise, generally the faster and better your recovery will be. Immediately after you're done training, consuming a whey protein isolate, like Phormula-1, along with a rapidly-digesting carbohydrate, like Ignition, can make a huge difference.
Ignition can help replenish muscle glycogen (energy stored in your muscles).
Phormula-1 can give your body the amino acids it needs to help repair and rebuild the muscles. It is also designed to digest very rapidly to jump-start recovery.
This combination can help stop the muscle breakdown process I mentioned earlier. It can also help maximize your recovery before the next training session. Because of this, you'll feel less sore and recover much more quickly.
Ignition also contains a multivitamin complex to replenish the nutrients you lose during your training session. A lot of these include the vitamins and minerals we talked about earlier.
Good Nutrition IS the Key
As you can see, there are a lot of vitamins that can help benefit your workouts. So, which ones should you prioritize? All of them.
This should be done through whole foods first! You should be following and adhering to a well-balanced diet, which includes:
• Quality Protein
• Whole Grains & Starchy Carbohydrates
• Fruits & Veggies
• Healthy Fats
Of course staying hydrated is important too! That includes plenty of water to achieve the proper balance of water and electrolytes.
We tend to focus on getting enough of the right macronutrients: Proteins, carbohydrates and fats ... but if you don't get enough micronutrients, it can impact your results and health in general.
Where Should I Start?
Now, I get it, sometimes it can be difficult to get all these nutrients through whole foods alone.
This is where you can benefit from supplementation.
I know I listed a ton of different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help ... which can certainly be overwhelming and pricey if you're buying and sourcing them all separately. Here's what I'd recommend...
Start with a high-quality multivitamin or a daily micronutrient pack. Supplements like these can help fill in any nutritional gaps, making it easier to get your essential nutrients.
If you have any questions on what could benefit you most, reach out to our team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Fitness Nutrition Specialists. We're here to help get you set up with what is best for you and your goals ... to help make sure you get the best results possible!