We’ve talked about essential supplements quite a bit; those pills and powders that help us recover, train longer and with more intensity. But what about vitamins? You know, those things you can find at the local grocery store – no need to even set foot in a supplements store.
In this article we’ll look at the vitamins men need most. The list is dominated by things that we may have deficiencies in, or nutrients that we simply need more of because they’re so vital to our health and performance.
1. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps our bodies produce red blood cells. Why are red blood cells important? They’re the cells that carry nutrients and take away waste from our organs and other cells in our body – in our case, namely our muscles.
They usher in testosterone, HGH, and other powerful hormones and nutrients to our muscles when we’re training. They also take away the glycogen and lactic acid that builds up in our muscles when we work out. B12 also gives us more energy. Although deficiencies are rare because B12 is found in meat, take 1,000 IU daily in the morning or after training. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian you NEED to add a B12 vitamin to your daily routine as our source for this powerful nutrient is animals – whether it’s their meat or dairy.
Other reasons to supplement with B12…
As many as 30 percent of people hospitalized for depression are reported to have a vitamin B12 deficiency, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Vitamin B12 has also been shown to increase mental clarity and reduce short-term memory loss.
2. Vitamin D
Study after study is showing that we don’t get enough vitamin D – even in sunnier climates. Vitamin D helps improve mood, among various other benefits. It also “free’s” the testosterone in our body that is bound to a protein.
Free T is viewed by many as the only relevant form of testosterone in our bodies as it’s the only form that is free to repair tissue. Get your D levels tested by your doctor, but you may need to be taking up to 3,000-5,000 IU twice daily; once upon rising, then again before bed.
You have to be careful when supplementing with zinc as we can overdose. When we DO overdose it’ll show itself in a metalic taste in our mouths. So start off with 15 IU’s daily, but once again, you may need more, so check your levels with your doctor.
Zinc is very important for men as it inhibits aramatase from working. Aramatase is an enzyme that converts testosterone in to estrogen – something we clearly don’t want to happen. Many of us suffer from low levels of zinc in our system to deffinitely think about grabbing some at your local grocery store next time you’re out shopping.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C not only helps men maintain healthy testosterone levels but it helps prevent many common diseases including coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, cataracts, and lead toxicity. Vitamin C can also assist in the treatment hypertension, cancer, diabetes, and the common cold.
Men should be taking about 90 mg a day.
5. Fish Oils
Monounsaturated fats, namely omega-3′s have many a healthy benefit. They improve brain function and mental clarity, but they also help guys like you and I maintain and even gain healthy testosterone levels.
It’s hard to take too many fish oils, they’re that good for us. I take 3, 1200 mg pills upon rising and before bed. When choosing a fish oil, quality is very important. Just like the quality of the meat and fish you consume is very important. With that said, here’s the fish oil supplement I recommend: Omega Blue Fish Oils
Why do we take vitamins?
We no longer fulfill the nutrient requirements our bodies need from our foods. We don’t eat enough of the right meats, fruits, and vegetables, and those food groups no longer contain the same quality or potency of nutrients – they’re “watered down” from where they were even 50 years ago.
Couple that with the fact that we’re breaking our bodies down in the gym and on the playing field – or in the ring – and the need for these essential vitamins becomes even greater. To maintain our health – both long term and short term – head to your local grocer and pick up the vitamins above.