Bodybuilding: What Vitamins Should I Take?

Vitamin D is essential for bodybuilders when it comes to muscle growth & recovery; Whey protein & branched chain amino acids (BCAA) are important supplements for optimal performance; L-glutamine helps prevent muscle depletion under stress; Creatine helps increase s

Bodybuilding: What Vitamins Should I Take?

Vitamin D is the most important vitamin for bodybuilders when it comes to muscle growth and recovery. As a basis for muscle mass gain, quality protein supplementation is unparalleled. And the best absorbed form, which is often used specifically after training and with meals to complete protein balance, is whey protein. Whey protein has a high biological value and is extremely convenient to take.

It's worth noting here that to completely prevent this 8-10 hour fast, one would have to wake up once or twice during the night to consume protein. It is therefore essential to take protein immediately after waking up, and whey is, in my experience, the best way to take at this time. Since taking branched chain amino acids (BCAA) regularly, I have witnessed a marked improvement in muscle density and my recovery rate has also increased exponentially. As essential amino acids, BCAAs (Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine) must be taken through the food we eat.

Considered a conditionally essential amino acid, L-glutamine comprises up to 60 percent of the free amino acids that circulate in muscle tissue and is essential for muscle recovery. When other tissues need L-glutamine (for immunological purposes, for example, of which L-glutamine is essential), they often filter this amino from muscle stores, so it makes sense to supplement it. If muscles and the rest of the body systems have an abundant supply of L-glutamine, muscle tissue is less likely to be depleted under stress. After a hard training session, L-glutamine levels will drop throughout the body by up to 50 percent.

When creatine hit stores in the early 90s, it quickly became the supplement of choice for athletes around the world. A supplement that can help increase size and strength, as evidenced by countless scientific studies, creatine (monohydrate, the version that, despite many new and revolutionary forms, still seems to work better in the long term), will increase lean muscle mass and amplify strength gains. Personally, I've found that when I don't take it, my muscles become much flatter and energy levels tend to plummet. Naturally produced in the kidneys, pancreas and liver, creatine is transported to muscle tissue, where it is transformed into creatine phosphate, from which the energy molecule ATP is produced to regenerate the muscles' ability to contract and generate energy during short-burst (anaerobic) activity.

This translates into more productive workouts and faster muscle growth. And relying on nutrition to significantly increase creatine is useless, since you would need to eat many kilos of raw meat to extract five grams of creatine, the amount provided in one teaspoon of creatine monohydrate powder. Therefore, supplementation is necessary to obtain the full benefits of creatine. To improve performance and build muscle, you must first achieve a healthy physical state, since muscles can only grow when the right conditions are in place to do so.

Omega-3 fatty acids can help blood circulation to allow nutrients such as proteins and carbohydrates to reach muscles and exert their effects. Omega-3s can also help lose fat by maximizing the metabolic rate and helping to form a base from which thermogenesis can be produced. Joint lubrication and cardiovascular health are also the main benefits of omega-3 supplementation. Creatine, L-glutamine and whey protein, as the three main bodybuilding supplements, can only be obtained in sufficient quantities in supplementary form.

The foods we eat also lack sufficient amounts of fish oil, from which to extract omega-3 fatty acids, key vitamins and minerals, and branched-chain amino acids. Vitamin D provides a variety of health benefits, including improved immune function, better bone health, and increased cognition. Vitamin D has numerous effects on immune system cells. In particular, it works to regulate the expression of genes that influence the immune system to help it fight bacteria, viruses and diseases.

For high-performance bodybuilders and athletes, this means less time to recover from illness and more training time to increase strength and performance. Vitamin D plays an important role in maintaining bone density and healthy muscle cell function, increasing the integrity of bone structure and reducing the risk of future fractures. Sufficient levels of vitamin D can help bodybuilders, weightlifters and Crossfit athletes by helping their skeletal system withstand sudden force and trauma while maintaining muscle fiber function thus preserving muscles and strength. Some initial studies have looked at the influence of vitamin D levels on cognitive performance; data show that people with lower vitamin D levels showed a slower speed of information processing.

For performance-based tasks and activities vitamin D supplementation can help increase the ability to process information and act decisively.


is an essential mineral and one of the most prevalent electrolytes in the human body; deficiency is very common in Western diets since most grains cereals and breads usually contain little or no magnesium. Maintaining healthy magnesium levels is important for lowering blood pressure and increasing insulin sensitivity. Magnesium supplements can be helpful if people can't eat enough magnesium-rich foods such as leafy vegetables nuts and seeds; The standard dose of magnesium is between 200 - 400 mg per day with magnesium citrate being the most popular supplemental form of magnesium since it is more easily absorbed than other varieties.

Magnesium acts to promote increased calcium and oxygen transport as well as intracellular transport of sodium and potassium; In particular magnesium plays a crucial role during extended periods of high intensity exercise such as performance based sports or Crossfit WODs helping prevent muscle cramps. Magnesium benefits bodybuilding & strength athletes by regulating energy production & protein synthesis; Without sufficient magnesium present nutrients consumed cannot be metabolized into ATP - ATP being fundamental unit of energy responsible for muscle contractions protein synthesis & cellular reproduction; Magnesium supplementation helps positively regulate ATP synthesis resulting in greater strength during training as well as increased lean tissue growth.


is a mineral & electrolyte that works with sodium to balance body's fluids & electrolytes helping regulate heartbeats nerve impulses & prevent muscle cramps; Potassium is involved in...

Joshua Nessner
Joshua Nessner

Evil food guru. Typical twitter scholar. Incurable web enthusiast. Award-winning beer advocate. Travelaholic.

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