Exercising with weights is the main way to build muscle and vitamins for muscle growth play a vital role. But it is worth bearing in mind that maintenance and growth of muscles occur as a result of certain biochemical reactions, the flow of which requires various nutrients, including vitamins.
The presence of adequate amounts of essential nutrients in the diet is necessary not only for the recovery and development of muscles but also for providing you with energy during strength training sessions and strengthening connective tissue to avoid injury.
To obtain all the vitamins for muscle growth, you must adhere to a healthy balanced diet. Also, vitamins can be used to meet the daily requirement of vitamins.
Groups of Vitamins for muscle growth
Vitamins are divided into two groups – water-soluble and fat-soluble. Water-soluble vitamin C and B vitamins such as thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folic acid (B9), cobalamin (B12); to fat-soluble – vitamins A, D, E and K. A feature of fat-soluble vitamins is the ability to accumulate in body fat, therefore they do not require daily intake, but overdose can lead to intoxication. Water-soluble vitamins, in contrast, are not stored in the body, but with excess are derived from it, so they require constant inclusion in the diet.
Vitamin A (retinol) plays a vital role in the synthesis of protein – a process in which amino acids are converted into new muscle cells, which is the basis of muscle growth. It also takes part in the production of glycogen – a form of energy used by the body during intense training.
People involved in strength training and using vitamins for muscle growth should pay particular attention to vitamin A intake, as intense physical activity, along with a low-fat diet, worsens the absorption of this vitamin. The recommended intake of vitamin A is 5000 IU per day. The sources of vitamin A are milk, cheese, eggs, fish, fruits and vegetables of orange and yellow color, such as carrots, tomatoes, peppers, pumpkins, melons, apricots, mangoes, papaya, and dill, parsley, spinach, lettuce.
Vitamin B1 (thiamin) helps in the assimilation of protein, a key element in muscle building. Also, thiamin takes part in the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells, which is responsible for the transportation of oxygen throughout the body, including working muscles. Oxygen transfer is critical in physical activity, and with increasing training intensity, the need for oxygen, and consequently, in thiamine, also increases. The daily requirement for vitamin B1 is 2 mg. From food sources of thiamine, you can identify pork, beef, ham, fish, cereals, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, peanuts, Brazil nuts, peas, spinach, soy, and beans.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) promotes the production of energy in the metabolism of glucose and the oxidation of fats and also participates in the process of cellular respiration. In addition to all, riboflavin helps protein metabolism – an integral part of muscle development and growth and improves muscular excitability. The daily norm of riboflavin is 1.7 mg. It is found in meat, liver, poultry, fish, oysters, eggs, milk, cheese, asparagus, green vegetables, legumes, and mushrooms.
Vitamin B3 (niacin) is involved in almost 60 metabolic processes associated with energy production and provides the body with fuel for performing physical exercises. The recommended daily requirement for niacin is 20 mg.
You can find this vitamin in the meat of turkey, chicken, beef, liver, tuna, salmon, shrimp, eggs, milk, nuts, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli. On the other hand, if your diet does not contain enough niacin, the body can synthesize it from the amino acid tryptophan, which is in large quantities in rabbit meat, lamb, cheese, squid, soybeans, beans, red and black caviar.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) is important for protein metabolism and helps the body absorb carbohydrates. The intake of vitamin B6 is 2 mg per day. And the need for pyridoxine directly depends on the amount of protein in the diet – the higher it is, the more this vitamin is needed. The sources of pyridoxine are beef, poultry (chicken, turkey), fish, eggs, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, bananas, beans, wheat, oats, brown rice, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and peanuts.
Vitamin B7 (biotin) promotes the assimilation of amino acids and also participates in the metabolism and energy production from proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. The daily dose of biotin should be 300 μg. From food sources, biotin is found in the liver, yeast, almonds, walnuts, tomatoes, corn, beans and soy.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) supports protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism, and also improves the state of nerve tissues (including the spinal cord) responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses from the brain to the muscles and back. These impulses contribute to muscle contractions and the growth of muscle tissue. The daily requirement for cobalamin is 6 mg. Vitamin B12 is available only in foods of animal origin, so it is important for vegetarians to resort to food supplements. From products containing vitamin B12, you can distinguish beef, offal, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fish, and shellfish.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) has many advantages for building muscle mass. It is involved in the metabolism of amino acids and the formation of collagen, which plays an essential role in strengthening connective tissue and maintaining strong and healthy joints.
Vitamin C also helps in the production of natural steroid hormones, including testosterone. Ascorbic acid promotes the assimilation of iron, which is involved in the transport of oxygen in the blood, thereby helping our muscles work in the best possible way.
Also, vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects muscle cells from damage by free radicals, improving their recovery and growth. The recommended intake of vitamin C is 60 mg per day. For ascorbic acid should be consumed citrus (grapefruit, lemons, oranges), kiwis, berries, sweet pepper, onion, radish, tomato, cabbage, broccoli, spinach.
Vitamin D plays a vital role in the assimilation of calcium and phosphorus, which are necessary for the performance of muscle contractions – the basis of all exercises with weights. Without a sufficient supply of these minerals, muscle contractions can not last long, which ultimately leads to a slowdown in muscle growth.
Also, calcium is necessary to maintain the integrity of the bones, which will have to retain the increased muscle tissue. With a lack of calcium, the body uses its reserves of bones, thereby weakening the skeleton.
Phosphorus supplies muscles with energy, participating in the synthesis of ATP. The recommended dose of vitamin D is 400 IU per day. You can get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, from fatty fish and fish oil, liver, fungi, and eggs.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes from the stresses of intense training. This is an important point, because many of the metabolic processes that occur in the body, including the recovery and growth of muscle cells, depending on the health of the cell membranes. The intake of vitamin E is 30 IU per day. You can find vitamin E in vegetable oils (sunflower, olive, soy, corn, flaxseed), almonds, peanuts, avocados, green leafy vegetables and wheat germ.