75% of people take a vitamin supplement, according to the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. Meanwhile, 28% of these individuals say that they take vitamin supplements to increase their energy levels.
But when you’re pursuing a healthy lifestyle and working hard to improve your core strength and overall fitness levels, are there any benefits in popping a daily vitamin pill?
The CRN survey found that multivitamins are the most popular supplements, with 56% taking one daily. These little pills typically contain 100% of your recommended daily allowance of the core vitamins and minerals.
Therefore, those who are working to get fit and healthy take them to keep their body in top condition both inside and out. However, a University of Minnesota study found a greater mortality rate in individuals who took a daily multivitamin.
Most worryingly, there is evidence that some health products contain dangerous ingredients, including excess levels of fluoride. When taken in high quantities, fluoride can damage the bones in the body and, therefore, prevent you from achieving your long-term fitness goals.
Vitamin B & B complex
Vitamin B & B complex help to keep the body in optimum condition. These vitamins play an important role on the body’s metabolism. Therefore, they are favored by many fitness fanatics who seek weight loss. Meanwhile, research from Oregon State University found that athletes who don’t take enough B-vitamins have weaker HIIT performance and are less able to build muscle mass.
Although, it’s important to note that these supplements contain vitamin B3 (niacin) which has been connected to an increased risk of death when more than the recommended daily allowance is taken
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin as it is an antioxidant and fights off disease.
The Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institutes of Health recommends 75 mg to 95 mg of vitamin C is consumed daily.
But, it’s widely speculated in the fitness world, that upping your intake can boost performance and post-workout recovery. However, a 2004 study found that taking high doses of any vitamin which is an antioxidant, including vitamin C, can interfere with muscular endurance.
This resulted in the lead researcher stating that these supplements “should be used with caution”. Therefore, so long as you’re eating plenty of oily fish, fortified cereals, fruits, and vegetables, your vitamin C levels will be sufficient.
The body naturally produces vitamin D when it’s exposed to the sun. The U.S Institute of Medicine advises that a daily intake of 10-20 micrograms of vitamin D is sufficient for most individuals.
Although, if you live in a country where sunshine is limited at certain times of the year, it can be difficult to achieve this intake. Furthermore, research has shown that vitamin D plays a significant role in health and fitness. One study found that individuals who took calcium and vitamin D supplements on a daily basis lost more weight than those who didn’t.
Whereas, another study found that taking vitamin D when you’re overweight can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Supplements are taken by millions of exercise enthusiasts in a bid to aid performance, recovery, and health. Nonetheless, extensive research shows that there are risks associated with taking some of the most popular vitamin supplements on the market.
Therefore, with the exclusion of vitamin D, it’s typically best to get all the vitamins your body requires from your diet.