Vitamins serve as catalysts for many important body processes and, under increased metabolism from heavy training, the vitamin requirements needed to catalyze cellular reactions go up. In most strength sports, intense training is coupled with strict dieting—this creates increased demand for vitamins in the face of a diet with potentially limited micronutrient content—an environment that can lead to vitamin deficits and decreases in workout performance. Strength athletes also tend to have greater amounts of lean mass, where their needs for essential vitamins may be greater than those of average Joe. Remember, when it comes to micronutrients, more is not necessarily better—but not enough can be detrimental to your muscle building goals and overall health.
In a recent study that looked at the micronutrient intake of 553 Dutch Elite and Sub-Elite athletes, it was found that in male and female users and non-users of dietary supplements, had sub-optimal vitamin D and iron levels. Supplement non-users were especially at risk for low levels of vitamins B1, B2, B3, A, C and selenium. Similar deficiencies have been noted in athletes worldwide, clearly illustrating that most athletes should be taking a multivitamin supplement.
ACTION POINT: If you train intensely, then we recommend taking a multivitamin supplement that is geared toward athletes. Because formulations can vary, take as directed.
Wardenaar F, Brinkmans N, Ceelen I, Van Rooij , Mensink M, Witkamp R, De Vries J. Micronutrient Intakes in 553 Dutch Elite and Sub-Elite Athletes: Prevalence of Low and High Intakes in Users and Non-Users of Nutritional Supplements. Nutrients. 2017 Feb 15;9(2). pii: E142.