First in a series
Like everyone else, I do read the muscle building and men's topical magazines. I am reading them less and less, though, because of the infinite amount of advertisements in each magazine. (That's a whole different story.)
Because of these ads, I am getting more and more questions on supplements, so I decided to do a series of articles on supplements.
Normally, I believe we should receive all our nutrients from natural food sources, with few exceptions. With all of the ads I see and client questions I have been fielding, I figured it was time to take the plunge and see for myself.
So I thought I would share my experiences, but first you need to know what I do to work out. My schedule varies week to week but I normally get in swimming, walking, running (when my calf allows), Pilates, tai chi, and lifting on at least alternating days. The cross-training changes daily, along with my schedule.
I do use and recommend a multivitamin every day.
We have a tendency to eat the foods we like more than what's good for us and not eating enough variety of fruits and vegetables; therefore, we don't always get the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals in our system.
I decided to try a different brand of vitamin (based on a salesperson suggestion). Now, keep in mind this was one store of a national chain of health stores. After a few days, I found myself so tired and worn out I had to take breaks during the day in order to sleep in my car. I did this for a couple of months and was very frustrated. Here I was working out at least once a day -- sometimes twice -- and I was putting on weight because my metabolism completely crashed.
My workouts were not very productive, either, because I was just going through the motions, my body was just to tired to lift properly. I stopped taking the offensive vitamins and a week later, I started to feel better and the weight started to come back down.
So, what did we learn from this? Stay with a name-brand vitamin. If that is to pricey, compare bottles while you are in the store. I think you will find a generic version very close to a name brand.
One last note: RDA recommendations are the amounts you need in order to avoid most diseases.
For example: According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the RDA for Vitamin C is 75 mg for adult women and 90 mg for adult men. These numbers climb slightly if you are a smoker: 110mg for women and 125mg for men. That means to prevent scurvy or other Vitamin C deficient diseases, this is the recommended dose.
Visit NutritionData for more information on vitamins and minerals.