“Say your prayers, take your vitamins, be a true American!”
Although we do not live in the U.S. of A. This quote transports many to a time back when wrestling was quickly growing in America and Hulk Hogan was a hero to many up and coming youth. It was impossible not to get this wildfire of a sport crossing our border up north to Canada. We would see the wrestlers on TV with these monstrous bodies and we would idolize them for their courage and “hero-like” qualities. Many have even reported their love for bodybuilding starting from being obsessed with what their wrestling heroes looked like when they were kids. When you have a guy like Hulk Hogan saying that you need to take your vitamins, there is no choice but to listen. Over the last few decades it has become a staple to take a multivitamin for good overall health. Not only can we find them everywhere from gas stations to pharmacies but there are millions of brands out there to pick from. One can often get confused and assume that the most expensive one, or the one with the shiniest label is the best one.
Multivitamins are supplements that are supposed to cover all your bases for vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When we have a deficiency of a certain micronutrient in our body, things can really turn ugly. Ranging from feeling lethargic and depressed all the way to hindering muscle growth and even causing some serious health issues, making sure that we are getting the proper vitamins and minerals in our bodies is crucial. In a perfect world, multivitamins would have the exact dosages we need to help us perform optimally; unfortunately these products do not take a lot of factors into account. Our need for certain vitamins and minerals changes with many aspects such as genetics, nutrition, lifestyle, geographic location, activity levels and many more. Every person is so different that their needs for certain vitamins and minerals will all greatly vary. Multivitamins tend to have dozens of ingredients jam-packed in small pills making it very hard to add an efficacious dose of any of these vitamins you might be truly deficient in.
So, do you need a multivitamin? No. But you still might need to supplement with certain vitamins for optimal health and performance.
Many often say “I don’t need vitamins, I get all my vitamins through food!”
Unless these individuals keep their diet consistent and have gotten bloodwork done to show that every micronutrient is up to par to what is needed to function optimally, they are fooling themselves. Especially for the readers of this (which the majority are athletes looking to maximize their health and performance), our body will utilize and require a lot more vitamins and minerals than the average sedentary person. Although not impossible, it is very tough to get all your vitamins and minerals through food as so many different variables play a role. Things from the lowered quality of crops over the last few decades, to the hormones pumped in our meats, to the certain restrictions we sometimes put on ourselves when dieting for a show.
The best way to determine what vitamins and minerals you should use is to get bloodwork done and check your vitamin and mineral levels. From here you can see which ones you may be deficient or abundant in and decide how much you need in order to maximize your health and performance. Also, be sure to find a reputable company and do your research before buying vitamins. Many factors will play a role in how well you digest and absorb the nutrients and we want to maximize this as well.
Multivitamins have a good intention behind them as they are made to keep us free from deficiencies. The problem is that they do not take into account each of our individual needs. The best way to handle your health and performance is not to play horseshoes and hand grenades with your deficiencies but to pinpoint them and attack the points that really matter!
With the pursuit of achieving the best possible physique and helping hundreds of clients do the same, Juan Rojas has dedicated his life to finding the best strategies for transforming human bodies. Constant research, trial and error and continous education in the exercise physiology and nutrition field, Juan Rojas thrives off finding the most efficient ways to transform your body and live a happier and healthier lifestyle.