You might be wondering, what are the best vitamins to take for athletes?
Some people try to enhance performance with antioxidant supplements. There are usually 3 types of vitamins mixed, such as vitamins A, C, and E.
Now we will discuss the role of those vitamins
The molecules that form of vitamin A category are part of a group of compounds that show the biological activity of retinol.
Most dietary vitamin A is obtained from carotenoids or from animal tissues with high vitamin A content.
Being a fat-soluble vitamin, these nutrients can concentrate in fat tissue. This causes many toxicity symptoms such as headaches, bone pain, weakness, and skin problems, among others.
Vitamin A is very important for…
- testicular function
- bone growth
It has also been shown to have…
- antioxidant properties
- offering protection against lipid peroxidation
- oxidative modification of proteins, and
- LDL oxidation
Small studies have been conducted to examine the effect of vitamin A supplementation on athletes. This is potentially due to a few factors including the fact that vitamin A toxicity is likely at higher doses.
In addition, although plasma vitamin A decreases as a result of an exercise in rats! The skeletal muscle of vitamin A increases significantly. This shows a homeostatic mechanism for antioxidant balance.
The term vitamin E refers to 8 similar compounds. Such as Alpha, Beta, Delta, and gamma tocopherol. Also, the four tocotrienols of the same designations.
The prefixes alpha through gamma refers to the number and position of methyl groups on the aromatic ring on the molecule.
The difference is the tocotrienols have three double bonds alongside the molecule chain. Whereas the tocopherols do not (tri means three, of course, and -one refers to a carboncarbon double bond.)
Vitamin E has a direct biological connection with immunity, aging, exercise, heart disease, and cancer.
Although alpha-tocopherol is the richest compound in body parts, this is the most bioactive and bioavailable.
A recent marketing attention has been placed on the use of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienol forms.
It’s because the research implies different vitamin E derivatives. This produces improving a Vitro antioxidant activity. Also, improve the unique antioxidant and therapeutic properties.
But someone questioned! Does increase in vitro antioxidant capacity can be beneficial if bioavailability compounds decrease?
This argument is based on the old school alpha-tocopherol data. It was very popular for many years and also has become a superior biological potency.
Another concern with intake of vitamin E is because its present primarily in fats and limiting dietary fat. Many athletes and health-conscious individuals do, will limit its availability.
The health and antioxidant benefits of vitamin E have been well documented through numerous trials. It has shown that the membranebound vitamin E is one of the cell’s predominant defense mechanisms against lipid peroxidation.
Vitamin E is always recycled with many other antioxidants. For example vitamin C, ubiquinone, and glutathione.
In exercise performance, Vitamin E is probably the most researched of the antioxidants.
Like any other antioxidant, testing is usually done at altitude and ozone-rich environments.
In the study, vitamin E increased the oxidation status and lactate thresholds in mountain climbers. While on cyclists, vitamin E supplements improve lung function and oxidation status in the presence of ozone-rich air.
Since ozone (found in polluted air) is a powerful oxidant that reduces lung performance! The urban exercisers may enjoy vitamin E’s antioxidant characteristics.
The benefits would primarily manifest as reduced toxicity rather than actual performance enhancement. But, as pulmonary oxygen provision is not generally considered limiting in aerobic performance.
Performance may be less affected by antioxidant supplementation. But the greatest potential benefit of vitamin E for athletes is the reduction of tissue damage caused by exercise.
The results can vary, but there is a very convincing relative evidence. Vitamin E can reduce muscle and oxidative damage in response to exercise.
In the first report, consuming 800 IU/day of vitamin E can increase the serum concentration of alpha and gamma tocopherol by 300% and 74%, respectively.
Thus, supplemental regimes with this vitamin are effectively absorbed.
Secondly, this increase leads to a skeletal muscle increase of 53% and 37%, respectively, in 30 days.
The results of these increases are encouraging for hard-training athletes.
From various studies in humans and animals! Vitamin E can lower plasma levels of cytosolic creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase.
Lipid peroxidation markers such as MDA, conjugated dose, and TBARS have been reduced as well.
Also, reperfusion injury in the quadriceps can be reduced by using 600 IU/day of oral vitamin E over 8 days.
The effect of vitamin E on protein catabolism needs further work. But in particular studies, vitamin E seems to possess beneficial effects.
Vitamin C is known as ascorbic acid.
Because of its solubility in aqueous environments, is most associated with both intracellular and extracellular fluids (blood).
Although there is controversy regarding the proposed correlations between vitamin C and diseases such as cancer, heart disease, or stroke, vitamin C is known to be an effective antioxidant.
Vitamin C has the unique ability to act as a primary antioxidant. Donating electrons to quench free radicals and reactive oxygen species. Also as a secondary antioxidant to regenerate vitamin E within the intracellular fluid.
In addition to its interaction with vitamin E, oxidized vitamin C is reduced and recycled by glutathione. Due to its nonspecific antioxidant properties, vitamin C is effective in the removal of most reactive oxygen species.
In exercise training, vitamin C has been shown to reduce free radical production during and after exercise.
Also, vitamin C can reduce muscle soreness and improve recovery from muscle damage.
In a study examining the eccentric muscle damage, maximum voluntary contractions were greater 24 hours after the damaging exercise when subjects supplemented with vitamin C than when they supplemented with vitamin E or placebo.
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