Multivitamins have come a long way over the last few years.
A few years ago, and a multivitamin was a multivitamin; the stuff you could buy from your local supermarket was about as good as they got.
Today the story is very different.
Now you can find specialist multivitamin supplements that have been tailored to your specific needs.
There are multivitamins for athletes, multivitamins for older men, and multivitamins for young women.
There is now also a huge gap between the top end of the market and the bottom; the cheapest multivitamins are now noticeably worse than the highest quality supplements.
There are generic, basic supplements that can be bought for a few dollars, there are top quality multivitamins with millions of dollars of research behind them, and everything in between.
With so much choice, it is hard to know which multivitamin is right for your specific needs.
For example, which is the best multivitamin for athletes?
Is there a supplement ideal for meeting the micro-nutrient needs of athletes? Or are you fine just using a generic multivitamin?
In this article, I’ll tell you which multivitamin is best for athletes. I will explain how athletes’ nutritional needs differ from other people, and how they need to construct their supplement stacks to meet those needs.
In the end, I’ll give you my recommendation for the best multivitamin for athletes.
If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section at the end.
Vitamin & Mineral Needs Of Athletes
Athletes have very specific nutritional needs.
I’ll now go through the main things that athletes need from a multivitamin. I’ll explain what you should look for in an athlete’s multivitamin.
The main thing that differentiates the athletes from your average sedentary person is their higher energy expenditure.
So the main things that athletes need more of than regular people are the vitamins and minerals needed for energy metabolism. That is the basic requirement that needs to be met by a multivitamin for athletes.
So any multivitamin designed for athletes will need to contain large doses of the following:
If you are looking for a multivitamin specifically for athletes, then make sure it contains reasonable doses of these ingredients.
I think you should expect particularly large doses of B1, B2, B5, B6, and B12. A 100% RDI dose of Chromium and Copper would also be great.
Another thing that athletes need extra support with is hormone health.
If you are constantly training – subjecting your body to intense stress on a regular basis – then your hormones levels will dissipate over time.
This is especially true of men who train with heavy weights.
Training with heavy weights multiple times per week will cause a steady decline in testosterone levels. Athletes therefore need to take extra precautions to try and promote healthy testosterone levels.
The following vitamins and minerals are necessary for healthy testosterone production in men:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B5
I expect any multivitamin designed for athletes to provide decent doses of at least some of these vitamins and minerals.
In particular, I would want to see very healthy servings of Vitamin D, Zinc and Boron.
Muscle Growth/Tissue Repair
When it comes to supporting muscle repair and tissue growth, everyone talks about protein.
However, protein intake is just one variable which governs muscle repair and tissue growth.
How well you are able to repair damaged muscle tissue is in part regulated by several different vitamins and minerals.
For example, Copper is required for the generation of connective tissues, Vitamin E is needed for tissue repair, and Vitamin B2 is needed for the generation of new red blood cells.
Then you have things like Vanadium which are needed for the synthesis of growth factors, and Vitamin A which is required for protein synthesis.
Without these vitamins and minerals, you simply cannot properly recover from intensive training. You will not be growing tissue at an optimal rate each night, which means worse performance over the long run.
Any multivitamin for athletes needs to provide these vital micro-nutrients.
The best multivitamin for athletes will be a product which provides large doses of these vitamins and minerals.
Summary – What Is The Best Multivitamin For Athletes
I’ve now explained what I believe makes for the ideal multivitamin for athletes.
It must be a supplement which provides plenty of the following micro-nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
Any multivitamin which combines these ingredients, in large doses, will work great for athletes.
Is there a product out there which I’d recommend specifically?
Yes -> Performance Lab Whole Food Multi.
This multivitamin has been specifically designed with high performance individuals in mind.
There are two formulas; one tailored to the hormonal and micro-nutrient needs of men, the other to women.
Each formula provides large doses of all the micro-nutrients that an athlete needs to stay at peak performance.
On top of that, the ingredients have all been obtained through Performance Lab’s patented BioGenesis process. So in each case, you get a probiotic, nature-identical form of the vitamin or mineral.
All of this is wrapped up in a prebiotic, vegan-friendly plant cap.
I can’t ask for more than that!