When most people think of vitamins they might think about the bottled version that you purchase from a health shop. This is one way of obtaining vitamins, but is this the best way?
Most people believe vitamins and minerals are much the same and therefore often assume that minerals can be obtained in tablet form (like vitamins), but this is not the case. Minerals are elemental inorganic substances that, although similar in some respects to vitamins have many differences.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins are a relatively new field of nutritional science and as such we are still learning about how they work. There is not much doubt that, as with most nutritional topics, natural is best. Although we can mimic vitamins in powder and pill form, there are still areas we do not understand how vitamins work. Vitamins are organic substances that contain many micronutrients. These micronutrients play an important role in the body. They act as co-enzymes in many metabolic reactions and are key components of many metabolic pathways. Daily consumption of a multi-vitamin is often recommended to round out a well-balanced diet. This is especially relevant to a hard training athlete.
The main reason for using supplements is to improve athletic performance and build muscle. As the training load increases and consequently the calorific requirement increases, the food consumed will match this need. The assumption is generally that therefore the amount of vitamins and minerals consumed will increase; however, research on dietary habits of athletes shows that this may not always be true.