The Top Vitamins for Weightlifters

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Lifting weights can be very taxing on your body. Making sure you supplement with the proper vitamins and minerals can help alleviate some of the wear and tear on your muscles and joints and reduce recovery times. Vitamins can also help prepare your body to lift heavier loads, all of which will allow you to have better strength gains when lifting weights.

Vitamin B3

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Vitamin B3, or niacin, is a water-soluble vitamin that is key in helping your body efficiently break down the carbohydrates you eat to release energy or glucose into your blood stream. Glucose is the energy your muscles need to do any work, including lifting weights. According to a study published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism," niacin also helps to release growth hormone in the body, which in turn stimulates muscle and cell growth.

Vitamins B6 and B12

Vitamins B6 and B12 specifically help metabolize amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein in the body. While lifting weights actually breaks down your muscles, protein helps to rebuild weakened muscle tissue. The more available protein is in your body, the quicker your muscles can recover and grow after a strenuous workout. Vitamin B12 also helps maintain nervous system tissue, ensuring that the brain can send signals to properly stimulate the muscles.

Vitamin D

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Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays several roles as a weightlifting aid. Its main function is to help the body to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, both of which are crucial in building and maintaining bone mass. Vitamin D also is essential in increasing muscular strength. Deficiency in vitamin D can cause muscle aches and weakness as well as muscle cramps, all of which can inhibit a regular weightlifting program.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin also known as ascorbic acid. This vitamin is required to produce collagen in the body. Collagen is a key component in the structure of tendons, blood vessels, bone and ligaments. Strong tendons, bones and ligaments are required to assist muscles in lifting heavy weights. Vitamin C is also essential in the synthesis of carnitine, a molecule which helps convert fat in your body into energy that can be used to lift weights.