Vitamin Nutrition Supplements and Food Sources in Sports Nutrition
Your sports nutrition plan requires fuel, vitamin and minerals, and possibly vitamin nutrition supplements. Many vitamins and minerals are a part of the energy producing process, but they must be combined with fuel (carbs and fat) to work. Other nutrients have roles in protecting the body, in muscle function and fluid balance. Many vitamins and minerals work in balance with one another, so eating whole foods should be the first priority. Too many vitamin nutrition supplements can offset the natural balance of the body. If you have a tough time getting in all the suggested servings of a food group, or you can’t eat many choices in a food group because of an allergy or intolerance, then a vitamin or mineral supplement might be a useful addition to your everyday sports nutrition plan.
How much of a supplement do you need?
The Institute of Medicines National Academy of Sciences has established vitamin and mineral needs for the population in the form of Reference Dietary Intakes (which include RDAs, Upper Limits and Adequate Intakes (for some nutrients). You don’t likely need more than 100% of the RDA for a nutrient, especially if you are already getting nutrients in your food. Read the nutrition facts of all the foods and supplements you use. A food is a “good source” of a nutrient if the Daily Value is greater than 10%. There are also Upper Limits established by the IOM. Intakes above the Upper Limits are not likely to be effective and could be dangerous.
Food sources, functions, and suggested intake for:
Antioxidants (Vitamins C, E, A)
B Vitamins (Thiamin, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folate, B-6, B-12)
Calcium, Iron and Potassium
Multi vitamin nutrition supplements