If you’re looking to progress in fitness it’s very important to make sure you’re getting in all the essential micronutrients before any pre-workout supplements or whey protein supplements in my opinion. Having a pre-workout without looking after micronutrient intake is like fitting turbo on a car without first putting fuel in the tank. A bit pointless!
Without an abundance of the vast array of micronutrients that your body requires your body will not be functioning optimally, for example maximising protein synthesis or lipolysis for fat loss.
Personally I would firstly ensure I am getting in a portion of veg with most meals, a decent amount with variety (not just broccoli, lads). A good variety of meats and a good variety of carbohydrates are also always welcome. It might not be the easiest to prepare but you will be functioning better so it’s well worth it. Research has been mixed but some research has shown that you can actually become allergic to the same food just by eating it in abundance without variety.
On top of this I think a good multi-vitamin should be taken daily to cover any other deficiencies that might sneak through. I personally use Controlled Labs Orange Triad as I found it had the profile and it also includes a joint, digestion & immune formula. I’ve also heard good things about AST Multi Pro 32x but I do not have any personal experience.
Vitamin D3 is also a very inexpensive supplement and if you’re living in a place like I am where sun comes and goes it’s a must in my opinion. It is an essential vitamin that is synthesised in the skin when exposed to sunlight. Has been shown to increase cognition, immune health, bone health and well-being. Can also reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Also has been shown to increase testosterone levels after supplementation.
There is also a growing amount of research that has linked Vitamin D to playing an important role in mental health and depression. It’s not yet known what exactly what role it plays, but low levels of Vitamin D have been found in cases with depression. We’re not sure which one comes first, if depression causes low vitamin D or depression comes because of a role that low vitamin D plays... but I know myself that I feel better when it’s sunny, don’t you? Placebo or not, I like Vitamin D.
I would nearly take Vitamin D supplement instead of a multi-vitamin if I had to choose. I rate it that highly. I recommend Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) instead of D2 (ergocalciferol) as it is used more efficiently in the body. The RDA is far too low and that’s also why I believe supplementation on top of a multi-vitamin is essential. I would look to take in 4,000iu+ a day and no higher than 10,000iu. It’s fat soluble so I would take it with a fatty acid that can serve as a transport. Breakfast is a good call, with fish oil or coconut oil (or steak, or whole eggs..etc). Some people report it disrupts sleep so another reason to take it at breakfast.
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading, as per usual you can find me at www.fb.me/DavidYoungJourney or @bluntforcedave on Twitter or Instagram.
David Young UN Sports Nutrition — Sponsored Athlete