As summer approaches, we spend as much time as we can outside. For some of us, this also means it’s time to get the body ready to hit the beach (or pool). Taking vitamins not only helps you stay healthy, but it can help you get those lean, toned muscles, too. Vitamins play a big role in muscle health and development. They also help metabolism and your body’s ability to convert food into energy.
In addition to taking a multivitamin to ensure your muscles get everything they need, look for these following nutrients to help you get beach-body ready.
Protein & Amino Acids
To start, protein stimulate muscle growth, and your muscles need protein to function and to recover. Amino acids are what make up the protein that forms muscles. While it might be tempting to just take amino acids, vitamins and minerals help to ensure your body has the right balance. L-Carnitine is a popular amino acid, although it is actually a vitamin that acts like an amino acid. Research has shown that it helps produce energy while decreasing body fat. It also helps to protect the body against the oxidative stress caused by exercise.
The B vitamins (especially B12, B7 or Biotin, and B2 or Riboflavin) play an important role in protein and energy metabolism or converting food (protein, carbohydrates and fat) into energy. The B’s also support antioxidants in the body to help combat the oxidative stress of exercise. B vitamins support hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to cells and is necessary for the body’s production of energy. These mighty vitamins also aid nerve and muscle function, by helping the brain and muscles communicate, which is critical for muscle growth and coordination.
Vitamin C plays a lot of roles. Among them, it is needed for collagen and elastin synthesis. Collagen is the primary protein in the body and it is found in muscles and connective tissue. It’s necessary for our muscles and skin to maintain its elasticity. In addition, Vitamin C also supports metabolism and wards off free radicals and oxidative stress. It also helps support blood vessels, which are necessary to make sure muscles receive a steady supply of oxygenated blood.
Vitamin D helps our body absorb calcium. It’s also necessary for muscles to contract, and for energy-producing metabolism. A lack of calcium can cause your body to store fat. If you’re lacking Vitamin D, your body won’t properly absorb the calcium. Vitamin D also helps us to absorb phosphorous, which is critical for energy production. Vitamin D on its own is also important for muscle strength.
Often overlooked is magnesium which plays a key role in the overall health of our muscles. Magnesium helps our muscles contract. It also can be used to aid muscle cramps, and help with muscle recovery. In addition, it helps to boost energy levels. It can also aid in relieving constipation, and some people say it actually helps them sleep better when mixed with melatonin.
Convinced you need these essential nutrients to get your body in optimal shape? Tespo can help, check out our vitamin pods: