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Friday, April 29, 2011

Do multivitamins enhance physical performance?

"Large intakes of multi-vitamin supplements taken over prolonged periods of time have not been shown to enhance physical performance."
(Statement by Sports Nutrition Expert)
In this case, restrict calcium, increase magnesium, sodium, potassium
and copper.  Restrict zinc, increase cobalt and molybdenum.  B
vitamins will improve uptake of these minerals.  Large amounts
 of vitamin C may depress already low copper levels, so no
big doses of vitamin C.
Got the idea?
I agree and disagree.

I have never seen any performance benefits from giving an athlete a multivitamin.  So, we are in agreement with that.

However, I am not in agreement with the implied message in this statement that vitamins, minerals and other nutrients do not improve athlete performance.  To the contrary, huge gains in athletic performance, consistency in training and competition and career longevity can be had from the thoughtful use of vitamins, minerals and so on.

The scattergun use of a multivitamin is next to useless.  A waste of time and money.  Minerals are actually more important than vitamins.  And how about all the different fats, carbohydrates and proteins that are essential for healthy metabolism?  And how about the huge variety of natural antioxidants, including betacarotenoids?  Without a rich supply of all these nutrients, a multivitamin is next to useless.

And what happens if there is already too much of one vitamin?  A multi might just make matters worse.

What is effective is the use of scientific testing to first determine by a hair tissue mineral analysis where there may be excesses and deficiencies within the individual athlete.  There always are.  Once these are determined each deficiency can be progressively corrected by using a building block approach to nutrient supplementation - restricting those in excess while increasing those in deficiency.

Do these things, and not blindly prescribe vitamins, and the improvements in athlete performance can be spectacular.   This is to be had without resorting to heavily promoted sports performance compounds such as creatine and hydroxymethylbyturate.   You can add these later to the athlete's diet  once the basics of nutrition are in place.

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1 comment:

Wayne said...

lets see, after over a decade of being a newr invalid with chronic fatigue, judicious mineral supplmentation has me now off on demanding hikes
my last hike was four days over a mountain pass with a 1400metre climb including a rock climb and rough scree slope. i covered 65km all up carrying all my own gear, this was never possible if i went back several years before i took mineral supplements. no medical doctor or naturopath was ever able to offer any treatment that ever made any difference to m health till i took mineral supplements, that expert never walked a mile in anyone elses mocasin's before making his ridiculous comments....