T Nation

vitamin and mineral demands for athletes

first of all whats your favorite Multi that u use?

We all know, the vitamins and mineral are needed for optimal (and sometimes just needed) bodily functions

but athletes needs are different

what do u think is an athlete defficiencies?
a) normal diet
b) low-carb diet
c) while cutting(heavily?)
yes I read the T-dawg diet article…
I think it reffered to medical cases of defficiencies there and Im talking about optimal.

let’s go over the basics
correct me anyone

must - A, C, E, K
optional - selenium, glutatione, N-Acetyl-cysteine, Q-10

energy system vitamins:
optional - B1,2,3,5,6,12(all could be recieved easily by your diet unless avegeterian)
Do we need larger then RDA dosages?
5 minutes of sun on skin a day-vitamin D
must - folic acid

Calcium 1000 MG per 100Lb
Iodine - in salt , is it in low sodium salt?
chromium - very important for athletes - 400mcg a day
zinc how much then the RDA (15mg) do we need
magnezium - endurance athletes take a gram a day! how much do we need?
potassium - should I supplement my P.W drink with it?

Anything else?



The only multi I use is Animal Pak, I think that’s got just about everything in it

Lets go one by one:

Vitamin A. RDA is 5000 IU.
usualy taken as beta carotene
A recent study suggests that Vitamin A intake is ASSOCIATED WITH ENHANCED GLUCOSE DISPOSAL. since its also a good antioxidants, I think (anyone else) for optimal results one should go for 60-120 mg beta carotene per day
Thts alot more then U can get from food and most of us dont the realy good vit. A sources like liver.

forgive my horrible spelling mistakes (AND GRAMMAR)

[note to self - “preview button”…]
next Up

That ascorbic dude
Vitamin C
Im not linus pauling yet, but Vitamin C showed in researches to have an effect on training (and other stressors) induced catabolism. since we have ALOT of that, I suggest a stress related dose - If u do HIT more C, if U r just chilling - less (ofcourse, on recovery days muscle damage is still there so dont stop that C)
C is recommended in Ester-C form, havent a clue why, and since it is secreted in our sweat(!) very quickly I suggest :1-5 G per day

ofcourse, all objections are welcome

Vitamin E: - RDA=15mg(22IU)
the most active form of E is d-alpha-tocopherol.
for the same reason as vitamin C, and for catabolism PREVENTION properties, and for it’s anti-blood clotting effect(important for recovery) E is recomended by sport nutritionists in large amounts
Ive heard anywhere from 200-1200 IU per day

Vitamin D - during winter time, those of us who arent eating their fatty fish and milk, will experience muscle weakness and bone pains


Leafy vitamis:
Vitamin K - the green vegetables vitamin. 3 oz a day of leafy greens should do it but if not, abnormal blood clotting can lead to nosebleeds and spontaneous bruises. Unlike other fat-solubles, is secreted rapidly from the body so u cant go “I ate them 3 ounces last year…”
Athletes = Ive heard 150mcg reccomendations

Folic Acid.(B9, folate)
RDA=400mcg (very hard near impossible to get from food)
there is no Athletic applications that I heard off… anyone?
defficiency simptoms are baaad though so get your RDA. also , 50-80% of Folate in veggies is destroyed by heat!
get them in a supplement guys.

Glute, if you really want to be taken seriously on this board, stop writing “u” and “ur” and other silly abbrevations. Makes you look either dumb or lazy and I’m sure you’re neither. Hard to read too.

Sorry bout that Tek… I write REALY slowly in engish so U(! - just kidding) could say Im lazy.

gotcha-wrap it better.
will having usefull posts help also?

Taken from http://t-mag.com/html/body_101pyram.html

“Make sure that the blend you buy contains ample amounts of folic acid, though. Most heart doctors now think that high levels of an amino acid called homocysteine are a “smoking gun” when it comes to predicting future heart problems. Unfortunately, homocysteine is a byproduct of protein metabolism. So, given that we, as a group, eat enough protein in a single day to fulfill the yearly dietary needs of a medium-sized third-world country, we definitely need 400-800 mcg of folic acid a day.”

Hylander -
Ive looked at Animal Pak’s nutritional info.

looks good on all the vitamins Ive been to - unless you are an HIT guy - in that case more C,E is recommended.
also no vitamin K.
There is however, alot of other stuff that look kitchen-sinkish “protogen A”, 25mg colostrum, 200 mg oleic acid… what for? 2000 mg of arginine is sweet for insulin mangement - unless youre on keto-diet.

and whats “ox bile”?

also, I havent touched on cromium yet but (depends on your training) higher dosage then 50mcg will be optimal for you

Cool Derek!

that means that our folic acid consumption should be related to the amounts of protein ingested…
Yo CT you just did 400 grams a day bro, watch for that homeocysteine!

800 mcg folic acid it is then

I take higher doses than the RDA recommends, since the recommendations are far below what the average sedentary person should take.

In addition to taking two multivitamins each day, I take 2000IU E, 1 gram or more of C, and extra B, Coral Calcium, ZMA and MSM.

You should look into USANA as they have been rated the highest quality multivitamins available. I’m looking into buying some, but they are a bit pricey.

In the meantime, I just take a lot more than what the RDA recommends. It helps keep me healthy.

Animal Pak is great. You can transport it easily because it comes in little baggies. Yeah, the pills are horse pill size, but you get absolutely everything and then some. Plus your pee turns glow-in-the-dark yellow.

This is breakdown of the Multivitamin I take. It’s the “Hi Potency Multi Vegetarian Formula” by Natural Factors. I’m not a vegetarian but these ones seemed to have the most minerals and 100% of the B vitamins RDA. What do you guys think?

Vitamin/Mineral Amount units

A 10000 IU
B1 (Thiamin) 50 mg/d
B2 (Riboflavin) 50 mg/d
B3 (Niacin) 50 mg/d
B5 (Pantothenate)50 mg/d
B6 (Pyridoxine) 50 mcg/d
B9 (Folate) 1 mg/d
B12 (Cobalamin) 50 mg/d
C 200 mg/d
D 400 IU
E 100 IU
K mcg/d
Biotin 50 mcg/d
Ca 125 mg/d
Cl mg/d
Cr 25 mcg/d
Co mcg/d
Cu mg/d
I 100 mcg/d
Fe 10 mg/d
Mg 50 mg/d
Mn 1 mg/d
Mo 25 mcg/d
K 10 mg/d
Se 25 mcg/d
Zn 10 mg/d


I don’t think your quite right about Vitamin A when you said we don’t get enough in food sources. Most North Americans get approximately 9 times the RDA of Vitamin A (Retanoic acid). Unfortunately it is absorbed by the blood through the skin and is ever present in skin creams, acne medication, etc. This is why drugs like Acutane for acne warn women not to get pregnant for 3 months after last ingestion. It is one of the largest causes of teratological offspring (ie. embryological defects). I think the highest is still Thalidimide but that’s mostly in 3rd world countries. I’d be careful about suggesting people up their doses of Vit. A. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what other sources besides food they take in this Vitamin.

Any thoughts?

OK guys…

ND: My recommended vit. A dosage is smaller then 9 times US RDA… thanks for the Info about vitamin A - you are saying that women who use skin care products should watch out for excess Vit. A or men also? And I was talking about Beta-Carotene which (correct me if I’m wrong) is not toxic as pure Retinol(Vit A.)

About your multi - as I said to Hylander, I think you could use more C,E , especialy on high intensity periods or while cutting. about your minerals, I don’t know how much dairy you eat but you do need dairy or calcium supplementation. Do you know your magnezium, Zinc intake? the RDA amounts are quite low for non-sedentary people. I would look into those 3 and the chromium for possible optimization of your mineral supplementation.

Nate Dogg:

I just thought your E dosage is a little High so I tried to find something in my sources. SSR4 says: “Tolerable upper intake of the natural d-form is 1500 IU” if you are taking synthetic E then it’s 2250 IU. anyway I think you are WAY up there in that dosage. any reasons?

All: would you say that together with diet, vitamin and mineral supplementation are the most important and basic supplements? For me it’s so automatic. I see so many people investing in supplements (bogus or not) but their body is “rusty”, they are vitamin/mineral defficient, and blame their less then optimal results on the supplements they spent so much money on.

low sodium salt, hehehehe

I drink a cup of milk and have 1/2 cup of Cottage cheese a day, as well as 3/4 cup yogurt. Do you think that’ll cover the Ca(2+) I need?
Also, regarding Vit. C, I have an orange a day (which I believe has 100% of the RDA, and usually have Kiwi (120% RDA) and other citrus fruits. Might not be enough though…I’ll look into it.
What foods contain good sources of Vit. E? I’d prefer to get vitamins from food as much as possible, but if I can’t get enough in my 7-8 meals a day I’ll supplement.
Finally, regarding my comments on Vit. A. Your right that B-carotene is less toxic than Retinol (which is interconvertable with Retonoic acid). Men should be careful too, as it is toxic to everyone’s body in large enough quantities (which isn’t far from what most people take). However, women (esp. those trying or hoping to get pregnant) should be a little more cautious.
Btw. This is a great thread. Keep going with the list of Vit/Min.

Potassium: should get several grams a day, and at least 3:1 ratio to sodium intake. Calcium and magnesium: I think the proper ratio is around 2:1 calcium to magnesium. Magnesium is probably one of the most important minerals, from what I’ve read. Cheapest source is the magnesium citrate liquid normally sold for a laxative. It’s 1700 mg per ounce. I started with 1/2 oz 3x a day, and am down to a teaspoon or so 2x a day. It’s supposed to be dopaminergic. I noticed a definite improvement in my mood and focus once I upped my magnesium intake. It can also be somewhat relaxing.