T Nation

Vitamins and Minerals


I'm sort of confused on the subject and was wondering if anybody could help me out. I'm a 220 pound 20 year old college student weight training 4 times a week and I live in a dorm. I'm on a meal plan and... I'm a college student so I try to eat well but my lifestyle makes it a bit more challenging. To help with my diet and training I've bough some vitamins and minerals at a really good price and I was just sort of wondering with a guy of my size roughly how many mg of say vitamin c, b6 and minerals zinc and magnesium should I be taking to assist with my training and diet. Please enlighten me.


just follow 'normal' dietary guidelines and you will be fine.

If you are eating some fruit and veggies and maybe even some cereal that is fortified you are getting plenty of what you need.

don't fret the small stuff.


I think this is really a difficult question to answer.

If you were to eat well, getting lots of fruits and vegetables and so on, you should just be able to treat the vitamins and minerals as a security blanket.

In other words, you may or may not be deficient in anything. Regardless, there are a lot of varying opinions on how much vitamin C should be taken...


I would reccomend that the first and foremost item on your list be calcium. So much going on in the body depends on this mineral!! I read a study once where highly trainded atheletes (I think basketball players)were supplimented with calcium over their regular intake. The average gains were 4 lbs of lean tissue. Many of us would beg for gains like that.

Based on your list, I would say 3000mg of C vitamin. 250mg of B6 would be a good start, but I would add B1 and B5 to the mix to maxamize the energy production in your body. If it's Zinc Picolinate, you shouldn't need more than 50mg at the max end of the scale. Get some chromium Picolinate in there too to regulate your blood sugar better too. Take the Chromium right after trainning; between 400-800mg.
Nothing in our diets today supplys all the optimal levels of vitamins and minerals. Dispite what some may reccomend, getting your minerals right should take priority over the vitamins, since we are made mostly of them.


i lost 40 pounds living in a dorm room

when i ate at the cafeteria i always ate clean. we have a good entree line and a really good salad bar. i lived on salad, green beans, broccoli, and turkey with occasional soup and potatoes. the only think i kept in my dorm room was popcorn, mixed nuts, water, and a bag of really small chocolates which i had 1 of every night (~30 cals) for a treat

then i'd go to the gym and work my ass off nearly every night, i did a lot of cardio but not i'm going to try a gbc program

now i'm in an apartment and riding a bike to class, so it just keeps getting better, my original goal was to wiegh 199 but now that is fast approaching, less than 10 pounds away, i just want to see my abs before the end of the year.

first pic is fat me, second is over 40 pounds less later


After pic


Wow. Um, the RDA for vitamin C is 60 mg. Unless he is severely deficient, he does not need 3000mg. Too much vitamin C can be toxic. And despite what many people who post on this website want to believe, RDAs are not crap; they're not numbers that scientist pull out of their asses. RDAs are amounts of nutrients carefully determined to be sufficient for 98% of the population and includes margin of fluctuation. That means that 60mg is not a minimum or a maximum, but part of a range that goes lower or higher than the given amount, but certainly not 50x the amount. That is dangerous.

1.3 mg per day is the RDA for males ages 19-50

11mg per day is the RDA for males ages 14 and older.

35 mg per day is the RDA for males ages 14-50.

No one food can supply all optimum levels of vitamins and minerals, but if you eat a balanced diet, there is absolutely no need to intoxicate yourself with insanely large doses of supplements. To do so is dangerous and a waste of money.

This sort of reasoning sucks. First of all, we are made mostly of water and protein. While it's true that our bodies contain more minerals than vitamins, we still need to make sure that we are comsuming adequate amounts of each. Our bodies use them together in life processes; they are interdependent.

Please don't offer irresponsible advice.


This is why I asked because nobody can really give me a straight answer. I was researching it online (usually a bad idea...) and I got the similiar results. People jumping from 50-100 mg to like 5,000 mg. If vitamins and minerals had a face, I'd punch it.

Yeah, I recognize that will power could make my time spent in college far healthier but I have such little self control when food is put in front of me. I can't live off of tasteless "fresh" vegetables and overly-ripe fruit. My diet ends up consisting of overly cooked, sometimes fatty meats and pizza. I'm in love with pizza and I intend to go down with the ship clutching a slice in my hands.


Great advice angel

So many think more is better, when in fact, it can be harmful. At the least, just a waste of money. Most excess vit. and min. are just peed away. Some store dangerously in fatty deposits.

One-a-day and general use multi's offer plenty if the majority of your diet is healthful. You'd almost have to TRY and noty get enough vit. and min. in your diet. Especially if you are health minded, which many on this site are.


You don't have to eat perfect to get proper nutrient intake. Pizza can be a good meal once in a while. Beware of certain toppings and over-indulgence.

Regardless of what info you are looking for you will find variesd answers to your questions. Eat smart. Workout smart. Sleep properly. Pop your multi and move on. Your post would suggest that you are not concerned with elite conditioning, one multi will do.


Here's a link that gives the latest buzz on ZMA:


I don't know that much about it but wanted to show that here's an example where taking 2-3X the RDA for awhile (which is not a megadose) may boost testosterone.


Great articles on Zinc and Magnesium in t-nation. Just type in the two words and the top ten articles are mostly o/s and very helpful. Here's a favorite: