Vitamins & Nutrients Needed For Muscle Growth
Have you been struggling without making any heads way in trying to develop your muscles? Or it’s the case that you been hitting the gym so hard with little or nothing to show?
Maybe it’s high time you considered what you’ve been eating – as nutrients needed for muscle growth are a must present in your daily meals if you want to build healthy muscles and burn fat. Of course, exercises only cannot suffice for muscle development; the nutrients you take in matters too!
The nutrients earmarked below are the surest fix to growing your muscles. These nutrients, coupled with the right exercises and good sleeping habit – and you are good to go.
Must have heard of this class of food, right? Of course, it is quite popular; even kids are taught the six basic classes of food at their elementary level of which protein is one of.
Protein is given such emphasis because it is a ‘macro nutrient’ just like carbohydrates and fats (this means that your body requires a large amount of it to function). Perhaps this is why it is regarded as ‘body building foods’.
It contains amino acids which are responsible for building the muscle and also help in repairing worn out tissues in the body.
Protein can be obtained from meat, chicken breast, fish, legumes like beans, eggs and dairy products.
Whether you are a young teen, or an adult male or female, a total of six (7) ounces of protein is enough for your daily servings thrice in day. Eating more than this amount of nutrients is excess and puts the body at risk of amassing saturated fats.
You might be thinking calcium is helpful for developing stronger bones only (no, this isn’t true). Beyond the strong bones, this nutrient also helps your muscles to contract and aid your nerves and heart to properly function.
Calcium contains protein filaments (actin and myosin) which help your muscles to grow and function properly. However, calcium relies on the optimal presence of vitamin D (as this helps your body to absorb calcium effectively). The point here is, for calcium to do what it’s expected to do in your body, you must not be deficient of vitamin D.
You can get calcium from dairy products (low-fat milk), Swiss cheese, Tofu, reduced-fat yogurt, spinach and calcium enhanced cereals. For vitamin D; sunlight, fatty fish and egg yolks are good sources.
The recommended daily intake of Calcium for adults is 1,000 milligrams, and you can get if from a lot of foods, such as cheeses, especially hard varieties, with Parmesan cheese the richest in Calcium (a mere 28 grams contains about 33% of the daily recommended dose). Other great sources of calcium are yogurt, seeds, canned sardines and salmon, legumes, almonds, and whey protein
Apart from meals, one of the most effective and easiest methods of increasing your calcium intake is via prescribed oral supplement.
Apart from exercises and meals, sleeping well too has a way of helping your muscles to grow healthily. This is so because, it is when you sleep that your body undertakes the activity of repairing your damaged tissues.
If you haven’t been sleeping well, perhaps, it’s a signal that you might be deficient of magnesium. Yeah! You heard right
Magnesium helps improve the quality of your sleep. In other words, it helps you to sleep sound. Apart from this, it also helps to relax your muscles and prevent cramps especially when you overstress your muscles during exercises. This makes magnesium one of the vital nutrients needed for muscle growth.
Magnesium is vital for the proper functioning of the muscles and soft tissue. It plays a crucial role in the contraction of muscles, increases energy levels and it is also reducing muscle cramps, soreness, and fatigue.
Adults need about 400 milligrams of Magnesium each day. There are plenty of delicious foods with a high Magnesium content: green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, peanuts, and peanut butter, cashews, almonds, yogurt, whole wheat, oatmeal, bananas, salmon, soymilk and avocado are rich in magnesium.
Perhaps because carbs are known as ‘energy giving foods’, most people tend to limit their intake when building muscle. Carbs can’t be less important
You need carbohydrates just like you need proteins too. Owing to the fact that carbohydrates provide your body with a substance called ‘glycogen’, carbs cannot be wished away. Glycogen provides you with a lot of energy to drive muscle growth (especially in the place of exercise) and other supporting activities of the body organs. It also helps in muscle repair.
Carbohydrates can be obtained from whole grains such as rice, cereals, legumes such as beans and fruits, and table sugars.
According to the Strength and Conditioning Association, 55 to 60% of calorie intake must be obtained from carbs on a daily basis. However, be mindful that too many carbs can provide you with excess calories
The micronutrient forms part of the haemoglobin which is the pigment which aids the transportation of oxygen from your lungs to the muscles. Of course by now you must know that without oxygen, your muscles can’t function properly.
It is also needed for the maintenance of high energy levels hereby, making the immune system stronger and non-receptive to infections.
Iron also helps in the regulation of the fat and protein metabolism in the body which in turn helps to eliminate fats while building healthy muscles.
Sources of iron include sardines, venison, bran cereals, dried apricots, leafy greens and fish.
Another nutrient needed for muscle growth is potassium. This nutrient provides your muscles with enough water which is quite important to aid the muscle gaining process.
Potassium provides the muscle with the relevant electrolytes needed for muscle contraction. What this means is that, if you have been having muscle cramp, this is an indication that you might be deficient of potassium.
Apart from the fact that potassium supports muscle growth and prevents the loss of muscle mass; also, it reduces to the barest minimum the risk of contracting stroke, high blood pressure and kidney problems.
The nutrient can be obtained from avocadoes, beans, potatoes, fresh leafy green vegetables, salmon and tomatoes.
Ideally, a total of at least 4,700mg (can be far more than) of potassium is recommended for healthy muscle growth because potassium is easily lost through sweats. This recommendation is beyond what those who ain’t trying to build muscles should take (it must not exceed 4,700mg for this category of people)
Best Vitamins for Muscle Growth and Repair
A strict exercising regimen is essential for building a healthy, strong body. However, you also need to fuel your body properly, with micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help your muscles perform better and also heal. Here are the best vitamins for muscle growth and repair. Make sure you introduce these foods in your daily menus.
B vitamins include eight vitamins, and the most important of them are B12, B6 and Folate. We can’t stress enough just how important those vitamins are for everybody, and especially for people who are doing a lot of exercises. B vitamins have a very important role in protein metabolism, the production of red blood cells and immune system cells.
B12 otherwise called Cobalamin is quite essential for muscle growth in that it helps build the red blood cells. Of course, the red blood cells eliminate carbon dioxide in the body and help transport oxygen needed for muscle growth to the muscles.
Vitamin B12 also helps in the metabolism of proteins and fats that are useful for repairing worn out tissues and enhancing muscle growth.
According to scientific studies, the more protein you eat, the more B vitamins your body needs. An, seeing as most men that are into physical exercise eat a lot of protein, they must also focus on the intake of B vitamins.
A lack of B vitamins leads to muscle cramps and aches, which you definitely don’t want. The average men should have a daily intake of 2.4 micrograms of B12, 1.7 micrograms of B6, and 400 micrograms of folate.
Foods rich in the vitamins B complex are fatty fish like sardines and salmon, organ meats, eggs, dairy foods, legumes and greens (kale, Swiss chard), squash, pomegranates, whole grains.
Most of us think about vitamin C in the context of the common cold, as a boost for immunity. However, it’s also one of the best vitamins for muscle growth and repair. A powerful antioxidant, vitamin C is involved in the production of collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue that holds muscles and bones together. Exercising puts a strain on this tissue, so a high intake of vitamin C is necessary.
For adults, the daily recommended intake of vitamin C is around 90 milligrams. The good news is that vitamin C is present in a lot of foods: citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits), kiwi fruit, strawberries, green and red peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. On average, one orange contains about 80 milligrams of vitamin C, so it shouldn’t be hard to meet the daily recommended intake.
Vitamin D is instrumental in the absorption of Calcium and for healthy bones. Of course, without healthy bones, we can’t speak of exercising and building muscles. Besides that, vitamin D is also helping reduce inflammation and supports the immune system. For the average adult, the recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 600 micrograms.
Foods that provide vitamin D include fatty fish, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna, in vitamin D fortified products such as milk, milk products, orange juice or cereals, and also beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
Vitamin E is a very powerful antioxidant that assists your body in getting rid of the free radicals that intense exercise cause, and is tasked with keeping your blood vessels wide Also, vitamin E increases blood circulation and helps to eliminate creatine phosphokinase, a protein that seeps into the bloodstream during strenuous exercise.
Adults should have a daily intake of 15 milligrams of vitamin E. Foods that contain a lot of vitamin E are sunflower seeds, wheat germ oil, almonds, hazelnuts, pine nuts, avocado, red peppers, salmon or rainbow trout.
Vitamin A is particularly important for people with an intense exercise regimen, because training affects the absorption of this particular vitamin, which leads to a lot of bodybuilders and athletes being depleted of vitamin A. This is pretty unfortunate, as vitamin A supports healthy bones and teeth, helps the immune system repel bacteria and viruses, and generally ensures that internal organs are functioning properly.
For healthy adults, the daily recommended dose of vitamin A is 900 micrograms. Plenty of foods are rich in vitamin A: liver, fatty fish, butter, goat cheese, Camembert cheese, blue cheese, feta cheese, trout, hard-boiled eggs, or caviar.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Scientists discovered that Omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation and reduce the muscle soreness associated with intense exercising. Also, these micronutrients support a healthy cardiovascular system, which, we all know, is indispensable when it comes to exercising.
Omega-3 supplements are safe and efficient as long as doses don’t exceed 3,000 milligrams per day. Fish and other seafood are particularly rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources are nuts and seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, or chia seeds.