"What are the best vitamins for muscle growth and recovery?"
I get this question from clients and readers all the time.
We'll address this topic today, so you have one less thing to worry about.
Before we jump in, let's make one thing crystal clear...
Do you need supplements to build muscle?
Despite what slick marketers want you to believe, you don't need supplements to build rock-solid muscle, melt nasty body fat, or boost your gym numbers.
Keep this litmus test in mind the next time you're thinking of buying that $60 jar of Mutant Mass™ (or whatever the hot thing right now is):
The harder an advertiser promotes a supplement, the less effective it is.
Supplement companies use made-up claims and images of pro bodybuilders on tons of steroids to compensate for the impotence of their products!
They sell you the sizzle...
Without the steak.
Mass gainers and fat loss pills are nothing but a shady money grab.
Most people are deficient in natural vitamins...
Which affects your ability to pack on lean muscle and recover from tough workouts.
Best vitamins for muscle growth and repair
While man-made magic pills don't exist, several natural health products can help you gain more muscle.
I have ranked the most important bodybuilding vitamins in order of importance below.
1. Vitamin D
Known as the sunshine vitamin, the biggest benefits of vitamin D include:
- Improved brain function
- Increased immune health
- Stronger bones
- Better mental and physical well-being
It also protects against major maladies like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Most important for iron-loving meatheads, Vitamin D deficiency lowers your body's natural testosterone levels.
So, in case you're deficient, you must raise testosterone through greater vitamin D intakes.
Direct exposure to sunlight is the main source of vitamin D.
These foods also contain moderate amounts of it:
- Fortified dairy products
2. Vitamin C
A potent antioxidant, vitamin C improves skin health, immune function, and collagen formation.
Collagen strengthens joints and connective tissues.
This is a tremendous benefit for hard training athletes. If you're injured, you won't make progress.
You can find vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables such as:
3. Vitamin A
Known for its positive effects on eye health, vitamin A boosts skin health and immune system function.
Foods rich in vitamin A include:
- Beef liver
- Sweet potato
Keep in mind that excessive dosages of vitamin A can be toxic.
While you don't need to worry about exceeding a safe daily intake through regular food, it's a good idea to skip additional vitamin A pills from a bottle.
Daily Vitamin Requirements for Bodybuilding and health
Official RDAs (recommended daily allowances) are a joke.
If you're taking natural vitamins for muscle growth, how much do you really need?
Often, you must exceed RDAs by a tenfold to get the desired effect!
Want an example? Here goes...
The Mayo Clinic recommends 600 IU (15 micrograms) of vitamin D per day for people aged between 1 and 70.
I GUARANTEE you will get nothing out of it.
How can I be so sure?
Because I've had enough blood tests taken over the years to know how much vitamin D my body needs to post an A+ score.
Every time I followed official guidelines, my test results showed deficient D levels.
As soon as I bumped my vitamin D intake to ≥5,000 IU (125 mcg) per day, they catapulted into a healthy range.
Only near the equator can you get enough sunlight to reach and maintain optimal D levels throughout the year.
Unless you spend your days lounging at the Copacabana, you must take a vitamin D supplement year-round to achieve sufficient D levels.
With that in mind, follow these adjusted values for maximal results...
- Vitamin A: 1000 mcg per day. Since the average male living in North America or Western Europe meets their vitamin A requirements by eating a regular diet containing meat, fruits/vegetables, and dairy products, you don't need to supplement with it.
- Vitamin C: 1000 mg per day
- Vitamin D: 5,000-10,000 IU (125-250 mcg) per day
I'm writing an in-depth article on the best fitness and bodybuilding supplements (not just vitamins!), which I will link to here once it goes live.
In the meantime, let's recap today's key lessons:
An essential bodybuilding staple, Vitamin D boosts natural testosterone levels and acts as your first line of defence against disease.
Thanks to its role in collagen formation, Vitamin C helps keep your muscles and joints injury-free.
As long as you build your diet around lean meats and fresh fruits/vegetables, you'll cover your vitamin A needs from food alone.
Official recommended daily allowances (RDAs) are made by and for inactive people.
As a hard training athlete, you can't rely on them. Your body requires higher quantities to function at your best.
So make sure you take these three crucial bodybuilding vitamins in the listed amounts to gain more muscle and optimize your health.