The right nutrients repair and strengthen your muscles when your body is at rest. If you are exercising to slim down and tone muscles, these are the seven vitamins and minerals you need. Your muscles work better and recover quicker when they are well stocked with nutrition and oxygen. Most diets supply enough vitamins and minerals, but sometimes you need supplements. And too much of a good thing can actually do your body harm. Nutritionists say these are the daily amounts that will give your body a menu for muscles.
You can get the National Institutes of Health’s recommended 75 mg daily from a medium orange, half a red bell pepper or a cup of strawberries.
The American Heart Association recommends that you eat two 3.5-ounce servings of fatty fish each week. Fish lovers will find delicious choices are salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring, sardines, and lake trout. Not so much a fish lover? Try a daily supplement of 1,000- to 3,000-milligram (mg) of DHA and EPA. Vegetarians and vegans can find omega-3s in flax seed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and algae-based supplements.
You can get your daily recommended dose of at least 1,200 mg a day by eating dairy products, green veggies and fortified dairy-free milk. If you prefer a supplement, choose one with 500 to 600 mg of calcium and Vitamin D, which your body needs to take in calcium. Your body can absorb only those 500- to 600-mg amounts of calcium at a time, so take the pills hours apart.
The National Institutes of Health recommends 310 to 320 mg a day but increasing your intake to 400 mg if you are lifting weights three or more days a week will do no harm. Soaking in an Epsom salts bath is a relaxing way to get your magnesium, and a delicious way is eating spinach, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
Diets provide adequate amounts of B Vitamins for most people, but vegetarians and vegans may want to take a supplement for B12, which is found only in animal sources. Other sources for B12 are fortified foods and drinks. Foods that supply B Vitamins include whole grains, eggs, lean meats, legumes, nuts, leafy greens and fortified cereals. Nutritionists recommend consuming 2.4 micrograms (mcg) daily.
Sun exposure gives you Vitamin D, but we’re all conscious these days that too much sun can put you at risk of skin cancer. If you’re limiting your time in the sun, take a supplement of 4,000 to 6,000 international units (IU) of D3 every day. If you think you may be deficient and in need of a higher dosage, ask your doctor for a blood test that will measure your Vitamin D levels.
Stick close to the recommended 15 mg a day and don’t overdo on consuming Vitamin E. Doses above 300 mg daily may lead to nausea, stomach pain, weakness or even death. Get your Vitamin E by eating nuts and seeds and skip the supplements.