Written by Randy Behr | April 28th, 2013 | Leave a comment

Here is a question that I get quite frequently, should I take a vitamin or not?

First, I want to say that I am not a nutritionist, so if you have any specific questions please refer to a nutritionist or physician.

One in three individuals take vitamins; multi-vitamins are the most popular choice. Vitamins are taken for many reasons, but the two biggest reasons are to increase performance and to build muscle.

Never substitute a meal for a vitamin and always attempt to get the proper amounts of vitamins and minerals through your diet. Absorbing vitamins/minerals through food consumption is much more effective. There are valid reasons to take supplements though. Here are a few reasons why a vitamin may be suggested as a temporary solution:

  • If one has erratic eating behaviors
  • If one eats less than 1500 calories
  • If pregnant (Folic Acid) to replace/add the deficiency
  • If one eats fast food frequently
  • If a vegan, as your B12 and other nutrients may be lacking
  • Anemic (Iron)
  • Food allergies or intolerance (milk) to replace the loss of these vital minerals/vitamins
  • Heavy smoker/drinker
  • Ill/convalescent

Another reason to consume vitamins is due to increased exercise. Our energy metabolism, tissue growth and repair, red blood cell manufacture and free radical defense may be lacking and depend on these vitamins more heavily due to the increased output. Keep in mind; more is not necessarily better, though. High doses are harmful and show no proof of added benefits.

Due to the many options when buying vitamins, I have included a few basic guidelines on how to choose a vitamin. Look for these vital necessities.

  • Antioxidant
  • 23 Vitamins/Minerals
  • Amount between 100-1000% RDA
  • Avoid unnecessary ingredients such as sugar, sweeteners and artificial flavoring
  • “Food Form”
  • Choose vitamin that requires doses of two or more per day, rather than mega doses
  • Take with food/water.

Remember, the best option is to attempt to eat healthy and save your money.

See you in the gym!