Workout del Dia:
12 “Clusters” – a squat clean/thruster combination
(Suggested load, 135 lbs. for men, 95 lbs. for women.)
Written by Mark Riebel
Questions are often raised to our coaches concerning vitamins, minerals, and other supplements that people are interested in taking. Let me start by saying that supplements are not necessary. If you’re eating a varied diet of lean meats, veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar, you’ll have a diet that will fill all of your nutritional needs. There’s even some evidence to suggest that supplements, multivitamin/mineral supplements (MVM’s) in this case, have no significant long-term benefit when it comes to disease prevention.
However, most of our diets aren’t examples of perfection, and supplements can help to fill those gaps. But before I throw in my plug for MVM’s, know that supplements are not substitutes for a healthy diet and lifestyle, there are no shortcuts to achieving your health and physical fitness goals, and, as always, consult with your doctor before you start ingesting any supplement.
So what do you look for when selecting a MVM? Most multis contain a typical blend of all the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs, so there’s only a small range of choice there. For women though, it is often advised to use a supplement containing iron, due to iron loss during menstruation, and calcium for the role it plays in bone health. As far as amounts, I don’t think it’s necessary to consume a multi that contains much more than the recommended daily intake (RDI). Legendary strength coach Bill Starr is a proponent of what he calls the “shovel method,” which is to say that he takes very high amounts of various micronutrients and lets his body sort it out. While the human body is an expert at filtering out the excess nutrients and your risk of vitamin toxicity is fairly low, I’d recommend a bit more restraint. I say this because taking too much of a nutrient (particularly the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K) will literally result in you pissing your money away. I also suggest taking your MVM with a meal, as this helps to alleviate some of the stomach discomfort some experience with MVM’s and improves absorption of the aforementioned fat-soluble vitamins.
Without the aid of comprehensive blood analysis, many of us will not know whether we are nutritionally lacking some micronutrient, but if you feel that you may be or just want some extra insurance, a MVM can have a very real and useful place in your diet. I believe they do, and they are a daily part of mine.