In Power Eating, Susan M. Kleiner, PhD, RD (noted consultant to the NBA, NFL, and world-class bodybuilders) says, “…[Y]our body absorbs nutrients best from food. However, if you would like the insurance, a good move is to take a daily antioxidant multiple containing 100 percent of the daily values for vitamins and minerals.”1 I would also personally recommend this, especially if you believe you will be lazy or less disciplined about your food intake.
In their book, The Edge, Ben and Joe Weider stress the importance of making sure that athletes receive the proper mix of vitamins and minerals in describing their concept of “synergy” with regards to nutrition:
It is the interaction of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, not their individual actions, which is the basis of their biological functions… There is rarely a deficiency or inadequacy of only one vitamin, mineral, or amino acid. In fact, it is the multiple interactions of these essential substances that result in healing, muscle repair, bone growth, and the hundreds of other bodily functions that occur daily.2
An example of this concept of synergy is how the different amino acids are essential for protein synthesis to occur. The best way I’ve ever heard it explained goes something like this. Think about setting up a baseball game. You can get together all the basemen, outfielders, and catchers that you want, but if your team lacks a pitcher, you can’t play. The same concept applies with amino acids and protein synthesis. If one part of the “team” is missing, protein synthesis can’t occur. The above discussion serves as an illustration about how necessary it is to make sure that you provide your body with the right combination of vitamins and minerals. The easiest way to ensure that you aren’t missing a “player” needed for your body to operate at 100% efficiency is to take a multi-vitamin every day.
After experimenting with many different multi-vitamins over past few years, I think that the only time I noticed a greater sense of well-being was after taking AST’s Multi Pro. However, like most quality multi-vitamins (such as SuperNutrition’s Opti-Pack), the suggested dosage requires taking it more than once a day. This ensures equal delivery of the nutrients over the course of the day. For those with very hectic schedules that think that having to remember to take a vitamin more than once a day can be cumbersome, I would suggest taking Country Life’s Daily Total One. If you can’t bring yourself to spend just 5 seconds each day taking a single multi-vitamin, you must not be serious enough about athletic results. As a side note, the Daily Total One is ideal for those on a budget.
1. Kleiner, Susan M. Power Eating. Second Edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2001.
2. Weider, Ben, and Joe Weider. The Edge. New York: Avery, 2003.