Vitamins are important for your health. However, consuming an excessive amount of vitamins can be at the expense of your gains. How exactly does that work?
According to several studies, supplementing with vitamins C and E reduces muscle growth and strength development. That is the conclusion of a new scientific review.
Inflammations in the body are generally considered bad, but they are actually a normal response to exercise. When you train, when you put pressure on a muscle, it has to adapt. This requires a certain level of inflammation. It’s as if the immune system is saying: we need help to rebalance and restore ourselves.
If you suppress this inflammation excessively with high doses of vitamins C and E, or another antioxidant or anti-inflammatory, this can directly harm muscle growth and strength development.
The dosage makes the poison, says coach Menno Henselmans. In general, research has shown that it is best to avoid vitamin C dosages of more than one gram per day and vitamin E dosages of more than 200 milligrams per day. That’s already much more than you need; as a strength trainer, you need at most about 200 milligrams of vitamin C or 30 milligrams of vitamin E. If you get this from whole foods, you will hardly ever run into problems.
In short, you can eat all the fruits and vegetables you want, but avoid supplements. This corresponds to the researchers’ conclusion:
Acquiring antioxidants through a balanced and well-diversified diet is generally better than taking vitamin supplements.
We understand that you want to play it safe and take a multivitamin, but for optimal results from your strength training it is better to ensure a diverse diet with lots of fruit and vegetables.