The short answer is no. If your diet provides sufficient micronutrients, additional vitamins or minerals will not alter performance. All stress (including exercise) requires additional nutrients because the body pushes through the water soluble vitamins faster than fat soluble vitamins or minerals. If you are eating a balanced diet then minimal additional stress – like that produced by mild to moderate exercise – probably do not require additional nutrients. If the micronutrients in your diet can not keep pace with your daily exercise routines then it is reasonable to add a small amount of B or C vitamins. The danger zone appears in adding too much which tends to put a huge burden on the kidneys. This can also be problematic if clients are taking anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen because the latter tends to alter resorption of electrolytes via the kidneys increasing the probability of bad long-term side effects.
Muscular activity is heavily reliant on sufficient calcium and magnesium – which cannot be absorbed properly without Vitamin D. There should be sufficient in the diet of any client eating a wide range of foods that include dairy products. If you have vegan clients then a quick review of their nutritional regimen should help determine any gaps.
Of course nutritionists are going to attest to the usage supplements. Getting all you need from food is one thing (which I support) for the general population looking to better there health. However excelling and increasing performance is a completely different thing. When it comes to competition and performance athletes look for any advantage that can take them to the next level. Supplements have been document to increasing performance. Are they for everyone – No. But their efficacy has been shown in literature.
Fuel the Movement,
Rough edged question but the answer really is yes AND no. There is a lot of garbage out there but there is, and has been for some time, some that make a difference. The thing with supplementaion is that it is to supplement what you aren’t getting enough of to enhance your performance. Overdosing is a big waste and often dangerous even in the most scientifically proven supplements (ex. creatine & fish oil.) I take a lot of vitamin C but that is for ME as its something that I personally need for improved performance. If someone is deficient in a vitamin or mineral then its best that their dietician recommend them to the proper source.
I’m not sure if I buy into the idea of nutritional supplements enhancing performance. I think the physiology of performance enhancement deals more with substances that are a little more powerful and made in the body. Obviously, nutrition has an impact on that (watch SuperSize Me). However, I think that it might be too broad of a generalization, for me at least, to say that nutrition supplements or vitamins alone offer a measurably significant boost to performance.
Karin brought up caffeine. Do we consider this a supplement? If we do, then yes, supplements alone can increase performance in moderate amounts. If we don’t and we’re looking solely at vitamins, CoQ10, garlic, milk thistle, acai, major amino acids like l-lysine and l-arginine, maybe a b-complex.. I don’t think we would find too much evidence out there that these would increase performance. L-arginine, maybe would promote blood flow. You get into performance enhancement, I’m thinking testosterone, EPO, and to a lesser extent the stuff you can find at GNC (there are good ones and useless supplements at GNC in my honest opinion), and to an even lesser extent I think of cocaine and certain amphetamines, along with the most recent trend—“research” peptides.
Sport Performance and natural, safe performance enhancement are kind of areas of interest to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what others think about this.