The human diet consists of macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats, whereas the micronutrients include all the vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are necessary for the metabolism and breaking down of the carbohydrates, proteins and fats for energy production. Athletic performance can be compromised in the absence or insufficiency of micronutrients. But this does not mean that an excess of vitamins and minerals will alter athletic performance without an increased need for them due to physical activity.
A balanced diet suggests that the human body’s needs of macronutrients and micronutrients are satisfied. However, in the real world, people do not have perfect diets and therefore supplementation is necessary. For athletes it is imperative that an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals is being met in a daily basis. Therefore, for an athlete that does not have a perfect diet (who does anyways?), it is recommended that they take a high-quality multivitamin to ensure the consumption of all the necessary micronutrients.
From all the vitamins, vitamin E and C are recommended for athletes to enhance recovery due to their antioxidant properties reducing oxidant-induced muscle damage. The recommended daily intake for a vitamin C is: 25 mg/day for children 4-8, 45 mg/day for children 9-13, and 75 mg/day for adolescents 14-18. For vitamin E the recommended intake is: 7 mg/day for children 4-8, 11 mg/day for children 9-13, and 15 mg/day for those older than 14 years. Finally, iron is the most affected mineral during physical activity, therefore an adequate intake of iron is recommended through supplementation and diet.
Make sure you buy vitamins and minerals supplements from trusted brands and never forget to thrive for a perfect diet!