Last Updated on March 28, 2010 by Jimson Lee
On my recent trip to Vancouver and the Bay Area, I ran out of my vitamins. .
I’m a firm believer in taking B Complex with Vitamin C (usually 500mg) especially when travelling. I used to buy the ones with added zinc, but since I take ZMA at night, I feel I am getting sufficient zinc.
The B Complex & C vitamins are also marketed as “anti-stress” vitamins, and with the amount of
coffee espresso I drink, I always take my little “insurance policy”. Frank Shorter, winner of the 1972 Munich Olympic marathon once said, “I take my vitamins because I don’t want to lose against someone who is taking them”.
They should be treated as an insurance policy.
B Complex is also suggested as an anti-mosquito repellent, which I definitely need for Italy. Marmite & Vegemite are products also high in vitamin B Complex. Eat enough of this yeast spread and you’ll ward off your friends, too.
Fillers in Pills
Sometimes they use calcium sulphate or di-calcium sulphate. The dangers of this is too much calcium will decrease your zinc absorption (along with other trace elements such as copper) as much as 50%
Why are so many athletes deficient in zinc? One possibility is the retention of calcium in sprinters and high power athletes. These athletes have a higher positive calcium balance which most likely is a results of the calcium-sodium (Ca-Na) inter-cellular exchange.
Capsules or Tablets?
You’ve seen the marketing ads… liquids are better than capsules, capsules are better than tablets. I`m sure you’ve also seen “gel-caps” on the shelves.
When buying tablets, look for the ones with the little brown dots… this is hydrolyzed protein and not fillers such as calcium sulphate.
I purchased two different brands of B complex vitamins from two different vendors, and only one had the “little brown dots”.
Also, the harder the tablet, the more likely it will be absorbed slower. A simple test is to take one of your pills and try to crush it.
Another thing to look out is the mineral composition. Usually you will find oxide forms of minerals in cheap vitamins.
For example, magnesium can be magnesium oxide or magnesium aspartate
Thus you should always check the bioavailability form of the minerals, which is the rate of absorption into your circulation.
ZMA is made with magnesium aspartate.
A long time ago, in a land far far away (**cough cough, Regina, SK, cough cough**) , I had an Amway representative sell me NUTRILITE vitamins. It was 7 pills to be taken with every meal (yes, 21 pills total). Asafa Powell (and others) are now sponsored by Nutrilite, and some swear by them.
My only pet peeve with Nutrilite is they are so expensive. Of course, you can join their network marketing group and get a discount when you buy it though your own channel.
While I felt good when taking these vitamins, I felt just as good with ordinary generic vitamins as long as you read the label.
Do your research, and pick and choose your vitamins carefully.