About Vitamin A:
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin in the body, which means fats are needed for the proper synthesize, transportation and its function to take place. It is a well known fact that Vitamin A is needed for the functioning of Retina. Also, it is needed for maintaining a healthy skin, cell multiplication, development of reproductive system, maintenance of epithelial linings of visceral organs like kidney, liver, intestinal tract etc.
Importance of Vitamin A for Bodybuilders:
In bodybuilding, uses of vitamin A is seriously overlooked or often ignored. Vitamin A is needed by the body to synthesize and utilise protein units effectively. Studies have proved that administration of vitamin A along with iron can increase the production of Testosterone and related growth factors. Also, Cholesterol in the body is used up with the help of vitamin A to get converted into testosterone under necessary conditions. RNA synthesis and cellular division rely greatly on the availability of this vitamin.
Vitamin A helps in the conversion and storage of glycogen which is utilised at the time of intense workouts. Vigorous exercise sessions can deplete vitamin A storage from the body, which in turn can effect adversely on the protein metabolism. To avoid this, consumption of vitamin A along with a fat source (butter, cream, whole milk etc) is advisable for bodybuilders as great amounts of protein are consumed.
Bodybuilding Benefits of Vitamin A:
Enhances natural Testosterone production
Effective protein metabolism
Decreases oestrogen production
Aids in cell repair and growth
Natural Sources of Vitamin A:
Liver (lamb, chicken, beef etc)
Cod liver oil
Sweet potatoes (cooked)
Dosage of Vitamin A for Bodybuilders:
Need of vitamins and other nutrients for a bodybuilder is far greater than a normal person because of intense workouts and most importantly, due to the amount of protein consumed. A high protein meal should meet with adequate amounts of vitamin A for functional metabolism of protein.
10,000 IU of Vitamin A could be advisable and may go up to 25,000 IU per day.
A normal person do not need more than 5000 IU which can be easily acquired through proper diet without any supplementation.
Vitamin A overdose:
Even though vitamin A overdose/toxicity is rare, overconsumption is a bad idea. Also, if the needed amounts of fats are not present accordingly it would be expelled through faeces.
Following are the symptoms of extreme vitamin A overdose
The symptoms may vanish on discontinuation of its consumption. Always consult with your physician before starting any supplementation.
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