Boosting your vitamin E intake lets your hard-trained body rebuild itself rapidly. Result? You get bigger, faster.
Don’t dismiss E so fast. This versatile antioxidant has been known to help prevent cancer and heart disease. Here’s some additional artillery you can tote to the gym: Vitamin E may also play a major role in muscle repair after a hard session of lifting.
From the novice lifter to the tireless gym rat, every guy who’s ever graced a weight room knows the anguish of post workout soreness—a condition that can last for days after a taxing session, in which even the simple act of shampooing leaves you wincing in pain. Such muscle trauma is detrimental if it keeps you out of the gym. Vitamin E will help facilitate muscle repair without compromising your bulldog intensity.
Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant, protecting your muscles from highly reactive, unstable molecules called free radicals. Besides leading to hardened arteries and cancer, free radicals also contribute to your aching muscles and diminished performance. Because of an increased oxygen requirement during exercise, the harder you hit the gym, the more free radicals you produce. E’s effectiveness at countering this is backed up by the experts:
Either as a supplement or in food, the antioxidant properties of vitamin E may be beneficial for an athlete training hard, whether anaerobically [lifting weights] or aerobically [cardio].
The Evidence on E
While vitamin E has traditionally carried the reputation of catering only to the cardio-inclined, muscle-minded readers like you now have reason to covet this so-called micronutrient for its macro attributes.
In a recent study in which male subjects were given vitamin E capsules and put on a lifting program, blood-borne free radicals were reduced and muscle damage was minimized. Vitamin E initiated the healing process, allowing the muscles to rebuild sooner. The faster the muscles begin to repair themselves, the more they’ll grow. This is how you get bigger and stronger.
“Our research supports the claim that vitamin E can significantly reduce the damaging effects of high-intensity resistance exercise,” explains Bruce Craig, Ph.D., Ball State University physiology professor and the conductor of the study. “However, our study showed that short-term usage does not enhance muscular strength or power.” Should you implement E into your diet if your goal is to pack on muscle? Absolutely.
“Though some people question the effects that antioxidants will have on increasing mass, the protective effects of vitamin E should not be detrimental to anyone using resistance training to enhance muscle growth. In fact, the reduced level of free-radical damage should make the muscle membrane stronger and enable you to achieve better and faster gains in strength and size.”
Based on the available data, it appears that vitamin E may very well belong in the class of muscle-building supplements presently dominated by the likes of creatine and protein powder. “Unfortunately, very little research has been conducted on the effects of long-term vitamin E supplementation and resistance training. “Once this has been done, we are sure that everyone will see the benefits of taking their vitamin E.”
Tapping Into E