Answered by Danya Reich on Monday, June 1, 2009
Unfortunately, there's no magic pill that will make you stronger or pumped up faster. "A vitamin is not going to make you gain weight, " says nutritionist Susan Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., author of Power Eating. "If I ever recommend a vitamin to a strength trainer it is vitamin E because of its antioxidant effect." When you strength train intensely, explains Kleiner, who has worked extensively with bodybuilders, you have oxidative damage that happens to the muscle tissue. "Having a little vitamin E on board—about 400 to 800 IU per day—may help reduce that oxidative damage which in turn reduces muscle soreness and helps you train harder." As far as gaining weight, the bottom line is calories. "When I see clients who are training a lot and aren't gaining weight," says Kleiner, "they're not eating enough calories." For example, she says that a 170-pound serious weight trainer may need to take in as much as 3500 to 4000 calories daily to add bulk. That calorie total should be broken down into 8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight (or about 2400 calories from carbs); 1.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or about 430 calories); therefore, the remaining portion—about 670 calories—from fat. (To get your weight in kilograms, divide pounds by 2.2.) Your magic pill might come in the form of a double turkey club.