By: Chad Zimmerman
Nourishing your body with the proper diet, vitamins and minerals is indisputably important. Unfortunately, few athletes get the job done through their daily meals alone. Therefore, multivitamin supplements are necessary.
Multivitamin supplements vary greatly in content, price and, maybe most important, form—the three most common being tablet, softgel capsule and liquid. Each type has pros and cons that should be considered when buying a multivitamin.
PROS: Tablets are portable and easy to store in a locker. Typically the least expensive, these hard pills have a long shelf life.
CONS: Many find the large pills difficult to swallow. Also, tablets are the worst performing— only 10-20 percent of the supplement’s content gets into the bloodstream.
PROS: Another convenient form, liquid-filled softgel capsules have a better absorption rate than tablets with the same easy-to-transport benefits.
CONS: Softgel capsules have a shorter shelf life than tablets and a lower absorption rate than liquid multivitamins.
PROS: Liquid multivitamins—the easiest form to swallow—also have the best absorption rate with nearly 100 percent of the vitamins and minerals making it into the bloodstream.
CONS: Inconvenient to take on the go with the shortest shelf life, the liquid multivitamins tend to be the most expensive supplements
DRINK YOUR VITAMINS
With all the multivitamin supplements on the market, one liquid product has positioned itself as the choice for athletes: 1st Step for Energy. Created by High Performance Fitness and distributed by Full Performance Fitness, 1st Step delivers almost 90 percent of its 71 vitamins and minerals to the body.
More than 125 collegiate and professional teams currently purchase the multivitamin for their players. Among the collegiate powerhouses that have made the supplement available to all varsity athletes are Auburn, Louisiana State, Nebraska, West Virginia and Wake Forest. Other college juggernauts, including Notre Dame, Tennessee, Ohio State, Texas, Georgia, Syracuse and UNC, have incorporated the supplement into at least one major athletic program. According to some NCAA strength and conditioning coaches, 1st Step boosts energy levels, speeds recovery and prevents muscle tears and cramps.
The supplement comes in one-, three-, four- and six-month supplies. But to address portability, 1st Step is also available in one-shot travel packs.