The Vitamins, Minerals, And Foods, That Strengthen Your Muscles And Bones - Save Our Bones

Your muscles attach to your bones. This connection is at the core of the most powerful means of building new bone: weight-bearing exercise. But to do that, you need muscles that can apply positive stress on your bones, triggering new growth.

During the COVID-19 stay-at-home measures, it's more important than ever to actively prevent muscle loss. Exercise is essential, of course, but diet also plays an important role.

Savers know that protein is necessary for building muscle, so today we'll look at six other nutrients that your muscles require to grow stronger.

1. Calcium

Calcium is well known as the primary mineral for bone health, but did you know it's also essential for muscle building?

Calcium facilitates muscle contraction, so it's involved in every movement your body makes. And since exercise is what builds muscle, you need calcium to add muscle mass. This doubles up calcium's ability to build bone since muscle mass is necessary to trigger bone growth through weight-bearing exercise.1

The Save Institute recommends following the daily allowance range of 800 to 1200mg of organic, algae-derived calcium per day through a combination of food sources and supplements. Here are some bone-healthy sources of calcium:

*Foundation Food

Synopsis

Calcium is required for muscle contraction, making it essential for exercising for your bones. Additionally, you need calcium for your body to build new bone. Be sure to get from 800 to 1200mg of calcium daily, through a combination of supplementation and food sources.

2. Vitamin D

Studies have linked Vitamin D deficiency to poor muscle health and function.

A review of randomized controlled studies found that elderly participants treated with Vitamin D supplements suffered fewer falls. Observational studies positively correlated Vitamin D levels with muscle strength and postural stability.2 This makes Vitamin D critical for preventing fractures and living a long, full life. Additionally, it's well known that Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium.

Vitamin D is difficult to acquire through diet alone, but fortunately, you have two highly effective ways to increase your levels: sun exposure and supplementation.

At the Save Institute, we recommend taking 2000 IU daily of oral Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), especially during the winter months, when there’s little opportunity to get out in the sun.

If you can, get out in the sun for twenty minutes a day in the summer, and at least 30 minutes in the spring, fall and winter — and if you have a darker skin tone, add ten minutes. Try to keep Vitamin D serum levels between 40 and 70 ng/mL.

Synopsis

Studies have positively correlated Vitamin D levels with muscle strength and postural stability and shown that supplementation leads to fewer falls in the elderly. Take 2000 IU daily, and if you can, get direct sun exposure every day.

3. Zinc

Zinc is essential for the creation of new muscle tissue. It helps turn protein into muscle and regulates muscle-building hormones so that your workouts translate into new muscle mass.3

Additionally, zinc is an antioxidant that prevents cell damage, protecting your muscles, bones, and other body systems from oxidation caused by free radicals (also called reactive oxygen species or ROS). Zinc is also well known for supporting the immune system, making it a protective powerhouse.

Zinc also has an even more direct positive impact on your bones. It increases new bone formation by enhancing the proliferation of osteoblasts, the cells that create new bone.4

The Recommended Daily Allowance of zinc is 8mg for women and 11mg for men, but The Save Institute recommends daily supplementation of 25mg of amino acid chelated zinc and to consume foods that contain zinc.5

It’s crucial that zinc intake is balanced with copper, a mineral that is also important for bone health and overall wellbeing. Copper is necessary for the production of collagen, and it works with zinc, so the Save Institute recommends taking 2mg of amino acid chelated copper per day.

However, too much copper can undermine zinc levels and cause unpleasant symptoms. The right ratio is around 8:1, zinc to copper, but because copper is more prevalent than zinc (especially if you're eating an 80/20 pH-balanced diet) you should be sure to err on the side of increasing zinc intake.

Here are the foods that contain the most zinc, both animal and plant-based:

*Foundation Food

Synopsis

Zinc has powerful protective properties, helping to preserve muscle mass and good health. It also regulates hormones that are essential for building new muscle and promotes the creation of bone-building osteoblasts. We recommend consuming 25mg of zinc per day.

4. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects muscle cells from damaging free radicals. It also promotes the formation of collagen, which is essential for joint health. Since exercise requires movement, joint health is critical for a safe and productive workout.

Getting adequate levels of Vitamin C also helps reduce the muscle soreness caused by a workout. A study at The University Of North Carolina found that supplementation reduced DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and prevented the oxidation of the antioxidant glutathione.6

These same antioxidizing powers make Vitamin C an important factor in bone health. Even more essential is its role in collagen production, since collagen is an important component of bone.

Vitamin C also boosts your immune system, helping to prevent disease.

The Save Institute recommends supplementing with a minimum of 500mg up to an ideal 2000 mg of ascorbic acid per day to ensure you're taking advantage of everything this Foundation Supplement has to offer. Additionally, all of these Foundation Foods are excellent sources of Vitamin C:

*Foundation Foods

Synopsis

Vitamin C protects muscles from oxidative damage, and is instrumental for collagen production. Collagen is an important component of bone and of joints, making it essential for movement and exercise.

5. Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is essential for proper protein metabolism and a healthy nervous system. It works with the other B vitamins to promote healthy mental function. The RDA for Vitamin B6 is 1.5 mg for women and 1.7 mg for men

Vitamin B6 can be found in these foods:

*Foundation Foods

6. Vitamin B12

Vitamins B6 and B12 both play direct roles in protein metabolism, allowing your body to use the protein in your diet to build new muscle.

They also support the production of red blood cells and immune cells, which aid muscle growth and repair, allowing your body to recover from your workouts, and turn the strain on your muscle into new muscle mass.7

Studies have linked Vitamin B12 deficiency to low bone density and increased fracture risk, particularly fractures of the hip.8,9 Additionally, B12 participates in DNA synthesis and nerve health and helps cells metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

Adults need at least 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B12 daily, but at the Save Institute, we recommend a minimum of 100 mcg a day of methylcobalamin (and not cyanocobalamin). Unfortunately, most of the dietary sources of B12 are acidifying. The one exception is plain yogurt, which can be supported by supplementation. A B-complex vitamin allows for the cooperative actions of the B vitamins to take effect.

Acidifying food sources of B12 should be balanced with alkalizing foods, in accordance with the 80/20 pH-balanced diet. Those sources of B12 include:

  • Shrimp
  • Cod
  • Halibut*
  • Salmon*
  • Sardines*
  • Grass-fed beef
  • Lamb

*Foundation Foods

Synopsis

Vitamins B6 and B12 help your body to metabolize protein, allowing for the creation of new muscle mass. Additionally, they support the immune system and the production of red blood cells, both of which are critical for muscle repair and recovery. The RDA for Vitamin B6 is 1.5 mg for women and 1.7 mg for men. The RDA for B12 is 2.4 mcg per day. In addition to dietary sources, take a B-complex vitamin to ensure you're getting enough of these important micronutrients.

What This Means To You

Ensuring you get the above vitamins and minerals as part of your daily intake will allow you to continue to build muscle strength to strengthen your bones, prevent falls, and achieve optimum health.

Keep up your exercise routine during self-isolation. It's easy to become sedentary during these stressful times. If you aren't meeting your goals, or just want some more support and variation, you can try the Save Institute's digital video workout platform SaveTrainer.

Don't forget that your consistent workouts need the support of a healthy diet to provide the nutrients your muscles need to grow. Both actions lead to stronger, healthier bones.

Stay safe, eat well, exercise, and you'll keep building healthier bones!

References

1 https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006349575858498

2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3513873/

3
https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/130/5/1500S/4686427

4 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2981717/

5 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/

6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16948483

7 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9569395

8 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2435634/

9 https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/89/3/1217/2844281

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13 comments. Leave Yours Now →
  1. Patsy

    Your information is always appreciated! Can you recommend a quality Calcium/Vit D3 supplement that has the needed daily quantities? Also, what do you think is the best supplement for joints?

    Thank you!

  2. Cagney Phelan

    Hi Vivian.
    You posted an article maybe 2/3 years ago about an homemade salve for skin fungus. I saved it somewhere and now that i need it i cant find it. Do you remember it and can you help.
    Thanks in advance

    • Save Institute Customer Support

      Hello, Cagney! Please check your inbox for an email from our customer service representative – we will be sending you information on your question. 🙂

  3. Vida

    Hi Vivian,
    My blood test shows that i have high level of vitamin K .
    And every time i eat kale i got headache..i was wonder is it safe to take Algecal calcium ?because there is Vitamin K in it ?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, so it can accumulate in the body. Before you take a supplement, I suggest you consult with a naturopathic doctor to find the reason why your levels are high.

  4. Beth

    Hi Vivian. Love your tips. If the person has plaques in the arteries can they ingest calcium? If yes, which one: organic or inorganic? And how much? Besides, can vitamin K2 and magnesium be included in that list?
    Thank you so much. You are the best!!!

  5. Maryann

    Is there a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement which could be taken daily to ensure all of the nutrients suggested be v. Goldsmidt are ingested?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Unfortunately, at this time there isn’t one supplement with our exact recommendations. We’ll keep you posted on this.

  6. K. Gopal Rao

    Is Ascorbic Acid, which most VitCsupplements are made of, an adequate substance for VitC supplementation? I have read that comparing Ascorbic Acid to VitC is like comparing a lean-to shelter with a pucca house with four walls a floor and a roof? So is it best to rely on only natural cources of VitC?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      According to research presented by the Linus Pauling Institute, “…natural and synthetic L-ascorbic acid are chemically identical and there are no known differences regarding biological activities or bioavailability.”

  7. Carol

    Thank you so much for having your information articles. Besides having lots of good information you don’t tack on requests for money or include excess unnecessary information.
    Thank you for being here.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      I appreciate your kind words, Carol! And please know we’all always be here for you and for all Savers 😀

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