Powerlifting is a unique – albeit awesome – sport. It’s really just mastering the Big 3 lifts and showcasing brute strength on stage during competition.
How much difference can there be in technique, timing, bar speed, or stance across the squat, deadlift, and bench? Turns out, quite a lot, as any seasoned powerlifter will tell you.
It takes hours and hours underneath the iron to increase your PR just one kg.
Not to mention weight classes. What a terrible realization it is to know you’ve finally PRed your deadlift at the end of competition prep, only to realize you’ve gained a bit of weight. Now, your victory is shadowed by the fact you’re in a new weight class, competing with lifters who can rep your PR.
Yeah, it’s a tough, unforgiving sport. But we love it anyway.
Fortunately, a well-organized diet, perfectly-crafted training plan, and a lot of grit and dedication can put you in a great position. And, just like altering your foot position or grip just slightly, tiny nutritional tricks can make all of the difference.
That’s why we’ve looked far and wide to find the best multivitamin for powerlifting…
Some will argue you don’t need a multivitamin. Which, to be honest, is true to a point. A balanced diet full of variety and sufficient calories will do more than any supplement. Unfortunately, powerlifters aren’t often afforded that luxury while cutting weight.
When we gradually decrease our intake and eliminate foods from our diet, we run the risk of missing certain nutrients. Even if you’re not cutting weight, I’d be willing to bet you haven’t recently checked your blood for a nutrient deficiency.
Therefore, we’re going to assume all powerlifters could use a great multivitamin to improve their performance under the bar.
The most important consideration for any powerlifter – compete clean
According to the IPF, powerlifters are subject to the same anti-doping regulations as any governing body under the World Anti-Doping Agency. As such, they are required to compete clean.
While a large majority of supplements are not prohibited substances, some are. Even more, certain supplement companies manufacture the bad guys alongside the good guys (like multivitamins).
What does that mean for powerlifters? Be really careful about the supplements you’re taking, as they’re not regulated by the FDA.
Any company can use misleading labeling or shady manufacturing practices. Unfortunately, many athletes have fallen victim to these problems and faced the brunt of the consequences.
Here’s a basic checklist as to what to look for to avoid failing a drug test:
1. Is what I’m taking safe? Nothing should ever adversely affect your health in any way, no matter what it does for your lifts.
2. Does this supplement back up its ingredient list? You need to be sure it includes what it says it will. Not only so you don’t fail a drug test, but so you can follow the #1 rule as well.
3. Does it work? Pretty obvious here.
4. Can I afford it? Not only financial cost, but consider any other downsides of taking the supplement.
5. Has the quality and design been tested over-and-over again by independent labs? Remember, supplement companies can technically claim anything, so make sure each product is verified.
If you can answer yes to the above, then you’re on the right track as a competitive athlete. To be honest, even if you don’t compete, we should all be that careful about what we put in our bodies. It’s the only body we have.
All of that being said, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to. Below is our pick for the best multivitamin for powerlifting…
The Best Multivitamin for Powerlifting: Performance Lab Whole Food Multi
*Performance Lab Whole-Food Multi is only available to buy on their official website:
– www.PerformanceLab.com –
First and foremost, Performance Lab presents equally effective options for men and women. Yay equality!
(And yes, we do have slightly different needs. I say this as a female professional athlete. We have different hormonal responses than you, gentlemen, and Performance Lab takes those into account.)
In general, though, the ingredients match across both versions of their multivitamin. They produce each from whole foods. Not the grocery store, but actual food. Performance Lab uses trademarked BioGenesis to recreate nutrients in the lab. By growing them and extracting them from single-celled organisms, these nutrients are bio-identical to those found in food.
Here’s a quick, but not exhaustive, overview of how the vitamins and minerals in Whole Food Multi can help powerlifters. For a full list of ingredients, visit Performance Lab’s website.
This vitamin promotes protein synthesis to build muscle. It also helps repair broken down tissue after training, so you can get back under the bar to hit big lifts the next day.
Surprisingly, many athletes are vitamin D deficient. Sunlight can be a great source of D3, but powerlifters spend a lot of time inside the gym. Without enough vitamin D, our structural strength suffers. Vitamin D also improves mood, cognition, and testosterone.
Vitamin K regulates calcium deposits in bone, which is huge when you’re putting hundreds of pounds on your back. It also helps repair connective tissue to keep your joints healthy.
It’s no secret that calcium is great for bone and joint health. But did you know it can also regulate muscle contraction?
In order to contract, your muscles form crossbridges to pull on each other and move your body. However, there’s a little lock called tropomyosin that blocks the attachment point. When calcium enters the equation, it unlocks that attachment, allowing for contraction.
Without calcium you literally can’t be a powerlifter.
B vitamins are so important that they play a role in nearly everything. From nervous system health to energy metabolism and red blood cell circulation, they keep everything moving. Taking B vitamins keeps you energized for the big lifts.
Iron rules oxygen transport in the bloodstream. Although powerlifting is an anaerobic sport, you still need oxygen to like… your brain… in order to function. Iron is an especially critical mineral for women, who tend to lose a lot of iron every 28 days or so.
But as we all have blood, it’s pretty important for anyone.
Studies show that maximal strength exercises (cough, powerlifting) significantly lowers the amount of zinc in our blood. Which is an issue, as extra zinc can actually increase anabolic hormones. Zinc supplementation has been shown to decrease catabolism, exercise adaptation, and help regulate androgen metabolism.
Magnesium plays a role in energy metabolism, muscle relaxation and recovery, bone integrity, and nervous system function. Low levels of this mineral are associated with neurological dysfunctional, physical stress, and chronic fatigue syndrome. Try hitting a PR under those conditions.
Moreover, combining magnesium and zinc with vitamin B6 makes a powerful sleep supplement. The three work together to stimulate melatonin, relax muscles, and lower stress to help you fall asleep. Sleep is a magical recovery tool for athletes, so use it.
All athletes should be careful with their supplements. By just reading this article, you’ve taken a step in the right direction.
Of course, great training, dialed-in nutrition, and regular recovery will take you far in this sport. But a little competitive edge might make the difference between three white lights or a miss.
Performance Lab’s Whole Food Multi has strong support for the best multivitamin for powerlifting. Everything is quality tested. Their ingredients are all-natural. And they include critical values of important vitamins and minerals for athletes. Taking their multivitamin will add in any nutrients you might be missing, and top off ones you aren’t.