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What exactly is the RDA? Is this how I should determine if I am getting adequate nutrition?

What exactly is the RDA? Is this how I should determine if I am getting adequate nutrition?

The RDA’s (Recommended Dietary Allowances) were first created by the National Research Council in the 1940’s to serve as a basis for “good nutrition”. Its main use is adequate nutrition in regards to preventing disease, i.e. Scurvy which is caused from a lack of Vitamin C.

The RDAs do not address individual health, or nutrition that is required by “athletes”, which really includes anyone that is involved in bodybuilding, weight training or general fitness. So, no I would not advise that you use this as a measure of optimal nutrition.

The following chart is from the ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) whom I am certified by, thatlists the nutritional requirements for ‘physically active people’. The PDI is a much more accurate guideline to use for your vitamin, mineral and nutrient requirements.

These PDI values are intended as a guideline for physically active, healthy adults. The PDIs should be obtained from a total nutrition plan, consisting of food and dietary supplements. The PDI ranges for each nutrient reflect the different needs of individuals based on size and activity level. Always consult a health professional with questions on your special nutrition requirements.

Table Of Performance Daily Intakes (PDI)

Nutrient Forms Found In Supplements PDI
Vitamin A Vitamin A Acetate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Palmitate 5,000 IU to 25,000 IU
Beta Carotene Beta Carotene 15,000 IU to 80,000 IU
Vitamin D (D2) Ergocalciferol, (D3) Cholecalciferol 400 IU to 1,000 IU
Vitamin E Mixed Tocopherols, D-alpha Tocopheryl Succinate,DL-Tocopherols 200 IU to 1,000 IU
Vitamin K (K1) Phylloquinone, (K2) Menadione 80 mcg to 180 mcg
Vitamin C Ascorbic Acid, Rose Hips 800 mg to 3,000 mg
Vitamin B1 Thiamine Hydrochloride (HCl) 30 mg to 300 mg
Vitamin B2 Riboflavin 30 mg to 300 mg
Vitamin B3 Niacinamide, Niacin 20 mg to 100 mg
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (HCl) 20 mg to 100 mg
Folate Folic Acid 400 mcg to 1,200 mcg
Vitamin B12 Cyanocobalamin 12 mcg to 200 mcg
Biotin Biotin 125 mcg to 300 mcg
Pantothenic Acid d-calcium pantothenate 25 mg to 200 mg
Calcium Calcium carbonate, calcium citrate, calcium malate, calcium glycinate 1,200 mg to 2,600 mg
Phosphorus Phosphorus 800 mg to 1,600 mg
Magnesium Magnesium oxide, magnesium glycinate 400 mg to 800 mg
Iron Ferrous (iron) fumarate, Iron glycinate 25 mg to 60 mg
Zinc Zinc citrate, zinc arginate 15 mg to 60 mg
Iodine Iodine from kelp 200 mcg to 400 mcg
Selenium Selenomethionine 100 mcg to 300 mcg
Copper Copper lysinate, copper gluconate 3 mg to 6 mg
Manganese Manganese arginate, manganese glycinate, manganese gluconate 15 mg to 45 mg
Chromium Chromium dinicotinate glycinate, chromium picolinate, 200 mcg to 600 mcg
Molybdenum Molybdenum chelate 100 mcg to 300 mcg
Sodium Sodium chloride* 1,500 mg to 4,500 mg
Chloride Sodium chloride* 1,500 mg to 4,500 mg
Potassium Potassium chloride 2,500 to 4,000 mg
Boron Boron tri chelate, boron glycinate, boron citrate 6 mg to 12 mg
Choline Choline bitartrate, choline dihydrogen citrate, phosphatidyl choline 600 mg to 1,200 mg
Inositol Myo-inositol 800 mg to 1,200 mg
Bioflavonoids Citrus, rutin, hesperidin bioflavonoids 200 mg to 2,000 mg
IU = International Units, mg = milligrams, mcg = micrograms Version 6/2/99
*Sodium and Chloride are derived predominantly from food sources, not dietary supplements.

Credit to the ISSA for this chart.

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