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.
|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.