The first step was to examine the body of scientific research available that looked at vitamins, minerals, and the needs of the athlete. We found these particular studies useful - for a more detailed summary please visit our Technical FAQ. In some cases you may need to pay for the full text version.
After looking at the research we also wanted to see what the experts had to say, the short list of people that we trust and respect when it comes to nutrition and supplementation.
*From Alan Aragon's Research Review - December 2013 - A critique of the recent multivitamin rant in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
*Excerpt from Examine.com and their Supplement Reference Guide
*Excerpt from Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports - Presentation Slides - by Lyle McDonald
The information above, along with all the additional literature and studies we looked at helped us decide on which vitamins and minerals we wanted our product to contain.
Determining the optimal doses of each of the vitamins/minerals we had selected required an almost forensic approach and was the most time consuming portion of the product creation process, next to selecting which vitamins/minerals to include.
To save you some time - we've linked the relevant vitamin/mineral page on Examine.com which synthesizes the body of research for each vitamin or mineral and then makes a recommendation on dosage. You can also view our Technical FAQ for a list of studies we found helpful with a brief summary of the dose considerations.
*CN Note - there was considerable variability in the dose of Vitamin K used in studies, specifically K2. The minimum effective dose ranged from 90-360mcg of MK-7. With athletes as the end-user, the importance of Vitamin K on bone health, and our K1 dose we used 500mcg of K2. We also took into account expert recommendation when selecting this dose.
The form of each vitamin and mineral in our product was an important consideration, and our goal was to use bioavailable forms across the board. Among calcium, magnesium, and zinc, we settled on the citrate form due to the body of research supporting its bioavailability against other forms, as well as expert recommendation. The amino acid chelate forms were of great interest to us and we understand the mechanism of action, but the body of peer-reviewed research was limited.
D3 was the preferred form for Vitamin D and MK-7 for K2. Other forms we considered were amino acide chelate, carbonate, oxide, threonate, picolinate, and gluconate.
From Applied Nutrition for Mixed Sports by Lyle McDonald
The last step in terms of formulation was to examine absorption issues, or if our planned vitamin would work as intended. Something we wanted to investigate right off the bat was that Calcium, Zinc, and Magnesium would compete for absorption.
In digging through some of our old pharmacology and physiology texts, we confirmed that Zinc, Calcium, and Magnesium use the same transporter for intestinal uptake. As long as we stayed below the transporter uptake limit of 800mg, absorption of these vitamins and minerals would be unaffected. Based upon this information and the doses used in our product, we concluded it would be a good idea to split a single serving up and take at two different times during the day. This is why our label says this:
Here is a study on Zinc and Calcium Absorption issues you may find useful:
The first knee-jerk criticism of some people that are already making their own homemade mix is that they can mix the ingredients significantly cheaper in bulk. That's what we did personally for a long time, and that's what we still tell people to do if Tier 1 isn't right for them.