What is NRV?
Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) is the new Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
It’s a nutrient target for certain vitamins and minerals that the average person should consume daily. These values are determined from the results of large surveys that your government conducts. They provide recommended values to ensure your body can fight against disease. This approach poses a bit of a problem, but we’ll get into that later.
Why aren’t NRV’s the same from country to country you ask? Well, each population has varying requirements. For example, in sunnier countries, people may need less Vitamin D as they get a lot of it naturally from the sun. Whereas in the U.K, especially in the colder months, our Vitamin D requirements get relatively high.
What happens if you don’t hit your NRVs?
If you miss your NRVs for one day, you won’t notice. If you’re consistently under consuming certain vitamins you’ll start to feel it. A common vitamin that is under-consumed is Iron (especially in women). We know that under-consumption of Iron leads to constant fatigue, paleness and even dizziness.
That’s one reason why we put 100% of your NRV of Iron in our Daily Driver - we want you to feel energetic every day!
However, an example where NRV can fall down a bit is for vitamins like Vitamin D. The UK NRV for Vitamin D is 10mcg - this is a very conservative value. It’s been shown that higher doses are not only safe, but have greater effects on your mood and sports performance. We didn’t want anyone taking the Daily Driver to miss out so we put 87.5mcg in our multivitamin.
Do NRV’s change for people who exercise?
In short, our view is yes. The fundamental problem with NRV’s is that they are designed to help you fight off disease. They are not designed to help you improve performance! Let’s not forget these values are determined from a survey of segments of the UK population. Much of the population live sedentary lifestyles meaning they are putting less stress on their body.
People who workout, whether that’s running, lifting weights, swimming etc. put more stress on their body. As a result, we need more fuel to ensure our body is supported. In one of our recent blogs we mention that active individuals may need 450g-900g of carbs on training days!
It’s not only more carbs, our bodies also need larger amounts of vitamins to support our active lifestyles. For example, if we’re eating more carbs, we need more B Vitamins to help us release the energy from those carbs.
Zinc is another vitamin (well, mineral technically) where more can be better (providing you stick to a safe dose). This is because active individuals damage their muscles during exercise. Zinc aids the repair and growth of our muscles so we can recover quickly and get stronger/faster. The general UK population don’t put this type of stress on their muscles. Therefore they need lower levels of Zinc - this is a great example of an NRV being too low for active individuals.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with 100% of your NRV of Zinc in our Daily Driver. And yes, this is still well below the Safe Upper Limit (SUL) set by the UK government - so you’re all good. That leads us on to our next topic...
Is it safe to consume more than the NRV?
In two words - it depends. The UK government set their Safe Upper Limits (SULs) for vitamins and minerals (and these are much higher than the NRVs). SULs are typically more important for fat-soluble vitamins. This is because fat-soluble vitamins are not easy for the body to release. Whereas if we over-consume water-soluble vitamins our body pees them out, no problems.
Examples of fat-soluble vitamins are Vitamins A, D, E & K. If you take a supplement with these vitamins, check the SULs to ensure you’re not over-consuming. Pretty much all good supplement companies would check this before making their product, but it can’t hurt to check.
If you over-consume fat-soluble vitamins, you might find your body reacts negatively. This can vary on the vitamin, but common side-effects include:
Skin becoming dry
This is why it’s super important to check what vitamins are in your supplements and the doses. We’ve done our homework at hakamount so you don’t have to worry.
Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs) are indicative values of vitamins and minerals. These values are what is needed to ensure your body can effectively fight against disease.
The correct amount of vitamins and minerals a person needs will vary from person to person. This can be due to a variety of factors such as how much sun they get in their country, or their lifestyle choices.
If you’re an active individual, you’re putting more stress on your body and as a result you need extra fuelling. This comes from foods (fats, carbs, proteins) but also vitamins and minerals.
Find yourself a good multivitamin so you never have to worry about NRVs ever again!