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How Nutrients Help Athletes During Training

May 29, 2015

Are You Getting Enough Nutrients? 

Even today’s healthiest diets lack nutrients, the vitamins and minerals essential to the body to function properly during exercise and convert food into energy. The filtered water we drink excludes vital minerals, while the foods we eat are often processed and preserved which leaves less vitamins, and more chemicals than we need. 

Research Shows Immune System Functions Are Affected During Intensive Exercise

Laboratory research shows that athletes exercising at a high intensity for 90 minutes or more experience a steep drop in immune function that can last up to 24 hours. The drop in immune function appears to be caused by the elevation of stress hormones released during and following heavy exertion. This is what exercise immunologists believe allows viruses already in the body to spread and gain a foothold.

Micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), such as Boron and Germanium, can help prevent illness and injury by protecting the body's immune system.

MicroNutrients Are Necessary For Muscle Function, Immune System Health, And Muscle Repair

Here is a short list of micronutrients and how they affect the body:

  • Germanium is a metallic trace mineral it is know to improve cellular oxygenation. It also fights pain, assists in immune system operation, acts as an antioxidant, and improves stamina and endurance. Germanium acts as a carrier of oxygen to the cells.
  • Iodine is a nonmetallic element that is converted to iodide in the gut and absorbed through the digestive tract. The thyroid gland needs this mineral to support metabolism, nerve and muscle function, physical and mental development. 
  • Magnesium helps athletes avoid cramping and also helps facilitate over 300 fundamental enzymatic reactions, it also functions in the activation of amino acids and plays a key role in nerve transmissions and immune system operation. 
  • Molybdenum is essential in working with vitamin B2 in the conversion of food to energy and is necessary for iron utilization. 
  • Potassium performs countless vital functions in the body supporting the nervous system, aiding in digestion, and providing the electrolyte charge to the cells. Most of the total body potassium is found in muscle tissue. 

MicroNutrients Are Key To Energy Production

Micronutrients play an important role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, maintenance of bone health, adequate immune function, and protection of body against oxidative damage. They assist with synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from exercise and injury. Exercise stresses many of the metabolic pathways where micronutrients are required, and exercise training may result in muscle biochemical adaptations that increase micronutrient needs. Routine exercise may also increase the turnover and loss of these micronutrients from the body. As a result, greater intakes of micronutrients may be required to cover increased needs for building, repair, and maintenance of lean body mass in athletes.

Athletes Can Benefit From Daily Micronutrient Supplements

Endurance athletes of all levels have seen the benefits of adding a daily micronutrient system into their training regimen.  Runners have stayed healthier and recovered faster by supplementing micronutrients.  

Elite distance runner with the Saucony Hurricanes team, Tina Muir said, "My recovery runs are faster, without putting in any more effort, my workouts have been improving consistently, and I am feeling strong almost every day.”

You can read more on the benefits of micronutrients for runners and endurance athletes by reading the peer reviewed article, Nutrition and Athletic Performanceby Nancy R. Rodriguez, PhD, RD, CSSD, FACSM

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