Which vitamins and minerals for athletes?

Which vitamins and minerals for athletes?

It is not an easy task to establish a diet that provides the right amount of vitamins and minerals. Most people definitely cannot afford it or do not want to subject their lives to a demanding daily diet. However, people who play sport or are physically active are very much at risk of vitamin deficiencies, which is why proper supplementation is so important in their case. Adequate, i.e. concentrated on those vitamins and minerals which athletes need most.

Vitamins for athletes

There are no redundant vitamins, but it is possible to distinguish vitamins dedicated to specific tasks. Just as there are vitamins that are particularly important for women or of the greatest importance for men, there are also vitamins that are very important for physically active people. Of all the vitamins, athletes should place particular emphasis on the following vitamins:

  • Vitamin A - is primarily known for its positive effect on eyesight. However, of greater importance for athletes is its participation in the synthesis of adrenal hormones. This in turn ensures proper muscle function. Vitamin A also has an effect on the reduction of free radicals which cause fatigue;
  • Vitamins B (especially B1, B2, B6, B12) - people who are physically active should bear in mind that energy expenditure increases the need for these vitamins. B vitamins not only regulate many processes in the body, ensuring the proper functioning of the nervous and immune systems, but are also important for the metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates;
  • Vitamin C - is a real support for joints as it increases the production of collagen in the body. This in turn is the main component of connective tissue, thus improving the condition of joints. Vitamin C also inhibits free radicals, which are released during training, and improves the absorption of iron from food. Iron, in turn, has an effect on faster and more efficient distribution of oxygen throughout the body, which ultimately reduces fatigue;
  • Vitamin E - contributes to general well-being. By protecting against free radicals, it counteracts fatigue. In addition, it reduces the destruction of red blood cells and relieves cramps.

The above psta concerns mainly vitamins, the deficiency of which is most threatening for athletes, however, a balanced diet and appropriate supplementation in case of deficiencies should also include the remaining vitamins.

Minerals for athletes

Of course, vitamins are not all that athletes need for the proper functioning of the body and the fluidity of its processes. It is very important to take into account certain minerals in the diet of a physically active person, which are washed out of the body during physical exertion at a rapid rate. These include in particular:

  • Calcium - increases bone strength and reduces the risk of bone fractures. Fewer people are aware, however, that calcium is involved in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, has a positive effect on heart function and improves blood flow;
  • Zinc - is most important in the synthesis of insulin, thyroid hormones, and growth hormone, which affect the appearance and physique. Zinc also accelerates wound healing, as it has a strong ability to create and develop tissues;
  • Magnesium - takes part in the synthesis and breakdown of ATP, which is a real energy bomb. Magnesium thus provides the body with the energy it needs for physical exercise. Magnesium is also responsible for the synthesis of muscle proteins and improves the flow of nerve impulses;
  • Sodium - and potassium - these are minerals of great importance for the transport of nerve impulses to the muscles. They not only provide energy for exercise, but also accelerate regeneration after training and ensure the acid-base balance. Sodium and potassium are also involved in the synthesis of proteins and gpcogen;
  • Iron - is the last of the most important minerals for athletes. First of all, it participates in the transport of blood, and more specifically oxygen, which improves the efficiency of the body and increases energy levels.

Vitamin and mineral requirements

In the case of athletes, the demand for some vitamins and minerals exceeds even three times the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of an average person. Depending on the level of physical activity, the following quantities should be supplied to the body accordingly. The average doses for people with a high level of physical activity (3-4 trainings per week) differ from the doses of people who are very physically active (more than four trainings per week). The second values are given in brackets.

In the case of vitamins for athletes, these values are as follows:

  • Vitamin A - 700 mcg (approx. 2-4 mcg),
  • Vitamin B1 - 2 mg (approx. 6-8 mg),
  • Vitamin B2 - 2,8 mg (approx. 5-10 mg),
  • Vitamin B6 - 2,6 mg (approx. 4-7 mg),
  • Vitamin B12 - 3 mcg (approx. 5-10 mcg),
  • Vitamin C - 90 mg (approx. 300-400 mg),
  • Vitamin E - 10 mg (approx. 30-40 mg).

Minerals for athletes, on the other hand, are as follows:

  • Sodium - 625 mg (approx. 4-6 g),
  • Iron - 15 mg (20-40 mg),
  • Zinc - 16 mg (16 mg),
  • Potassium - 2 g (3.5 g),
  • Calcium - 1.1 g (2-4 g),
  • Magnesium - 0,5 g (0,5 g).

Only by providing the right amount of vitamins and minerals will you feel good and have the energy you need to exercise.

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