As an athlete, your body has more nutritional needs and demands than those who are not active. Therefore, you should be able to compensate your body with proper nutrients from both foods and supplements such as beta-alanine to ensure that your recovery and performance are at their peak. The more intense your training is, the greater your nutritional needs.
For instance, if you are in high endurance sports, you will have different needs from an athlete who participates in sports that require lower endurance. When you are training, you sweat a lot and, in the process, lose essential electrolytes that you need to replace. Moreover, intense activity usually leads to your muscle cells’ wear and tear, and you will need to take nutrients that will help protect them from damage. Here are four key nutrients that you need to perform optimally in athletics.
Vitamin D helps build strong bones, control serum phosphorus, and most importantly, boost calcium absorption in your gut. Vitamin D is also necessary for the optimum performance of your skeletal and nervous systems. If you live in areas where there’s very little sunshine or spend most time inside your house, you are more likely to experience a deficiency.
If you are in this situation, it might be a good idea to take supplements because few foods have vitamin D, and the ones that do are usually only fortified. Eggs and fatty fish like tuna are also excellent sources.
As an athlete, you are susceptible to having low levels of zinc primary if you don’t eat enough foods containing this mineral. Zinc is necessary for metabolic efficiency, immunity, thyroid function, and protein utilization. All these functions influence your performance. To keep the zinc levels in your body optimum, you will need to eat foods such as poultry, legumes, meat, whole grains, and milk.
You are at a high risk of experiencing zinc deficiency if you are a vegetarian that doesn’t consume enough meat or whole grains. If you are taking zinc supplements, avoid overdoing it as it could lead to a copper deficiency. Before taking any of these supplements, consult your sports nutritionist.
3.All B Vitamins
B vitamins play a significant role in blood health, muscle building and repair, and energy metabolism. If you have a deficiency, you will usually experience symptoms ranging from poor cognition, muscle soreness, and fatigue. Eating enriched grains, poultry, fish, and meat will help keep the B vitamins levels in your body balanced.
This nutrient is necessary for the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Additionally, it boosts blood’s ability to carry oxygen, and a deficiency might inhibit your immunity, cognition, and endurance. Foods that contain high iron levels include fortified cereals and red meat.
As an athlete, you need to pay attention to the foods you eat to ensure that your body gets all the macronutrients and micronutrients it requires. It will be essential in ensuring that your body can keep up with the intense training and exertions.