When you're a serious athlete, nutrition is a fundamental part of your training. You know without the proper nutrients, your body can't function at its optimal level. And that doesn't just mean what goes into your body before and after a training session. Multivitamins formulated for athletes developed to help athletes' bodies stay strong, reduce injury and support natural energy production so you can go the distance.
The Physical Toll of Training
Strenuous training, whether it's weight lifting or running long distances, drain the body's resources. These activities call on entirety of the body's systems to pitch in for top performance and the effects are widespread. While not all these actions are bad (who could argue against No. 1?), it can be dangerous if the body isn't properly fueled. Here are eight ways intense training effects your body:Speeds up the metabolism, causing the body to burn stored fatMuscles develop tiny tears (the reason you're sore after a workout)Oxygen is lost as lung capacity is tested and pushed to the limitWear and tear on joints, leading to inflammation and increased chances of arthritis later onHeart rate risesThe body sweats to cool itself, releasing moisture leading to dehydrationBlood circulation increasesDigestive system is stressed
The More Important Nutrients for Athletes
So, how do you make sure the body is getting enough support to counteract these effects? These are the nutrients we recommend athletes get on a daily basis:Vitamins - Vitamins A, C, and D are important antioxidants that support tissue health to promote healing after injury and also keep the immune system strong. Other vitamins to keep up on are the B vitamins which support natural energy and cognitive health.Minerals - Calcium and magnesium enable the muscles to contract and relax properly. They also keep bones strong to reduce the risk of injury as well as calm the central nervous system. Iron is another mineral you need, which keeps oxygen-rich blood flowing to all your muscles and organs while you train. Lastly, zinc will support the immune system and energy levels.Electrolytes - Potassium helps the body regulate moisture, keeping you hydrated. When you sweat, you lose this electrolyte so it's important to replenish it.
When looking for a multivitamin, anyone at any fitness level should make sure all the basics are covered. Look at the vitamins and minerals to make sure you have as close as possible to the recommended daily amount, especially of the nutrients listed about. If you're eating a balanced diet, you won't need more than that.
Do You Need A New Supplement?
Here are some other nutrients you can look for to help combat the physical demand of training. Probiotics help digestion and immune supportAdaptogenic herbs like holy basil, ginger and turmeric combat inflammation and improve the body's stress responseBCAAs, or branch chained amino acids, help the body build strong, lean musclesGreen tea is a natural energy booster and antioxidant
Consult your physician about your training schedule and diet before starting any new supplement or workout program. They can determine through a physical exam if you need more or less of a particular vitamin or mineral to keep you healthy.
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