They can help increase energy levels, raise metabolism and assist with the recovery process. It is in our best interest to consume nutrient dense foods such as fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to provide the body with the necessary amount of nutrients. More foods today are being labeled ‘enriched’ with nutrients that support our daily functions. Dairy milk for example is enriched with Vitamin D in Canada as mandated by our government due to our lower amount of sunlight exposure.
Another option to obtaining our daily-recommended amount of nutrients is to incorporate dietary supplements such as multi vitamins into your diet. If this happens to be your choice of action it is recommended to consult your dietitian or health care provider to make an appropriate recommendation for your case.
Benefits of Vitamins in Exercising
We can all benefit from an extra boost of energy.
Vitamin B aids in the conversion of carbohydrates into readily available energy for the body and has metabolism increasing properties.
Vitamin A can promote growth and repair of body tissues and aids in proper digestion of different macro-nutrients.
Recent studies have shown that Vitamin E can promote muscle growth and inhibit muscle breakdown and also acts as an effective antioxidant.
Benefits of Minerals in Exercising
Deficiencies in certain nutrients can become obvious with drops in energy levels, loss of focus and troubles with tissue recovery. We want to avoid being deficient to achieve the greatest benefits from our exercise.
The mineral Calcium helps to maintain heart function, bone density and overall health. Potassium will help specific vitamins with the breakdown of carbohydrates to aid in energy production and helps the transmission of electrical signals between cells and nerves for more refined performance.
Sodium levels drop with perspiration and in low amounts could cause muscle cramping among other things. Having a sports drink with electrolytes handy can help avoid muscle cramps in prolonged exercise and promote proper muscle function.
Consuming and replenishing nutrients with quality foods in general is a good practice to maintain peak functioning capacity for exercising and everyday living. If you require more information or advice on the health benefits of vitamins, minerals and exercise you can contact the health and fitness professionals in the CCSAI’s Athletic & Wellness Centre.