Table of Contents
The importance of trace elements can not be emphasized enough as a deficit can harm overall health and surely athletic performance. For instance correcting an iron deficiency, in particular, will increase aerobic endurance and athletic performance. Also, because female athletes are more susceptible to anemia, the USOC recommends that female athletes get their hemoglobin levels checked regularly. Furthermore female athletes, particularly those participating in weight-lifting sports, also require optimal calcium levels for bone health.
Interestingly calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and selenium supplementation did not improve athletic performance in well-nourished athletes.
Although chromium, boron, and vanadium have been investigated as possible anabolic by potentiating the effects of insulin or testosterone, studies have found no positive benefits on body composition, muscular strength, or endurance. In four well-controlled trials, phosphate salt supplementation significantly increased maximum oxygen uptake and aerobic endurance performance, although additional controlled research is needed.
Calcium is essential for cardiac energy control and is involved in oxidative phosphorylation, the process through which energy-rich ATP is generated in the heart and elsewhere.
Calcium is also involved in the contraction and relaxation of skeletal muscles. According to 10-week research on young women who engaged in severe endurance training, high-intensity exercise increases calcium excretion. Endurance athletes’ calcium intake has to be improved as a result.
This mineral is essential for anyone who exercises but is crucial for athletes and endurance athletes. Magnesium is found in about 300 enzymes that are involved in energy metabolism. ATP is an energy storage molecule found in all cells, particularly muscle cells. Early weariness, nausea, and muscular cramps can all be caused by low magnesium levels. Magnesium plays a role in several activities that affect muscle function, including oxygen absorption, electrolyte balance, and energy generation.
Iron is essential for athletic or sporting performance. In muscle cells, it’s found in hemoglobin, myoglobin, cytochromes, and in many enzymes. These are involved in the delivery and metabolism of oxygen for energy during endurance sports. Athletes have been proven to have iron deficiency in many studies. This mineral can be depleted by 5.7 percent in an hour of weight lifting exercise.
Too much iron loss can result in iron deficiency, which causes fatigue and exhaustion. Iron shortage without anemia has also been demonstrated to decrease aerobic exercise efficiency. Athletes who train for 6 hours or more a week are more likely to have iron-deficiency anemia, which should be tested for periodically.
Along with glycogen, this mineral electrolyte is stored in muscle fibers. It aids in the transfer of glucose into muscle cells. It is in charge of maintaining the entire body’s water balance and voluntary and automatic muscle contractions. It helps conduct nerve impulses and interacts with salt and chloride to manage fluid and electrolyte balance. After nerve transmission, potassium is required to repolarize the cell membrane, resetting the neuron for its following action.
Potassium loss was estimated to be 435mg/hour in a study of athletes jogging for 40 minutes at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Intense training or athletic performance, especially in hot conditions, can cause potassium shortage, which has been linked to muscle damage. Nausea slowed reflexes, vomiting, muscular weakness, muscle spasms, cramping, and a fast heart rate indicate potassium insufficiency. As can be seen, potassium is an essential electrolyte for athletic performance, and precautions must be made to ensure a safe body level of this mineral electrolyte is maintained.
Selenium is a component of various enzymes and is required to form glutathione peroxidase, an antioxidant enzyme. Selenium supplementation is thought to inhibit peroxidation of the RBC membrane and oxygen-metabolizing muscle cell substructures. Reduced levels of muscular SeGPx resulted in an increase in cellular damage after continuous exercise in animal research, confirming the idea that muscle damage caused by free radicals induces muscle tiredness. Selenium supplementation has also been proven to improve SeGPx status and prevent lipid peroxidation during prolonged aerobic exercise. In Fact, taking selenium, supplements, can support the athletes’ immune systems and help heal cellular damage. Taking 200 micrograms of selenium daily is safe and recommended for endurance athletes.
To get the most out of your athletic performance, you must keep your zinc levels in check. More than 300 enzymes require zinc to heal the body and guard against intruders. It also aids in protein synthesis and cell reproduction. Zinc is essential for testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, and growth hormone synthesis. These factors contribute to higher muscle growth, increased strength, and faster recovery times.
Many athletes do pre-event carbohydrate loading while restricting protein and fat consumption, which has been proven to deplete zinc levels in up to 90% of these athletes. There will be a decrease in energy and endurance due to this.
Zinc is necessary for a healthy immune system. As previously stated, endurance activity lowers the body’s zinc concentration, which might explain why distance runners are more susceptible to colds and upper respiratory tract infections after races or strenuous endurance exercises. Free radicals are produced as a result of athletic exertion. Zinc is an intracellular antioxidant that aids in the elimination of free radicals, allowing athletes to recover faster after physical work.
Zinc promotes insulin production in response to elevated blood glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity, which helps glucose absorption by muscle cells. Zinc deficiency has been discovered in up to 40% of athletes.
Hypernatremia is not an issue for most sports performances. Sodium reduces dehydration by assisting cells in retaining water. It also aids in the production of ATP. It is critical for endurance performances, particularly in hot temperatures. Anyone participating in long-duration athletic events or workouts should consume a hydrating drink.
What Is a Supplement, Exactly?
Supplements are viewed as a complement to a well-balanced diet. Active sports nutrition supplements can assist people and athletes satisfy their nutritional needs, correcting nutrient deficiencies, improving athletic performance, and reaching personal fitness objectives. Supplementation, on the other hand, is thought to be ineffective without a well-designed dietary plan in place.
Supplementary Standards and Regulations
Dietary supplements have been classified as a type of food rather than a medicine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require supplements to be submitted for regulation. Although the FDA has the authority to evaluate supplement components and health claims, only a tiny percentage of supplements are reviewed.
Manufacturers of sports supplements can make health claims with FDA permission as long as the claims are genuine and based on scientific data. Unfortunately, clinical evidence backs up relatively few substances with ergogenic advantages. This leaves the active adult or athlete with no assurances about the safety, efficacy, potency, or purity of nutritional or ergogenic supplements.
Dietary supplements Vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, botanicals, extracts, or concentrations from plants or foods are all examples of supplements. They’re usually marketed as capsules, pills, liquids, powders, or bars and must be appropriately labeled as dietary supplements.
Ergogenic substances, medications, and procedures used to improve athletic performance are included. They can range from legal and even dangerous methods such as anabolic-androgenic drugs to appropriate carbohydrate loading.
Taking A Look at The Benefits of Supplements
Supplement usage is still debatable and a personal choice. Active individuals, athletes, and sports nutritionists frequently enquire about supplement manufacture and quality. Before contemplating sports meals and supplements, it is a good idea to look for evidence-based studies.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recommends that supplement claims for improved athletic performance be evaluated based on scientific-based facts.
Supplements are sold for health, and athletic performance based on possible uses gleaned from exploratory research. The promises appear to be optimistic, yet they frequently contradict clinical findings. Online resources such as the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and PubMed from the National Library of Medicine can help you determine whether or not scientific data back a supplement.
Supplements For Athletes’ General Health
Active individuals and athletes must maintain nutritional health. According to Victor C0nte, the founder of SNAC a sports nutrition supplements company, athletes are advised to take a few extra nutrients to keep healthy throughout their strenuous activities.
While health experts disagree on whether adults should take multivitamins, the American Medical Association suggests taking a daily low-dose multivitamin to ensure that necessary quantities of nutrients are taken. Although a multivitamin is not indicated for improving sports performance, it may benefit overall health.
Many ergogenic aids are unreliable and should only be used after thoroughly assessing their efficacy, potency, and safety. Because the FDA does not regulate these items, extra caution is advised. Sports nutrition supplements, however, are here to stay and can help you get the most out of your workout.