You’re already committed to staying active and exercising for your health but it’s equally as important to make sure that you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals that you need to support that active lifestyle. Athletes and those who exercise regularly usually have different vitamin and nutrition requirements to fuel their activities and to stay in top form. To ensure that you’re staying on top of your game, supplementation may be able to help. Getting enough of the following vitamins will help you to maintain your energy, performance, and metabolism that supports your active lifestyle.
B vitamins are essential but if you’re active it is especially important to have enough B vitamins. B vitamins are needed for energy metabolism, especially vitamin B12, which is crucial for athletic performance. Vitamin B6 is also important as it is needed for protein and glucose metabolism and assists in getting the energy from the food that we eat. Deficiencies in vitamin B can result in extreme fatigue and weakness.
Iron is a mineral that is required to transport oxygen throughout our body and is important for working muscles. Iron can be lost from our bodies through sweat, urine, the skin, the GI tract, and menstruation. Athletic women, especially those with a heavy menstrual cycle or are involved in endurance sports, are more prone to iron deficiencies which can result in severe fatigue and muscle weakness.
Creatine assists in muscle growth and muscle repair. We consume creatine naturally through meat and seafood but it has since become a popular supplement among gym-goers and endurance athletes. Creatine supplementation is especially important for vegan and vegetarian athletes to assist in keeping muscles healthy.
CALCIUM and VITAMIN D
Vitamin D helps us to absorb calcium and seeing how many of us are vitamin D deficient, there is a chance that you’re also likely not getting enough calcium either. These two vitamins work in tandem to keep our bones healthy and strong. Athletes that are deficient in these vitamins run the risk of stress fractures, as well as pain and muscle weakness.
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and supports our immune system. Vitamin C is important for athletes as when the body is stressed from exercise, vitamin C helps to maintain immune function so you don’t get run down or sick following strenuous exercise.
Magnesium supports our nerve and muscle functions as well as protein, fat, carbohydrate synthesis, and electrolyte balance. Magnesium is especially important for athletes as we lose magnesium when we sweat or urinate. Strenuous exercise can increase magnesium requirements by as much as 20%.
Protein is essential for everyone but active individuals have higher protein needs due to the expenditure from exercise. Protein is what helps active bodies recover, repair, and build muscle. Many athletes, after they have finished exercising, follow up with protein supplementation within 30 minutes of completing a workout to assist in recovery and maintain energy levels.