Nutrients for Optimal Athletic Performance

Throw back 2011

With racing season in full gear, It’s so important to optimize our food choices to gain any advantages we can.  Of course, it’s essential to eat a balanced diet all the time, but there are certain vitamins and minerals that we need to prioritize for optimal athletic performance.

There is not one diet in particular that helps us gain any athletic advantages, but there are six vitamins and minerals that are especially important to help ensure that your body is working to it’s fullest potential.

If I’m investing the time to train for a race or event, I want to make sure that I’m fueling with foods that will assist with my performance as well as enhance recovery.   With that said, there are six vitamins and minerals that are exceptionally beneficial in order for you to perform your best.

IRON:  Important for delivery of oxygen from the lungs to the working muscles.  Athletic training in combination with low dietary intake of iron can lead to depletion of stored iron which in turn leads to restricted performance.

ZINC:  Important for immune function, blood formation, and protein synthesis.  The body quickly loses zinc following strenuous exercise, particularly in hot, humid environments.

VITAMIN B12:  Important for the normal metabolism of nerve tissue, protein, fat, and carbohydrate.

RIBOFLAVIN:  This is essential to produce energy.  Riboflavin (Vit B2) is stored in muscles and is abundantly used when muscles are fatigued.

VITAMIN D:  This is necessary for calcium absorption, bone growth, and mineralization.  Helps with the risk of bone fractures.

CALCIUM:  Needed for maintaining bone structure and vitamin D metabolism.  Calcium is also important for blood clotting, nerve function, and muscle contraction.

6 Vitamins & Minerals for Optimal Athletic Performance! Click To Tweet

The best sources of vitamins and minerals are whole foods.  Your body will more readily absorb nutrients from food rather than from a supplement.  (Unless you have a deficiency and are advised by your doctor to take a supplement).

I believe we can gain a competitive edge by fueling our body with healthy food choices and paying attention to our nutrient intake.  Junk in = junk out.  If you want to perform your best and feel your best, then proper nutrition is essential!

Are you currently training for a race or event?

Do you agree with junk in = junk out?

*Reference:  ACE Personal Trainer Manual*

7 Responses to Nutrients for Optimal Athletic Performance

  1. As a vegetarian as well I really do try to pay attention to make sure that I am getting everything I need. During race season, it’s even more important. Thank goodness for beans!

  2. Debbie says:

    As a vegan I have to take extra care to get all of these important vitamins and minerals. I do take a supplement and extra B-12. Great post!

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