Essential Nutrients for Athletes

Essential Nutrients for Athletes pic

Essential Nutrients for Athletes
Image: dailyburn.com

An accomplished student athlete and aspiring physical therapist, Cody Saltsman played outside linebacker and wide receiver for the varsity football team at Steubenville High School in Ohio. Having since undergone surgery, Cody Saltsman now focuses on conditioning and proper nutrition.

Suitable intake of vitamins and minerals through a balanced diet is important to keep athletes’ bodies running smoothly and efficiently. Low energy levels may be a sign of a deficiency in B vitamins, such as B6 and B12. Riboflavin, thiamin, and folate also fall into this category and are key in converting sugar and protein into the energy that athletes need.

Similarly, a vitamin D deficiency can interfere with muscles’ ability to rebuild energy after contracting. This can lead to premature fatigue, which in turn impacts performance. Insufficient iron and zinc levels also contribute to low energy levels, while adequate magnesium intake is key to efficient energy metabolism.

In addition to maintaining energy, proper nutrition also plays a pivotal role in muscle recovery and injury prevention. Potassium helps to balance hydration levels in the body and interacts with sodium to promote healthy muscle function. Finally, calcium is crucial in protecting an athlete’s bones and helping athletes avoid stress fractures, particularly those involved in high-impact sports.

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