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Do you consistently eat a perfectly varied and balanced diet? We bet you don’t. We don’t either.
That’s why vitamins are so important for both your nutrition and workout.
Did you know that vitamins strengthen your immune system, aid digestion, help to give your body energy, look after your brain and prevent chronic disease? Did you know that when you’re working out – especially if your workouts are intense – you lose vitamins and minerals?
If you’re not replacing these, your body will suffer (and so will your workouts!).
Here’s a list of vitamins and minerals you should be supplementing with
This is a powerful antioxidant (it’s a fat-soluble vitamin) that gets rid of the free radicals produced when you do intense exercise. It also helps control your metabolism. You get it from eating cod liver oil, animal liver (i.e. chicken, beef, etc.), carrots and sweet potatoes, to name a few.
Your body needs the B vitamins for energy. Since your body’s store of vitamin B is depleted by the process of muscle building – which is the result of exercise – you need to make sure you’re getting enough of these vitamins through your diet. You’ll find them in legumes, whole grains, bananas, potatoes and animal products.
It’s also known as ascorbic acid. It’s an amazing antioxidant, and your body uses it to form collagen (the protein that makes your skin, for example). Interestingly enough, collagen is the most abundant form of protein in your body. It fights infections, helps to fight the symptoms of stress and ageing, and it keeps testosterone levels high in men (which is important for strength training). You get it from eating citrus fruit, leafy greens and chillies.
It controls the flow of calcium through the blood stream and plays a vital role in the management of healthy blood pressure. It lowers the risk of heart disease, fights flu and may help you live longer. It plays a role in the health of bones and joints. You find vitamin d in fish, eggs and fortified cereals. Your body produces it when you’re exposed to direct sunlight (just remember the sunscreen!).
This antioxidant supports muscle and joint health, limiting the breakdown of muscle tissue. It also supports a healthy immune system. You get vitamin e from eating kidney beans, carrots, berries, nuts and healthy vegetable oils.
We’re talking omega oils. Buy a good quality fish oil supplement (otherwise, you may find yourself burping up fish all day!). Fish oils prevent heart disease and serve as an anti-inflammatory too.
It regulates your heart’s rhythm and reduces blood pressure. It also plays a role in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) – the molecule your body gets its energy from. If you’re magnesium deficient, your performance will suffer (and you put yourself at risk of heart disease, among other things). Eat beans, nuts, leafy green veg and whole cereals to get it.
To get the most out of your workouts, you have to put the right foods into your body. Understanding nutrition is incredibly important.
If you’re passionate about nutrition and its role in wellness, consider pursuing a career in this science. Check out the Specialised Nutrition Certification on offer at Trifocus Fitness Academy.