Minerals and Their Effect on Athletic Performance

Maintaining the proper balance of minerals is of utmost importance to the athlete at any level of development.  Any athlete deficient in minerals is putting themselves and their potential athletic career at risk.  

·      Diminished bone density potentially increasing the risk of fractures.

·      Weakness and fatigue.

·      Compromise impulse movement of the skeleton structure; muscles do not respond as quick and organ function can be diminished.

·      Your immune system can be more susceptible to illness; this can diminish the rate and ability of the cells to repair themselves.

Minerals are key components to several body functions.  Minerals are divided into two categories:

·      Macro minerals; the body needs a large amount to function.

·      Micro minerals of which the body only requires trace amounts.

Skeletal Structure Function

Bones

Provide mobility, support and protection for vital organs.

Minerals required by the bones to stay strong are:  calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.  Deficiencies in these minerals can lead weakness in the bones increasing the risk of fracture.

Calcium and Phosphorus– improve the strength and density of bones.

Magnesium – assists in converting vitamin d to its active form, which aids in calcium absorption.

Blood

Blood carries oxygen to the cells, which is used generate energy.  Red blood cells contain an iron component that binds to oxygen so it can be transported through the blood to the muscles and organs.  Iron deficiency leads to weakness and fatigue.

Nerves & Muscles

Contract and expand allowing function and movement of the skeletal structure.

Potassium – assists in maintaining proper water levels in the cells of the nerves and muscles.  Without potassium to maintain the proper water levels the impulse signaling your body to move is diminished or non-existent.  Your muscles and organs would not be able to contract and flex as needed.

Immune System

Zinc – assists in keeping your immune system strong.  A strong immune system helps prevent illness and assists in repairing cells.

Minerals and Signs of Deficiency

“Studies indicate 80% of Americans are deficient in magnesium”

(Mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/11/03/nutrient-deficiency-signs-symptoms.aspx)

Magnesium Deficiency

Muscle Cramps & Contraction

Numbness & Tingling

Seizures

Abnormal Heart Beat

Coronary Spasms

Personality Changes

Calcium Deficiency

Fainting

Heart Failure

Chest Pains

Seizures

Numbness & Tingling in Extremities

Muscle Cramps (usually the back of legs)

Wheezing

Difficulty Swallowing

Voice Change (larynx spasms)

Fatigue

Cataracts (eyesight issues)

Osteoporosis

Psoriasis

Dry Skin

Coarse Hair

Brittle Nails

Tooth Decay

Irritability, Impaired Intellectual Capacity, Depression, Personality Changes

Muscle Weakness

(Universityhealthnews.com/daily/nutrition/21-calcium-deficiency-symptoms-that-will-surprise-you/)

Potassium Deficiency

Tingling or Numbness

Nausea or Vomiting

Abdominal Cramping, Bloating

Constipation

Heart Palpitations

Frequent Urination or feeling Thirsty

Fainting (low blood pressure)

Depression, Confusion, Hallucinations 

It is suggested that most of our nutrients can come from food, please take into consideration the nutrients in the soil are depleted from over-use, chemical additives and pesticides. 

Vitamins containing minerals tend to be the best option for supplementation. I recommend taking a liquid multi vitamin with minerals liquids, which are absorbed quicker.

Please consult your physician or a certified nutritionist when considering supplements.  

Maintain the Balance