The impact that the right nutrition can have on your sporting performance should not be under-estimated. As well as increasing our wellbeing and energy levels, vitamins and minerals have the ability to help protect against injury and ensure good muscle recovery.
Nutrition brand Pharma Nord explains some of the minerals that are important for good sporting performance.
The sunshine vitamin
How much do you know about vitamin D? According to a recent Pharma Nord health survey, 75 per cent of us have never had a vitamin D test, despite the fact that up to 50 per cent of UK adults are thought to be deficient.
Vitamin D is known for its anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, which means it can strengthen our immune system and help protect against flus and colds. It is also important for bone health, helping with the absorption of calcium and building stronger bones. This is especially important to reduce your risk of injury. Fractures and joint problems can result from repetitive loading over time, so consider taking a supplement to support your bone and joint health. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is identical to the form produced naturally in the skin.
Make sure you get enough magnesium as it is vital for the structure and strength of bones and can help with muscle recovery. Foods to add to your diet include beans, nuts and whole grains such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. If choosing a supplement go for one with the hydroxide acetate and carbonate forms of magnesium as they can be best absorbed by your body. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 400mg/day. Bio-Magnesium contains 200mg of pure magnesium per tablet.
Essential fatty acids
One of the best sources of omega 3 is oily fish such as salmon, sardines and herring. This essential fatty acid helps to protect against inflammation which plays a part in many injuries and can also slow recovery. Omega 3 also helps to keep joints and tissues well lubricated, making it especially important for the action of rowing. Daily supplementation with a high quality fish oil derived from the flesh of the fish, rather than the liver, is recommended.
Strengthen your muscles and feel an energy boost
Working different muscle groups can result in soreness and fatigue. So, how can we protect our muscles from fatigue and ensure we have enough energy?
All of our cells need a vitamin-like substance called coenzyme Q10 as part of their energy mechanism. In fact, Q10 is responsible for 95 per cent of our daily energy. The majority of Q10 is synthesised within the body, however our natural levels decline from our mid-twenties. Consider topping up with a high quality supplement. Q10 is fat-soluble so is best absorbed by the body when dissolved in oil-based capsules. Q10 raw material takes the form of a complex crystal structure, so check that the supplement manufacturer uses a process to break down the crystals so they can be absorbed.