68
      Saturday
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      Sunday
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      Monday
      81 / 66

      Sports nutrition: Follow the Rainbow - Vitamins and Minerals for Performance

      Youâ??ve probably also heard about eating a â??rainbowâ?? of different colors of fruits and vegetables. Thatâ??s because each of the colors usually represent different nutrients -- from minerals for strong bones and muscle function to vitamins that help you get the most out of your energy systems and support a healthy immune system, or the array of protective phytonutrients.

      You??ve probably also heard about eating a ??rainbow?? of different colors of fruits and vegetables. That??s because each of the colors usually represent different nutrients -- from minerals for strong bones and muscle function to vitamins that help you get the most out of your energy systems and support a healthy immune system, or the array of protective phytonutrients. As well as whole grains and lean proteins, Marc, Lauren and Anne can think red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple for a colorful plate to support their Bayshore training and performance goals!

      Vitamins and minerals do not provide energy, but they are crucial for turning food into energy, activating nerve function and muscle contraction, fighting off illness, and protecting cells against damage from exercise-induced wear and tear. Although some research suggests the high activity levels of athletes may increase their vitamin and mineral needs, most active individuals and athletes eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods to meet energy demands and are usually able to meet or exceed the daily requirement of most nutrients through food alone. And for the Three Amigos and others, it is the combination of anti-oxidants and other phytochemicals found in food that offer greater benefit over isolated nutrients found in a supplement.

      Only athletes with an identified nutrient deficiency will benefit from targeted vitamin or mineral supplementation. While supplementation of certain vitamins and minerals (folate, B12, calcium, iron) may be recommended for some athletes who routinely eat low energy diets, or in special circumstances (pregnancy, genetic or medical conditions), at present there is no evidence to support improved performance with additional intakes. While topping up vitamins and minerals will not enhance your performance, a high intake of a single nutrient may result in nutrient over-load and negative effects such as: tissue damage, kidney stones, impaired blood clotting, depletion of other nutrients, stomach upset and toxicity.

      Disadvantages of relying on supplements versus food include high cost, poor quality control* and the risk that the product contains a banned substance. If you choose to take a vitamin/mineral supplement, no more than 1 to 2-times the RDI/RDA is recommended.

      *dietary supplements do not require pre-market FDA approval ?? there is no guarantee of purity, safety or effectiveness; contamination

      Ideally, the Three Amigos should get their vitamin, mineral and anti-oxidant needs through food first using the wide variety of nutrient rich foods that we have covered in earlier weeks.

      When eating a variety of nutrient rich foods, the following vitamins play a key role in supporting physical activity:

      B-Complex (Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Folate Vitamins B6 & 12)

      Help turn the potential energy in food into energy in the muscle for work (exercise)

      Support nerve function and muscle contraction for work

      Have a role in red blood cell formation, crucial for getting oxygen to muscles during exercise and recovery

      Good food sources include:

      Thiamin - Whole and enriched grains and fortified cereals

      Riboflavin - Almonds, milk, yogurt, wheat germ, fortified breads and cereals

      Niacin - Meat, fish, poultry, peanuts, peanut butter and enriched grain products

      Vitamin B6 - Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans whole grains, seeds and oysters

      Vitamin B12 - Seafood, meats, milk and cheese, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals

      Folate - Enriched grains, dark leafy greens, whole-grain breads and cereals and citrus fruits

      Vitamin C, E & A (Beta-carotene)

      Antioxidants that act as buffers against cell damage ?? cancel out damaging free-radicals that are produced by increased energy production

      Support the immune system protecting from infection

      Vitamin C also plays a key role to:

      Helps produce collagen (the connective tissue that holds bones and muscles together),

      Protects against bruising by keeping blood vessel walls firm

      Aids in the absorption of iron and folate

      Good food sources include:

      Vitamin C - citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruits and tangerines), strawberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and potatoes

      Vitamin E - Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach), and fortified cereals

      Vitamin A - liver and fish oils, leafy green vegetables (spinach, broccoli), orange and yellow vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, orange winter squash, cantaloupe, red bell pepper)

      Vitamin D

      Your body can make its own vitamin D with enough sun exposure and it is most important for bone health by promoting the absorption of calcium from food

      Other roles support cell growth and muscle strength, immune function, and lowers inflammation

      Good sources: Fortified milk and cereals, cod-liver oil, seafood and eggs

      When eating a variety of nutrient rich foods, the following minerals play a key role in supporting physical activity:

      Magnesium, Iron & Zinc

      Activators for energy production turning the potential energy in food into energy in the muscle for work (exercise)

      Play a role in the system that controls acid-base balance

      Iron is a key element of red blood cells for oxygen delivery to the muscles

      Along with selenium, iron, and zinc have a role in antioxidant function

      Magnesium and zinc support immune function

      Good food sources include:

      Magnesium - Green leafy vegetables (spinach), legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, whole grains, banana, low fat milk and yogurt

      Iron - red meats, fish, and poultry, lentils and beans, tofu, spinach, raisins, molasses (eating vitamin C foods with plant-based iron helps with absorption of iron from these sources)

      Zinc ?? Oysters, crab, lobster, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products

      Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium

      Support nerve function and muscle contraction for work

      Calcium and magnesium also support bone health giving strength to bone structure

      Good food sources include:

      Sodium ?? most processed foods, salted - pretzels, nuts, crackers, cheese, deli meats etc.

      Potassium - broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes, citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes, and apricots, milk and yogurt, nuts and legumes

      Calcium ?? dairy products, fortified foods (soy and nut milks, juices, cereals)

      Magnesium ?? spinach, legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole grains

      A balanced diet for optimal performance and your health is essential. Consider working with a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition for a meal plan that is personalized to your body, your sport, your stage of training, and your goals. Contact Miranda Monroe via info@grandtraversenutrition.com for a consultation to put the science of sports nutrition on your plate with a personalized plan and practical meal planning strategies to help you achieve your performance goals. www.grandtraversenutrition.com