How’s your fitness regime going? In summer, most of us take our workouts a bit more seriously. But did you know that taking the right vitamins and minerals can help strengthen bone, build muscle, prevent injury, and aid recovery — ideal whether you’re into cardio or resistance training?
If you’re a regular at the gym, you need to ensure that your body takes in what it needs to perform. Don’t underestimate the importance of nutrition — check out how vitamins and minerals can help you push harder in your next work-out session.
This nutrient is essential — and unfortunately, those of us in colder countries often don’t get enough of it. Did you know that, if you don’t get enough vitamin D over time, your body can actually start drawing calcium out of your bones? This means you have an increased chance of a fracture.
Around half of UK adults aren’t getting enough vitamin D3 — and this can be hugely problematic in the long run. Unfortunately, a lack of this nutrient can mean weaker bones and muscles — not what you want when working out!
Running and jogging, whether outside or on the treadmill, can put a lot of strain on your body. Therefore, you need supplements that strengthen bones and tissue. One of the best supplements you can take to help achieve this is a daily dose of calcium, which will aid your body in protecting the 206 bones and 200 connecting joints that make up your skeleton.
If you take calcium, make sure you take magnesium in its carbonate and hydroxide acetate forms to help better absorb both nutrients. Magnesium works in sync with calcium, so it’s important to achieve the right balance of these minerals if you want to capitalize on their benefits in the gym.
For many years, every serious gym-goer has been a fan of iron. This supplement is responsible for transporting oxygen to your cells and removing carbon dioxide, so how well you recover between sets or sprints relies on how efficient your aerobic system is — and iron is a major part of providing adequate oxygen to working muscles.
Take iron and also fend off ‘sports anaemia’. This makes you feel tired, which is obviously not good when you want to squeeze an intense workout into the day. Pack a dose of iron into your diet and help energize your work-out to prevent you from becoming exhausted mid-session.
Tiredness leads to us not going to the gym or cutting out sessions short — help to prevent this from occurring by taking coenzyme Q10. This is why all our cells benefit from a vitamin-like substance called coenzyme Q10. Some of this is found in food but most are produced within our bodies. However, the challenge is that our natural Q10 levels decline from our mid-twenties onwards. This means that a coenzyme Q10 deficiency can leave your muscles feeling tired and weak, increasing your chances of injury. Taking a Q10 supplement offers the potential to boost your energy levels and push you to the next level of your work-out regime.
Omega 3 supplements are definitely for you if your muscles tend to feel sore and stiff after the gym. This is an essential fatty acid that helps to protect against injury and improve recovery rates. Ingesting an omega 3 supplement can both prevent and alleviate strain injuries by keeping your joints and tissues well lubricated and reducing any inflammation. Another benefit of Omega 3 is that it can boost your body’s energy supply for a longer and more effective session. Daily supplementation with a high-quality fish oil, such as Bio-Fish Oil, is recommended for most athletes.
Silica and MSM
Silica and MSM are excellent for increasing recovery rates and strengthening bones. According to a study carried out by the UCLA School of Medicine, 58% of athletes taking MSM for an injury reported a recovery compared to only 33% from a placebo group.
The best way to get these nutrients into your body is via supplements, as they are readily lost from foods during processing.
forget good skin and nails, vitamin E is a top nutrient for boosting workouts. This nutrient helps blood flow around the body, delivering red blood cells where they’re needed to help with each muscle contraction during intense cardio and resistance training.
Take these regularly and your body should recover from tissue damage at a quicker rate. Plus, it is commonly used by medical professionals to help people with muscle conditions including arthritis and cramp. On top of these pros, vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it promotes muscle mass by reducing the amount of harmful free radicals in your system that hinder tissue growth.
There’s little worse for someone who is eager to get fit than having a torn or pulled muscle. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy connective tissue across all your body’s cartilage and tendons, and helps alleviate muscle soreness for a smoother, less painful work-out. Even better, Vitamin C reduces the production of cortisol. This hormone is a headache for people who want to keep fit, as it breaks down muscles to use for energy, lowers muscle recovery post work-out, tampers with the transportation of nutrients to muscles, and stores extra fat around the abdomen. Not ideal if you’re dedicated to getting or staying fit!
Give yourself a boost in 2018 with these tips for workout supplements. Check with a medical professional before incorporating these supplements into your diet.