Posted by Melissa Seith, RD, LD
This week I’m expanding on my last post about the basics of how to eat for improved athletic performance.
Vitamins and minerals play a very important role for everyday life and the importance of proper intake increases for athletes as they strain their bodies requiring muscle use, repair and growth; signaling their bodies to build bone; stressing their immune system; increasing a demand for oxygen; and overall requesting more of the body’s systems.
Although vitamins and minerals do not provide energy themselves, they do facilitate energy yielding chemical reactions in your body. They act as coenzymes – or little activators - in your body to speed up and enable processes within the body related to not only energy production, but also immune function, bone health, tissue repair, collagen growth, muscle control and hemoglobin (what carries oxygen in your blood) synthesis. If they are absent from your diet, deficiency can develop and they no longer are available to act as coenzymes that jumpstart reactions and, as a result, processes do not work properly.