Many athletes invest their money in shoes, breathable clothing and equipment. However, the quality of nutrition and an optimal supply of nutrients must not be forgotten. To ensure that sporting activity remains beneficial to health in the long term, an optimal supply of vitamins and minerals is essential to maintain performance. In this article we look at which micronutrients are recommended for athletes and give simple tips for use.
What micronutrients are good for athletes
During sporting activity, the intake of micronutrients can be useful as a supplement to a balanced diet. Many people who are active in sports know the problem: muscle cramps that suddenly occur and make movement impossible. To prevent this, a sufficient supply of magnesium is necessary. Together with potassium and calcium, magnesium is one of the most important minerals for optimal muscle function and supply to the body.
Magnesium and sport
Many people are aware of the necessity of magnesium for athletes. Sports scientists advise an additional intake of magnesium nutrient preparations above the average recommended 350 mg per day. Taking high doses of magnesium not only helps with regular exercise, but also in dealing with stress. Magnesium acts as a true "anti-stress mineral" by curbing the excessive formation of stress hormones and regulating nerve function. In addition to endurance athletes, strength athletes also have an increased need for magnesium, as a deficiency causes the muscles to tire more quickly.
Application tip for acute problems with muscle cramps and tension: the external application of magnesium as a gel or oil works within 20 minutes. To do this, rub the gel or oil into a large area, wait around 20 minutes and then remove with a damp cloth. The Saint Charles magnesium gel sport variant also contains peppermint oil, which is pleasantly cooling and relaxing.
Potassium as an important partner of magnesium
Potassium is an important mineral for regulating blood pressure and for supplying the muscles and nerves. The fact that potassium is an important partner of the mineral magnesium is often forgotten. This is because potassium is indispensable for energy production. The constant electrolyte balance of our body is dependent on potassium. Regular administration of magnesium and potassium in sports makes sense during heavy physical exertion. After all, consumption increases during sport due to increased sweating and the supply of energy to the cells for muscle work. Potassium is found in the camu camu fruit, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, fruit juices, fish and meat.
Sport and calcium
Calcium is indispensable for a strong bone structure. Bone density decreases with age - it is highest between the ages of 25 and 35. If calcium deficiency persists for a long time, osteoporosis is the result. Since the heart and muscles are primarily supplied with calcium during exercise, the body takes the mineral from the bones if there is a deficiency. In addition to a suitable diet, such as hard cheeses or low-fat milk, one can also take supplementary micronutrient preparations with calcium or linseed oil (contains potassium, calcium and magnesium).
Insufficient absorption without a healthy intestine
However, the absorption of food components and supplements is indispensably dependent on a healthy intestine. Studies show that especially people who do intensive and endurance sports often have gastrointestinal problems. The so-called leaky gut - the increased permeability of the intestine - can be promoted by the sport-related stress in the body. L-glutamine is the primary energy-providing substrate for the small intestine and an indispensable nutrient for maintaining normal intestinal function. Studies have shown that oral administration of L-glutamine significantly improves intestinal permeability in athletes. In addition to L-glutamine, it is recommended to take probiotics to strengthen the intestinal flora. Due to the ideal colonisation of the intestine with probiotics, the microflora supports the body in its defence against pathogenic germs, promotes digestive performance and nutrient absorption.
Further product tips from Saint Charles for athletes
Flaxseed and chia seed oil have the highest omega-3 content of all vegetable oils with about 55-60 percent alpha-linolenic acid and dominate our Saint Charles Powermix Sport with 60 percent. Polyunsaturated fatty acids are essential components of our cells and important for communication between the cells. Especially after athletic training, it is important that our cells can regenerate or renew themselves quickly. Omega-3 has been shown to support positive HDL cholesterol levels and contribute to normal heart and brain function. In addition, Saint Charles Powermix contains native flaxseed oil as well as olive oil and native hemp oil, which has a high vitamin E content in addition to its optimal omega-3 / omega-6 ratio.
Saint Charles Cream Deodorant Sport combines effective antiperspirants with caring components from nature. The baking soda contained neutralises odours even during physical exertion. The unisex fragrance blend of mint and spruce (from essential oils) refreshes and is popular with both men and women.
If you are looking for other products to support you in your sporting activities or need expert advice on nutritional supplements, our pharmacists at Saint Charles Pharmacy Vienna or Berlin will be happy to help at any time.
Picture (above): Richard König, Co-Founder & CEO Saint Charles, is himself an enthusiastic athlete and relies heavily on the additional supply of magnesium, both internally and externally.