Vitamins and Minerals
Against general belief, this type of substance isn’t a true source of energy. It does not have any caloric value so it doesn’t add fat to our body. It is necessary for most biological functions, like energy production from fat or carbohydrates disintegration. There are two large vitamin categories: the water-soluble and the fat-soluble. In the first category are vitamin C and B complex and in the second category we find vitamins A, D, E, and K. With the exception of vitamins D, K, and B3, the human body can’t synthesize vitamins. For that reason, we have to get them through our diet.
Vitamins tune and guide quite a few metabolic procedures in the human body, lot of them crucial for endurance during exercise. Some of them are the ignition of muscular contraction, the control of body liquids volume etc. Vitamins are found in almost any type of natural food like meat, vegetables, and fruits.
Criterion for Vitamin Supplements: - License number from the National Agency of Medicines - Full profile of 10-12 different vitamins, also 6-8 minerals with some basics, like Ca, Mg, Fe, Cu, Zn, P - All the substances have to contain the necessary daily amount - Besides minerals and vitamins, it is beneficial is to have some other useful ingredients, like ginseng
The Best Time for Taking Vitamins
Vitamin supplements are better when used in the morning after a light breakfast. In this way, we achieve the optimum absorption of nutrients without any digestive tolerance issues.
Basic Minerals for Performance Increase
Contributes to mineral absorbance and the healthy use of vitamins C, E, and B complex. Also helps bone tissue grow and is associated with nerves and healthy muscle function, including the heart.
It is necessary for oxygen transportation in blood and muscular system, and for growth. Also increases the body’s resistance against diseases and prevents fatigue.
Participates in energy generation within cells and contributes to healthy performance of: the heart, kidneys and muscles.
Due to its antioxidant effects, it protects against free radicals. Also participates in energy production and the oxide of lipid acids.
Cooperates with sodium for water balance in the body and smoothes out the heartbeat.
Oxidation is a natural chemical reaction, indispensable for life existence that takes place whenever oxygen exists. Without oxidation, we wouldn’t be able to produce energy through foods. But during metabolic oxidation even when we simply breathe byproducts, free radicals are created. Free radicals play an important role, both in health and disease. They have been implicated in countless human disease processes, but are also vital to human health. Any molecule can become a free radical by either losing or gaining an electron. Molecules containing these uncoupled electrons are very reactive. Once free radicals are initiated, they tend to propagate by becoming involved in chain reactions with other less reactive species. The chain reaction compounds generally have longer half-lives and therefore extend the potential for cellular damage.
Two Sides of the Same Coin
Free radicals have two entirely opposite roles in the human body. On the one side, they are necessary for the confrontation of viral parasites and bacteria; and on the other side, can be very harmful for our cells and also can cause mutations in our DNA, premature aging, and almost any kind of illness. The thin sensitive balance between harmful and protective aspects of free radicals depends on the cadence in which the body generates and destroys them. There are several different substances that insure that balance known as antioxidants.
How they are produced
Excessive exercise, lack of sleep, smoking, sun exposure, excessive food consumption, etc stimulate the immune system causing free radical production. This increases the need for even more usage of antioxidants.
Side effects from unnecessary use
Individual antixoidant intake beyond the normal levels can lead to lack of other antioxidants or decrease their effectiveness. For reasons that are unclear, there some antioxidants might act as oxidative factors increasing the free radicals. This phenomenon is also known as antioxidant paradox. We have to keep in mind that if we have low levels of antioxidants already in our body, antioxidant supplements may decrease even more, weakening our immune system.
Free radicals test
Degree of oxidation and the specific levels of free radicals require specialized lab tests. However there are easy and rather effective tests on the market that you can purchase over the counter. Just because levels of antioxidants are so dynamic, they change within an hour, or one day to another. It’s best to repeat home tests once a week in order to correctly adjust the intake amounts.
We are athletes, and according to this fact, we belong to a special group of people with special needs. We are forced by our activities to follow a specific diet program. In case our needs end up exceeding what we get from our food, like during periods of intense training or diving sessions, we can use supplements. A doctor or dietitian can best recommend supplements.