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Whether you’re a casual gym-goer, fitness enthusiast or dedicated bodybuilder, your body needs the basic essential vitamins and minerals to maintain its normal daily functions and properly recover from any level of exercise. However, for athletes who are seeking improved performance and sustained energy as you endure your rigorous workouts, there are certain nutrients that can provide the added support needed.
For those of you who don’t regularly consume fatty fish or vegetable oils, fish oil supplementation can help to fulfill your body’s requirements for essential omega-3 fatty acids, including eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Derived from the tissues of oily fish, fish oil is known to support healthy cholesterol levels, improve mood, maintain bone strength, and serve as a beneficial supplement for overall mental and physical wellbeing.
Regularly supplementing with fish oil can help athletes to maximize muscle building and control weight, as it enhances the body’s anabolic response to a meal. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil also help to decrease inflammation and reduce muscle soreness, making it a vital component of the post-workout recovery process.
Protein is a critical nutrient for the body, as it supports the function of nearly every cell. Your body utilizes protein from food and other sources to build and repair muscle tissue, produce hormones, and stabilize blood sugar levels. While the average adult male needs approximately 56 grams of protein and a female requires about 46 grams per day, athletes who endure hours of heavy weightlifting and cardiovascular exercise benefit immensely from additional protein intake.
While the amount consumed has a great impact on performance, the type consumed is an even more important factor to consider. There are a variety of protein powders, shakes, bars, and supplements available on the market today that are made with whey, soy, casein, and other types of protein. However, for the highest quality protein that will provide your body with sustained energy and endurance, it is recommended to supplement with Hydrolysate Protein. Although this type of protein is the most expensive, it provides an easily digestible source that produces the highest absorption rate as compared to any other type. When consumed prior to or after exercise, it can quickly support focus, energy, endurance and recovery, amplifying the effects of a successful workout.
Unlike any other supplement, Vitamin D is most well-known for its ability to be absorbed by exposure to sunlight. However, regardless of how much time is spent outside, you can often experience a deficiency in the vitamin because of the way strenuous exercise impacts your bones and muscles. Vitamin D helps your body to utilize calcium, develop muscle fibers and support the immune system, making it a key player in maintaining bone strength, building lean muscle and fighting fatigue.
The average adult needs about 1,000 milligrams of Vitamin D per day, but a slightly higher dose is recommended for athletes since research shows that a deficiency in the vitamin can have a significant impact on muscle weakness, pain, balance, and fractures.
In addition to maintaining healthy, balanced diets, athletes can experience improved performance with the support of proper supplementation. Protein, fish oil, and Vitamin D are not only essential for getting through a workout, but also for aiding in the recovery process, as they support your body’s natural ability to heal and repair muscles.