You may think that a well-balanced diet full of fruit, veggies, and lean protein will provide sufficient fuel for an active lifestyle. But if you’re hitting the gym regularly, it may not be enough. Certain vitamins and minerals are critical for your muscles to work efficiently and for energy production and recovery. However, moderate to vigorous exercise increases nutrient requirements, and some minerals are lost through sweat.
A multivitamin is key for athletes – it provides B vitamins for energy support, calcium and magnesium for bone health, vitamin D3 and iron for endurance, potassium for exercise recovery, and more. But a few additional supplements can help take your workout to the next level.
RIBOSE: THE ENERGY NUTRIENT
If you’re an athlete and you’re not taking ribose, you’re missing out. D-ribose is a simple, natural sugar made by the cells. It’s critical for producing the energy molecules that power the heart, muscles, brain, and every other tissue in the body. According to Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, it can dramatically increase energy production throughout the body, which is wonderful for athletes.
GLUTAMINE: MUSCLE FOOD
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the human body, and most of it is stored within the skeletal muscles. Glutamine is particularly important for athletes, as it helps speed up recovery time following vigorous exercise and can help increase strength during workouts. Glutamine is also necessary for energy production in the muscles.
OMEGA-3S: A RECOVERY MUST-HAVE
Omega-3s get a lot of attention for their role in heart, brain, and eye health, but they can also benefit athletes by supporting post-workout recovery. Omega-3s help increase protein synthesis, helping to increase strength and build muscle. As an additional benefit, omega-3s are critical for supporting optimal joint health.
TART CHERRIES: AN ATHLETE SUPERFOOD
Elite athletes are taking notice of tart cherries for their powerful antioxidant properties and recovery support following an intense workout. Look for tart cherry juice and tart cherries in supplement form, which may be a more convenient way to consume a hefty dose of powerful antioxidants.
The Daily Dose blog features health and wellness articles from Senior Nutritionist & Educator Jolie Root, LPN,LNC; Nutritionist & Educator Laurel Sterling, MA, RDN, CDN; and Featured Guest Blogger Karen Roth, MSNC. Other guest bloggers will also join us.