The answer is most likely yes!

If you’re hitting the gym on a regular basis certain nutrients are vital for your muscles to work efficiently, and moderate to vigorous exercise increases the loss of some minerals, mostly through sweat.

Aerobic exercise and training lead to numerous changes and/or adaptations in the normal physiological functioning of the body. People who train intensively may be at special risk due to repeated increased losses.

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There are macro and trace minerals that are lost in sweat.

We hear of super athletes that appear to be in excellent health keeling over from a heart attack at 40 or coming down with some horrible disease.

Mineral deficiency may well be the answer to the ever present question, “Why?”.

The most commonly known minerals needed by athletes are the macro-minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, and manganese.

These minerals are vital to optimal health and to people engaged in athletic activities in particular.

CALCIUM is the most abundant mineral in the human body which is responsible for normal heart rhythm, healthy nerve transmission, and strong muscle contractions.

During exercise, calcium dependent enzymes produce energy from fatty and amino acid conversion. Fatty acids are such an important fuel during endurance exercise because they provide up to 65% of your energy needs when exercise goes beyond two hours in length.

Having adequate calcium available to efficiently convert them into energy is crucial. When calcium runs low, the body extracts it from the bones, but this process can’t keep up with your exercise depletion rate.

Calcium deficiency during endurance events may produce high blood pressure, muscle cramps, and weakness.

Mineral Depletion_2

MAGNESIUM should accompany calcium and due to the fact that magnesium deficiency is prevalent should be taken 4:1 in favor of magnesium.

Many enzymatic reactions necessary for fuel conversion to muscular energy occur in the presence of adequate magnesium. Magnesium deficiency contributes to muscle cramps, tremors, sleep disturbances, and in some cases, convulsive disorders.

POTASSIUM is the positively charged ion within all muscle cells. It is necessary for maintaining the optimal concentration and balance of sodium. Symptoms of potassium deficiency are nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, cramping, and rapid heart rate.

Up to 200 mg are lost in sweat alone (not counting internal muscle and cell use). Potassium and sodium should be replaced at the same time because taking just potassium the optimal sodium balance is altered.

SODIUM is the chief positively charged ion outside the cell. During exercise a minimum of three hours is necessary to deplete this mineral. Symptoms of sodium deficiency are abnormal heartbeat, muscle twitching, and hypoventilation.

MANGANESE is necessary in trace amounts for optimal muscle cell enzyme reactions for conversion of fatty acids and protein into energy. Although manganese is not technically an electrolyte, its importance cannot be overstated.

Research also shows that manganese deficiency plays a key role in blood sugar fluctuation, free radical build-up from intense exercise, and nerve function disorders.

The trace minerals lost through exercise are as important as the macro-minerals. Strenuous exercise can change levels of trace minerals in your body, in particular, zinc, copper, chromium and iron. You lose these minerals through urine on a daily basis and when working out the loss of these minerals is increased exponentially.

Zinc, copper, and Chromium are directly involved in maintaining and regulating many physiological processes, especially those involved in normal carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism and the ultimate formation of usable energy.

ZINC is required for a number of reactions involving cell growth and tissue repair. It helps to keep your immune system healthy and is important for wound healing and fertility. Loading up on carbs while limiting protein and fat causes deficient levels of zinc in up to 90 percent of athletes.

This can zap your energy and endurance. After a hard workout session, you may see much higher proportions of zinc lost through sweat from the body than other minerals, necessitating the need for replacement.

COPPER is involved in iron metabolism and formation of red blood cells and collagen. Low levels can lead to anemia, loss of bone density and changes in nerve function.

CHROMIUM is vital for protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism and helps to boost insulin sensitivity and regulate glucose levels. Chromium is directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.

The body’s chromium content may be reduced by infection, acute exercise, pregnancy and lactation, and stressful states (such as physical trauma). Increased chromium losses and can lead to deficiency.

IRON helps red blood cells carry oxygen to muscles. An hour of working out depletes up to 5.7 percent of your level of this mineral. Losing too much of your stores can result in iron-deficiency anemia, which causes fatigue and zaps your endurance during lengthy sessions.

The bottom line? Listen to your body and do your homework! It is a well-known fact that today’s food supply lacks nutrients which makes it necessary to supplement our diet, especially for athletes!

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