Micro-nutrients and supplements

Vitamins and minerals

As if normal industries don’t make life complicated, fitness and health industry loves to put products that they think we need for optimal health on our shelves that have little or no value. When you go to the supplement aisle there are so many different supplements where they all promise different results and too be honest, I don’t know what they are for sometimes. So let’s looks at supplements and micro nutrients for athletes.


These little miracle workers are only required in small amounts, as the name would suggest in micro quantities. You might only need a small amount but they are essential for optimal health and you can suffer severe consequences if needs are not met. They are required to produce Enzymes, Hormones and other essential substances.


We all want to grab our nearest multivitamin but these are organic compounds found in food. These should be ideally be attained from a healthy diet and various sources of food. There are 13 vitamins that are essential for health and wellbeing.  Most of these vitamins have a corresponding deficientcy and disease linked to them.

Fat Soluble

Vitamins A, D, E and K fall under the fat soluble category. These are stored in the body tissues for a long period of time, but too much of these can lead to toxicity.

Water Soluble

These dissolve in water and are your B complex group Vitamins and Vitamin C. These are not stored in the body and needs a constant supply.

Minerals and the athletic Diet

Certain athletes are prone to more deficiencies depending on their discipline. The same as Votamins its better to obtain these through a balanced diet. Supplementation in excess of requirements have no advantage and it will money flushed down the toilet as your body will only absorb what it needs and excrete the rest. I have an iron deficiency and take supplementation under doctor’s supervision as too much iron can also cause toxicity.


This one is a very popular supplement but what is it actually and what does it do. Dietary sources can be found in and meat in fish. There is a lot of benefits one of them is it helps fuel the body during intense activities.

Supplementation boosts levels in skeletal muscle which can improve performance, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue. There is no evidence of detrimental side effects but can cause weight gain from intramuscular water retention, this may a concern for weight class athletes.  

Athletes that would benefit taking creatine are sprinters, weight lifters and athletes that participate in team sports.

Best type of creatine to take is creatine monohydrate. For maintenance 1X5g dose for 12 weeks followed by a 4 week break. Best taken Post work out.

Fish Oil

Omega 3 fatty acids also known as Eiconsapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic (DHA). These complicated named acids help reduce muscle soreness, improve oxygen and nutrient delivery, reduce inflammation and increase muscle synthesis. Recommended dosis 1.3 – 2.7g of Omega 3 fatty acids per day.


Next to Creatine, Protein supplements are next most popular one. This comes in 2 formats either in a powder or liquid but powder seems to be the more popular way to consume. There is no side effects reported to date but can cause a harmless temporary pink coloration of urine/ stool. It has a high nitrate content that can be found in other vegetables.

There are 4 main types of protein

  • Whey: Amino Acid profile suited for body building, abundant in leucine and is rapidly digested.
  • Casein:  Digested slower, good general protein and helps with muscle recovery
  • Soy
  • Egg

There are so many supplements but here are just some of the main ones. Which supplements do you take and why? I am a firm believer that all of these can be found in a healthy diet, and supplementation should be supervised by a medical professional if necessary. Do you agree with this point of view?

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All images and information on a course did with Shaw Academy.

Categories: HealthTags: , , ,

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