Mineral Deficiencies and Workout Recovery

Author: Dr. Dawn Liu

Don’t let Mineral Deficiencies Undermine your Workout and Recovery!

Staying active throughout the year takes a lot of work! We applaud any effort toward building that healthier and stronger you, and we want you to truly enjoy the reward from workouts and exercises! Therefore, we want to point out some easily overlooked factors to help you make the most out of your hard work.

As we increase our physical activity, we increase our fluid loss due to sweating; we increase our metabolism in general, we increase our lean body mass. These changes put a different demand on different nutrients for us to keep up with our new activities and our new body.

If you don’t keep up with the changes through increased nutrient intake, you will not be able to reap all the benefits from your hard work, and soon your body will send alarm signs that discourage you from your new habit and workout routine.

Here we will introduce you to the nutrients that you want to pay particular attention to, if you want to maximize your return of investment – your hard work!

– Calcium
– Magnesium
– Zinc
– Iron
– Potassium

1.) Calcium
We all know the importance of calcium – we need it for strong bones, we need it for good muscle contractions, and there is much more!

Do you know what is in common between heavy sweating and a HIGH Protein diet you use to build lean body mass? They both increase loss of calcium from our body!

Many of us do not have enough calcium in our diet. Here is what you need to do: Yogurt, milk and other dairy products are excellent sources.

If you don’t eat much dairy, how about salmon, canned sardine, collard green, bok choy, kale, okra, broccoli, green beans, almonds, white beans, figs, or oranges?

2.) Magnesium
Magnesium is involved in over 700 enzymatic reactions in the body, and it is so important for relaxation of muscles and the central nervous system, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation. Blood test results have shown that the majority of us are deficient in magnesium.

Good sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds, fish, avocados, bananas, and figs.

3.) Zinc
The most widely known function of zinc concerns its immune-boosting function – most supplements that help you prevent or fight a cold has zinc in it. Another very important function of zinc is that it helps to increase testosterone levels, which is important to build and maintain lean body mass, male or female alike.

You can find zinc from these great sources: oysters, crab, beef, lamb, chicken, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, spinach, mushrooms, and nuts.

4.) Iron
Iron carries oxygen to the heart and muscles. A healthy iron level is indispensable if you have higher physical activity level, but especially for endurance sports like distance running, cycling and swimming. Recent studies have shown that exercises pose risk for iron deficiency in women in particular. With iron deficiency, fatigue and sluggishness is unavoidable.

There are many good sources of iron, lean meat, liver, chicken, fish, dark leafy greens spinach, lentils, etc. But animal sources like lean red meat and chicken have more absorbable form of iron (heme iron) than plant sources (nonheme iron). To increase iron absorption from plants, adding vitamin C or lemon juice is a good trick!

5) Potassium
Potassium, when balanced with sodium, is in direct control of your muscle function, which is why every electrolyte drink for exercises on the market is high in potassium.
It also regulates your overall fluid level and blood volume, which is critical for oxygen supply to your muscles and organs.

Besides electrolyte recovery drinks, banana, coconut water and carrots are excellent sources of potassium for post-workout recovery.

There are abundantly more useful tips and tricks to combat mineral deficiencies and boost your nutritional intake. To find out more, please call our office at (858)481-1438 to schedule a FREE 30 Minute Consultation with Dr. Dawn Liu so that you can discuss one-on-one the best nutritional pursuits for your unique situation!

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