Vitamins and Minerals: Essential Nutrients for Fitness Enthusiasts

Take a second to think about how you track your diet and categorize your food.

Do you pay more attention to your macronutrients like proteins, fats, and carbs, or do you zoom in to focus on micronutrients like vitamins and minerals?

We don’t know your true answer, but we could guess you pay more attention to your macros. That’s because macronutrients fuel your body and account for almost all the calories you burn.

However, you should still pay attention to your vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients are vital in maintaining energy levels and encouraging recovery after a workout.

Keep reading to learn why vitamins and minerals are essential to your diet and the benefits of taking supplements to boost your micronutrient intake!

Vitamins vs. Minerals: What’s the Difference?

We’re going to take things back to high school chemistry for a second, so bear with us.

The difference between vitamins and minerals is whether or not they are organic — not the type of produce, but whether or not something has the element carbon in it.

Vitamins are organic (they contain carbon) micronutrients. Plants and animals naturally produce them and are in most of our food.

In contrast, minerals are inorganic (they don’t contain carbon) micronutrients found in the water or soil, and we take in most of our minerals from food sources that absorbed them before.

These micronutrients often work together to support our hormone levels and bodily functions, affecting everything from energy levels to mood and muscle repair.

While it’s always best to get vitamins and minerals from whole food sources, we often use supplements to reap their nutritional benefits.

Benefits of Vitamin Supplements That Support Fitness

Now that the science lesson is over let’s look at how a few vitamins can support your fitness journey — starting with the B Vitamin Complex.

B Vitamins Boost Energy Levels and Help With Cell Repair

The B vitamin complex is a group of vitamins that often work together and affect multiple bodily functions, including DNA and fatty acid production, cell growth and repair, and energy conversion.

One thing to note is that these vitamins are water-soluble, which means they dissolve in water and leave the body through sweat and urine. This also means that people who are more active have a more challenging time maintaining B vitamin levels.

Taking a B vitamin supplement on your fitness journey will help guarantee you get enough of these essential vitamins and boost your overall energy level.

Vitamin C Helps With Muscle Repair and Healing

People often think of vitamin C as a cold remedy (which is still heavily debated).

Our immune systems have many moving parts, which makes it challenging to say one vitamin will help fight infection.

What we know for sure, though, is that vitamin C helps grow and regenerate tissues, including collagen. The vitamin also enables you to metabolize protein — an essential part of muscle growth.

Vitamin D Promotes Stronger Bones and Muscles

Often known as the “sunshine vitamin,” the easiest way to absorb Vitamin D is to spend time in the sun. However, we spend a lot of time indoors, so supplements are a great way to ensure you get enough.

Vitamin D bonds with calcium to help strengthen bones, and it’s a powerful antioxidant that may help minimize muscle breakdown and fatigue during workouts.

The Benefits of Mineral Supplements for Exercise

Minerals also play an essential role in cell function, muscle repair, and cognitive health.

Without taking vitamins and minerals together, vitamin absorption can also be reduced, which means lower energy levels and longer recovery times after a workout.

Here are a few minerals that can help you perform better in and out of the gym:

Iron Improves Oxygen Uptake and Muscle Repair

Iron is essential in muscle repair and delivering oxygen to your cells. Decreased iron levels often result in fatigue and weakness, and severe cases of iron deficiency can lead to anemia.

Iron is most commonly found in red meat, so if you eat a plant-based diet or primarily consume white meat, consider loading up on those delicious veggies and legumes with a higher iron concentration.

Calcium Helps With Bone Health and More

It’s commonly known that calcium helps build strong bones, and increased bone density is vital to preventing serious injury during your workouts.

What you should know is that vitamin D is essential to aiding your body’s calcium absorption, and you need enough of both micronutrients for the best results.

Magnesium’s Effect on Muscles

Magnesium can boost your fitness by increasing muscle relaxation after a workout and bonding with vitamin D to increase muscle recovery. Healthy magnesium levels will reduce the chance of cramps and increased muscle fatigue post-workout.

It’s important to note that magnesium is an electrolyte you sweat out during exercise, so you’ll need to replenish your magnesium levels after a workout.

We Can Maximize Your Nutrition at Fit Body Boot Camp

It’s safe to say that nutrition is complicated. Working with an expert is the best way to know you’re getting the most out of your diet.

Stop by a Fit Body Boot Camp location near you today to learn how our fitness coaches can help you build a nutrition plan that supports your fitness journey!

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