Athletes require more nutrients in their diet than others who are less active. Their bodies are put to the test in a way that even the ordinary fitness enthusiast cannot imagine, and they must compensate with the right nutrients from meals or supplements to maintain top performance and recovery. A person's nutrient requirements increase in direct proportion to how challenging their daily physical activity. The human body requires more than 40 minerals, but calcium is essential for athletes. As a result, the supermarket is brimming with items that claim to be high in calcium. Calcium can be found in a wide variety of items, from unsweetened milk to foods with added calcium. Calcium is readily visible for a variety of reasons.
This post will go over several advantages of calcium. But first, let's talk about calcium and why it's so important.
What is Calcium?
Calcium is an element. Because pure calcium is unstable, it occurs in its natural condition as a bonded salt. The most common type of calcium is calcium carbonate. Calcium is the sixth most abundant element on the planet. It is one of the most vital elements in the human body.
Calcium serves a variety of important functions in the body. Maintaining bone health is one of calcium's most critical tasks. Our bones store almost 99 per cent of the calcium in our bodies. Calcium is also essential for the neurological system and cardiovascular health. We must obtain sufficient calcium from dietary sources or supplements because our bodies cannot generate it.
Benefits of Calcium
Essential for Bone Health
This is the most important of all the calcium benefits. Calcium is required for bone growth, maintenance, and development beginning in infancy. It has been found in some studies that higher calcium intake improves bone density. This is highly beneficial for all athletes as bone density ultimately helps in better performance. Improving peak bone mass and slowing bone loss are two significant factors in osteoporosis prevention. As a result, supplementation with high-quality calcium sources becomes critical to achieve peak bone mass before entering your adolescent years. Yes, osteoporosis prevention should ideally begin at this time. Notably, calcium supplementation should be combined with vitamin D supplementation and magnesium. This is because vitamin D aids calcium absorption, and magnesium aids in activating vitamin D. The best way to supplement all these nutrients is to add a good quality multivitamin to your daily diet.
Helps in Muscle Contraction
Muscle contractions are the actions that perform all the work of the muscles making it an important function. Calcium is required for proper muscle contraction.
Calcium is pumped into the muscle by our body for it to contract. The muscle can relax by removing calcium from the tissue.
Crucial for Female Athletes
Calcium-rich foods are especially important for female athletes who want to improve their performance – whether you're training for the next season or a marathon. . According to research, excessive training has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis in female athletes who train more than seven hours per week. Excessive exercise combined with insufficient calories to meet training demands can cause hormone levels to drop, impairing bone formation and sports or exercise performance.
Promotes Weight Loss
The science of how fat works in the body is, at least in part, dependent on calcium levels. This is because calcium alters the balance between fat breakdown and fat storage in cells. For these reasons, the proper balance of calcium in the body has everything to do with fat retention and weight maintenance. As perplexing as it may sound, a high calcium intake can result in a decrease in calcium levels that is stored in fat cells. This results in increased fat breakdown and weight loss. This method also works with vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is required for calcium to function properly in the body. Therefore, we can increase the production of hormones that break down fat cells by achieving a proper calcium and vitamin D balance.
The calcium dosage varies according to gender and situation. The National Institutes of Health provide the following RDA guidelines:
You can include below things to fulfil your Calcium requirements:
Try to include these foods in your diet to get rid of calcium deficiency. But we understand that it gets challenging to manage your diet every day and have proper nutritional intake daily. Therefore, we recommend you add a good quality multivitamin like Maximult from Epicvita for both Men and Women to ensure you don't lag on your calcium intake.
Sale, C., & Elliott-Sale, K. J. (2019). Nutrition and Athlete Bone Health. Sports Medicine, 49(S2), 139–151. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01161-2
Williams, M. H. (2005). Dietary Supplements and Sports Performance: Minerals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-2-1-43
Chlupach, M., & Gabel, K. (2003). CALCIUM INTAKE IN ALASKAN ADOLESCENT ATHLETES AND NON-ATHLETES. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 103, 175. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0002-8223(08)70281-5