Which missing nutrient could affect your performance?
I know we’d all like to think that diet alone will supply you with a complete range of nutrients that will sustain your every need from energy to brain function to fertility, let alone your athletic performance. In this day and age of food processing and fast food, you’d have to be fairly enthusiastic about buying organic, and put in an incredible effort into juicing to actually get your daily nutritional requirements from your diet.
Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies can affect your energy levels and brain function so dramatically, leaving your head spinning as to why you’re not doing so well in your training, or why you can’t seem to stay awake much past 5pm!
Vitamin C will make a big impact on your energy, as it directly produces dopamine and adrenalin. It’s very quickly used up during stress, exercise, or working long hours. A high dose taken slowly over the day will raise your energy and get you feeling fantastic, right through till the day’s end. In the long run, it’s an important nutrient to reduce aging conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s and easy bruising or bleeding often seen in the elderly. It’s also great for boosting your immune system.
Zinc is one of the most abundant nutrients used in the body and acts as a catalyst in functions such as digestion, immune system, sexual function, hormone production and brain neurotransmitter production. Not only is it great for your mood, libido, and energy, it’s also a necessary nutrient to protect you from infection and an immune system slump immediately following events.
Iron deficiency can cause depression or extreme fatigue issues, and should be considered if you’re struggling with poor energy or insomnia. Iron supplementation, however, should only be taken if your iron has been blood tested to confirm deficiency, as an overload of iron can be toxic. Often patients with gut inflammation or gut disease are found to be deficient in iron.
Magnesium is often depleted in athletes, who have an increased demand due to its use in energy production, the immune system, muscle contraction, neuromuscular transmission, regulation of body temperature and regulation of other electrolytes which can help prevent muscle cramping.
Any or all of these nutrients, plus a huge range of other nutrients such as B complex vitamins, should be checked to ensure you’re performing at your optimum level. Nutrient deficiencies can cause a range of health problems and often go undetected. Seeing an experienced integrated health practitioner can help identify what testing should be done to improve your current and future health.