The ABC of essential vitamins for sports

Lhe observation is simple and clear: every human being needs vitamins to live in good health. Vitamins A, B, C, D… There are 13 kinds of these small molecules essential for replenishing energy, each having a very specific role. In case of deficiencies, the body quickly accuses the blow. First symptoms: excessive fatigue, a drop in morale and motivation, but also (and this is why athletes must be extremely vigilant) weakening of muscles and bones. This obviously increases the risk of injury during training and/or competitions.

If studies show that about 25% of French people lack at least one vitamin, it is easy to find a good balance by adopting an appropriate diet. Thus, for a person practicing a sports activity of up to 3 hours per week, respecting a classic diet (that is to say varied, healthy and balanced) is enough to achieve this. But beyond 4 hours per week, especially if one trains intensively or outdoors, in extreme conditions (at altitude for example), it is necessary to be very careful to cover the contributions of certain vitamins necessary for the proper execution of physical efforts.

No deficiencies… but no excesses either!

The star among athletes is vitamin C. It protects against infections, fights fatigue, promotes iron absorption and helps build bones and tissues.

As it is eliminated through urine and perspiration, athletes deplete their stocks more quickly. Hence a greater fragility in the face of microbes and the risk of injury. To refuel, we rush on kiwis, blueberries, mangoes, broccoli and peppers, it’s in season! We know, for example, that a glass of fresh orange juice or a large kiwi covers between 60 and 70% of daily needs. Group B vitamins (there are eight of them) play an essential role in energy production and building muscle mass. It is found in foods of animal origin (meat, fish, eggs, cheese, etc.), in pulses, bananas or melon. Vitamin A strengthens the response of the immune system, useful info when you know that intensive physical practice weakens it. So we draw from butter, milk (whole), fish liver oils, offal, carrots, watercress and apricots, in particular. Vitamin E deficiency can accelerate muscle aging. It is found in interesting concentrations in vegetable oils and oleaginous fruits. A good supply of vitamin K is essential to promote the growth and then the renewal of the bone structure. Clearly, it removes the risk of fractures. It also has an antihemorrhagic role. Two essential characteristics in sport. Cabbage, spinach and liver are full of it. Finally, in order not to lack vitamin D, two tips: eat oily fish and egg yolks regularly. But still, take advantage of the sun’s rays to expose yourself for fifteen minutes a day, because it can also be synthesized by UV rays. This vitamin helps to fix calcium on the bone, ensures its solidity and also regulates the heart rate.

READ ALSOWhy sport and physical activity should not be confused

In summary, having a balanced diet is the best solution to be at the top of your abilities and within the nails of the recommended vitamin intakes. Important clarification: the more muscle mass increases with sport, the greater the need for vitamins. But an excessive consumption of vitamins does not in any way allow an improvement in its performance… CQFD.

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