Running is bound to take a toll on your body and have a direct effect on your overall performance. It is vital to ensure that you take in foods whose nutritional value is commensurate to the exertion your body is experiencing. Runners should not be just concerned about a balanced diet, rather, it is imperative that they take foods with the right amounts of essential vitamins for athletes. Here are some essential vitamins for runners;
Vitamin D, for instance, is known for its role in sustaining the health of the bones. In fact, for calcium to be effectively absorbed into the body, Vitamin D has to be present. It is vital in muscle contractions, and the lack of it in the right amounts can lead to muscle soreness. Vitamin D deficiency thus increases the probability of athletes acquiring stress fractures and other sports injuries. Besides this, low levels of Vitamin D results in a weakened immune system and increased inflammation due to over training. All you need to do is bask in the sun to get this vital vitamin without necessarily wearing a sunscreen. Taking in foods rich in Vitamin D such as mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light, milk egg yolks or even vitamin D supplements could work in circumstances where it’s not possible to bask in the sun.
Lack of Vitamin C slows down the process of repairing body tissues and also the absorption of iron in the body. It is also known for antioxidant which helps reverse the oxidative harm that is as a result of over-exercising. The oxidative damage is known to interfere the body cells’ general performance. Lack of Vitamin C also affects your skin, as it is responsible for collagen building, which keeps the skin smooth and plump. Intake of fruits and vegetables increases the levels of vitamin C.
Vitamin B12 is extremely helpful to the body as it enables it to break down the protein as well as fat consumed to energy. It also aids in the formation of new red blood cells which are responsible for distributing oxygen throughout the body. Its deficiency is not only known to lead to fatigue but also anemia. Cereals, fortified foods as well as milk are a great source of this vital vitamin.
Lack of Vitamin E lowers your body’s resilience towards virus and bacteria. It also could lead to increased inflammation as it possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Fatigue is also a symptom associated with Vitamin E deficiency, as its absence leads to blood vessels becoming constricted and unpliable. Almond nuts, as well as sunflower seeds, are a rich source of Vitamin E, besides green leafy vegetables, Kiwi fruits are also an ideal source of this vitamin.
The above are key vitamins for runners and if taken in correct proportions can improve their overall performance.