We all know that when it comes to nailing your physique and elevating performance in the gym or on the track, it’s all about getting that macro ratio spot on.
The right amount of carbs and/or fat for fuelling, protein and carbs in the ‘recovery window’ and protein plus more protein for max muscle gains.
Except it isn’t that simple.
In fact arguably it’s the micros – the invisible nutrients that are the real powerhouses when it comes to supporting the complexities of human health and performance – playing critical roles in immune function, hormone and enzyme production, longevity and cognitive function.
Without optimal levels of micros, we simply don’t function, let alone perform.
What are micronutrients?
The production of enzymes, hormones, and proteins that are critical to body and brain function.
The regulation of metabolism, and the release of energy from carbs, protein and fats.
Bone density and growth.
Nerve function, production of neurotransmitters and DNA synthesis.
Immune function and inflammation.
Micronutrition for athletes
Heavy training may increase other micronutrient requirements – such as iron, calcium, and other antioxidants – which have been identified as micronutrients that athletes should pay particular attention to.
Other micronutrients that can be tricky to get sufficient in your diet include magnesium (found in leafy greens), which helps with sleep quality and stress reduction; vitamin K also found in dark leafy greens, and essential for bone strength and blood clotting; and zinc, key for immune function and found in shellfish, meat plus chickpeas and nuts and seeds.
For dietary gaps – whether caused by increased training demands; the need to support injury/illness; or the decline in micronutrients in modern foods – supplements provide a smart and easy solution, when taken under the guidance of a suitably qualified professional.