nutrients

Exercising? You Need These Nutrients

You need to eat well while you’re exercising. Otherwise, you’re simply not going to get all the benefits possible from your activities. But it’s worth finding out how precisely you should eat when you’re exercising.It’s not enough to say “eat well” – you need to know what nutrients your body actually requires!

Sodium

Many people may cringe upon hearing the word “sodium” in relation to health; they know it essentially means you need to think about the inclusion of salt in your diet. But isn’t that a big no-no? Actually, exercise makes you lose sodium very quickly, and if you don’t replenish that sodium then you can experience cramps. Low sodium levels in the long-term can cause hyponatremia. That’s why sports drinks have added salt in them!

Zinc

When you don’t get enough zinc, your oxygen intake can become negatively affected. So if your exercise is focused largely on cardiovascular and endurance activities (and what good exercise routine doesn’t at least feature these things?), then you need to pay attention to your zinc levels. It’s also great for helping to keep testosterone levels up, which is something that will become increasingly important for men approaching middle-age! Chickpeas, spinach, cashews, and mushrooms are fantastic ways to get zinc into your system. (Psst – so is dark chocolate!)

Omega-3

If you’re working on cardiovascular activities, then you need to keep your heart healthy. And there are few nutrients out there better at protecting your heart than omega-3. To many, this means you need to consume fish and fish oil – something that worries vegetarians and vegans! But omega-3 can be found in abundance in berries, seeds, mangoes, and leafy greens. Precisely the kind of things you can combine in a Ninja blender to make a tasty and nutrient-packed smoothie!

Magnesium

When you exercise vigorously, you’re actually putting your bones through quite the ringer. Those frequent hard impacts that accompany running can cause problems if you’re not keeping up your bone strength. Calcium is usually considered the obvious nutrient when it comes to bone strength, but you mustn’t forget about magnesium. It also helps you retain muscle strength. After all, your muscles take similar punishment during rigorous exercise! Avocados and bananas are great sources – they’re also rich in potassium, helping you maintain your energy levels. (Psst – dark chocolate also contains a lot of magnesium! Seriously, don’t underestimate dark chocolate. But, y’know, don’t pig out on it, either.)

Vitamins B, C, D, and E

It might be a safe assumption that you need all the lettered vitamins when you’re exercising regularly. But it’s good to understand why these ones, in particular, are so important. Vitamin B helps you metabolize fats and proteins, an essential function for people who exercise. (Vegans will probably need to take supplements to keep their levels up!) Vitamin C helps prevent shortness of breath during and after exercise, so stock up on oranges and grapefruit!

Vitamin D – the sunshine vitamin – helps the mitochondria in your muscles regenerate energy during exercise. This helps you maintain endurance. As for vitamin E – well, vitamin E is just really good at preventing illness. And few things disrupt your exercise routine quite like being ill!

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Women’s Nutrition: What Vitamins and Minerals Do We Really Need?

As the old saying goes, women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Despite us being of the same species, there really are so many differences between the genders both mentally and physically. And so when it comes to physical health, it’s no wonder that we need slightly different vitamins and minerals to thrive compared with our male counterparts. A woman’s body is perfectly designed for the complex process of conceiving and giving birth to a child. However, even if you’re not pregnant, there are certain nutrients you need in order to stay healthy. Here are just a few of them because women’s nutrition is important to staying healthy.

Iron

Each month women lose up to 7mg of iron due to menstruation, and for this reason, it’s much easier for women to become deficient or even anemic. If your iron levels are low you may benefit from taking a supplement, however it’s worth speaking to a doctor as too much iron can actually be dangerous. The last thing you want is to jump from one extreme to the other. Ideally, you’ll get all of the iron you need from your diet. Dark leafy green vegetables such as cabbage and spinach, beans, seafood and dried fruit are all high in the nutrient. Red meat is also a good source, although due to high levels of saturated fat you should be wary of eating too much of it.

Folic Acid

Guidelines suggest that every sexually active woman should take a folic acid supplement. This is because it’s incredibly important for the development of a fetus, and since one in two pregnancies aren’t planned you should take it even if you’re not trying to conceive. By the time you find out you’re expecting it could be too late; so this gives you peace of mind just in case. If you get a multivitamin containing folic acid you won’t have to do anything different. Simply take your daily tablet as you normally would, and you’re protected if the situation does arise.

Vitamin b12

There are a number of ways that a B12 deficiency can affect the female reproductive system. These include cell abnormalities in the cervix and uterus, to an egg not being released during the monthly cycle. Hormonal disruptions such as abnormal estrogen levels have also been found, these are crucial for successful full-term pregnancies. Vitamin b12 is found in animals and animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians and vegans are particularly at risk. However, you can get supplements to ensure your levels are kept where they should be.

Whey Protein

According to research, women actually benefit more from a protein supplement than men do; this is because women are more likely to opt for low-fat choices in their diet (which can also mean low protein). You can find reviews of the best whey protein for women by Fitness To Go if you’re considering trying it out. If you workout and take exercise seriously, adding a whey protein powder or supplement to your diet can build lean muscle and help with weight loss. Plus whey is easily digested and helps with amino acid absorption.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Understanding that our bodies are different to men’s, and why we need more of some nutrients than they do is important. Find ways of working these into your diet, whether it’s with food or a supplement.

Ally Gonzales is the creator of RunningSoleGirl. The go-to place for everything healthy lifestyle and conditioning for running. She’s a runner, speaks a total of five languages, and is a soon-to-be college freshman majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: 6 Healthy Smoothie Recipes To Kick-Start Your Day

What better way to start the day than with a bunch of vitamins? I personally prefer this terrific beverage in the afternoon, when I need a boost of energy so I can fully enjoy the rest of the day. Either way, smoothies are just perfect for keeping us healthy and on the course. Here are 6 healthy smoothie recipes to help kick-start your day!

Read the Post

Chidinma is the founder of Fruitful Kitchen, a blog that shares delicious recipes and lifestyle tips. Most of her recipes help women with fertility issues, especially fibroids, PCOS, and Endometriosis. Sometimes, however, you will find other interesting recipes, as well as cooking tips and tricks there.

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