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Oct 28

Tip of the Month – October

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Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency

Too little? Are You or Your Athletes at Risk?

Recently, several coaches in different sports have approached me with questions about daily Vitamin and Mineral requirements, and how to tell if an athlete is deficient. Much information out there is based on medical research. On the other hand, health food companies and stores use marketing strategies to advance their sales with various claims. It is therefore very wise to consult a personal physician, and have a series of lab tests performed to establish any deficiency.

One might think nutrient deficiencies are a ‘thing of the past’, reserved for sailors trapped at sea. But even today, it’s possible to lack some of the essential nutrients the body needs to function optimally. Athletes that follow a Vegetarian diet should also make sure that they have the essential amount of vitamins and minerals.

Here are some statements by Tricia L. Psota, PhD, RDN, president-elect of the Washington DC Metro Area Dietetic Association, and Kate Patton, MEd, RD, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio:

  • Nutrient deficiencies alter bodily functions and processes at the most basic cellular level.
  • These processes include water balance, enzyme function, nerve signaling, digestion, and metabolism.
  • Resolving these deficiencies is important for optimal growth, development, and function.
  • Nutrient deficiencies can also lead to other diseases.
  • For example, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies can cause osteopenia or osteoporosis, two conditions marked by brittle bones.
  • Inadequate iron can cause anemia, which zaps your energy.
  • The issue is that athletes may use synthetic vitamins and minerals instead of making correct foot choices, which provide natural sources. And, they may not access enough variety of vegetables and fruit rather ‘stick’ with their favorites (same kind).

Look for certain ‘telltale symptoms’ as the first clue that an athlete might be low in one or more important vitamins or minerals, according to Patton. Common nutrient deficiencies include: Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Iron, and Folate.

In addition, coaches should also be aware of their deficiencies especially those that affect us as we get older such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, and Calcium.

For detail Information Refer to October 2016 Newsletter.

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