There are 5 nutrients needed for energy (especially when it comes to getting the most from your workouts) that are often overlooked. They are the keys that unlock optimal sports nutrition, and we tend to take them for granted. Being aware of their importance will remind you to choose foods and supplements that will support your fitness goals and your best health.
B vitamins release energy from food, aid in tissue repair and muscle building, and are essential for the repair and production of red blood cells.
Nitrogen opens blood vessels giving nutrients easy access to your brain and body. Nitrogen is obtained by food high in protein and purines. Protein and purines can be easily obtained from animal and vegetable sources. Potatoes, legumes (lentils, peas etc.), cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, and spirulina are excellent vegetables for supporting nitrogen production. Eating a variety of either animal and/or vegetables will help insure optimal nitrogen levels.
Iron carries oxygen in your blood. More oxygen equals less fatigue. Look to vegetable sources to support your daily iron consumption. There are very effective plant based iron supplements available too that are gentle on the stomach.
Minerals, trace minerals, electrolytes create an alkaline environment that improves the health and oxygen carrying ability of your blood and cells. An acidic environment damages your hemoglobin and slows down its efficiency resulting in increased fatigue and lowered performance short term, and long term damage to your blood vessels linked to heart attacks.
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s)
EPA, DHA, and GLA nourish the brain for focus, concentration, and mental alertness. Peak mental fitness is synonymous with peak physical fitness. Essential fatty acids also help the body deal with inflammation and injury, and provide lubrication to the cells and tissues.
What are the nutrients needed for energy that we forgot? Tell us what nutrients you find essential for your workouts in the comments below!