Calcium is an important mineral in the athlete’s diet. It performs health functions, is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses and, moreover, it directly affects sports performance.
It is a nutrient responsible for the depolarization of the neuron, allowing the passage of the electric current which will subsequently innervate the muscle tissue, causing it to contract.
A failure to activate calcium channels is linked to the onset of fatigue. This situation can originate from the accumulation of waste metabolites in the tissues or from a loss of said mineral through sweat.
What are the functions of calcium? Why is it important to ensure optimal intake in the diet of athletes? Some people want answers to these questions. Therefore, we detail everything about it below.
Calcium is part of bones
Calcium is important in the athlete’s diet because it is part of the bones. Indeed, It is one of the minerals found in the highest proportion within the human body.
A correct intake of this nutrient, together with frequent exposure to the sun, reduces the risk of bone fractures in adulthood, as exposed by a article published in the magazine NEVER.
For this reason, proper food intake with this mineral minimizes problems associated with bone health. This is decisive for any athlete, especially for those who practice activities involving physical contact.
It intervenes in case of tiredness
Calcium is one of the minerals involved in maintaining electrolyte balance. A reduction of its deposits could cause the appearance of fatigue or even promote cramps and muscle pain.
Therefore, It is recommended to take a mineral salt pill before starting a long-term workout to compensate for electrolyte losses through sweat.
Therefore, monitoring electrolyte balance is one of the most effective ways to avoid sudden drops in performance, as suggested by a magazine publication Social health issue.
Nerve impulse depends on calcium
The efficiency in the transmission of nerve impulses depends on calcium. Without this mineral, depolarization of neurons does not occur., which prevents the genesis of an action potential that conducts electrical signals through axons. As a result, the signal does not reach the muscle tissues and tissue contraction is impossible.
However, to reach this extreme, a very high level of fatigue must be produced or, failing that, there must be too low levels of calcium in the body. This is a very rare situation except in cases of extreme dehydration.
Calcium in the athlete’s diet
The good news is that calcium is a mineral that is very present in the athlete’s and most people’s usual diet. It is found in dairy products and many vegetables.
However, there are some substances that limit its absorption, such as phytates. There are also vitamins that can increase its bioavailability. This is the case of vitamin D, whose endogenous synthesis depends on exposure to the sun.
On the other hand, There are foods that are able to provide this vitamin (such as oily fish and roe), but the quantities are quite low.
Calcium is an essential mineral in the athlete’s diet
For all the reasons discussed, calcium is an essential mineral for life and for the athlete. It is found easily in nature and is abundant within the human body.
Ensure correct levels of this nutrient helps prevent the appearance of muscle cramps and fatigue processes. Furthermore, it is responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses.
Its deficiency can condition the appearance of chronic and complex pathologies. For this reason it is recommended to ensure its intake, together with that of vitamin D, from the first years of life.
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