What are the benefits of citrus fruits for sportsmen?

Citrus fruits are a group of foods whose consumption can benefit sportsmen. In recent years, the possibility has been suggested that these products increase the risk of injury when consumed before or immediately after physical activity. However, no proof available which supports this statement.

The citrus group is made up of many commonly eaten foods, such as oranges or lemons. These are rich in water and micronutrients, both of which support athletic function.

Citrus fruits provide vitamin C to athletes

You may have already heard of the importance of vitamin C and may even try incorporating it into your diet. The benefits of this micronutrient have been known for a long time, yet they have been regularly questioned.

Vitamin C intake is linked to a lower risk of contracting respiratory diseases. So says a article published in the magazine American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, where the integration with said substance is correlated to a lower incidence of the common cold and to a reduction of its duration.

Moreover, Vitamin C plays an essential role in collagen synthesis. This protein is one of the most abundant in the body. It is part of important structures, such as muscles and tendons.

Collagen synthesis becomes essential for injury prevention and for the genesis of muscle tissue. According to a research published in the journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the intake of vitamin C favors the generation of proteins, which ensure the functionality of the athlete’s muscles.

Vitamin C in food
Not only do citrus fruits contain vitamin C; other foods also have the micronutrient

Hydration in athletes and citrus consumption

Another of the benefits of citrus fruits for athletes is its ability to influence the athlete’s water balance. These fruits have a high water intake. In conditions of high temperature and humidity, this factor can be differential when it comes to sporting success.

It must be remembered that a state of dehydration can negatively affect the athlete’s performanceaccording to A study published in the journal Sports medicine. This article establishes the need to frequently ingest liquids during physical exercise.

In a football game, for example, 2% of total body water can be lost, reducing performance and increasing the risk of injury. This is subject to weather conditions, which in tropical areas or in summer periods increase the risk of dehydration.

The role of electrolytes

In addition to ensuring water balance, citrus fruits provide another set of benefits for athletes related to electrolyte intake. These fruits are rich in mineralswhich guarantees a replacement of the same before and after the practice of physical exercise.

During an exercise session, minerals can be lost through sweat. Failure to replace them leads to a higher incidence of muscle cramps, according to a study conducted in 2019.

To minimize this risk, you need to ingest minerals on a regular basis. One way to do this is to add a few drops of lemon juice to the water. In this way we will get an extra contribution in the drink and it will not cost us to incorporate it during training.

Citrus fruits provide benefits for athletes

Adding citrus drops to drinks helps replenish minerals during exercise

As we have seen, the consumption of citrus fruits has benefits for sportsmen and women. These foods represent a significant contribution of vitamin C, while they help to hydrate the body.

Moreover, they suppose an ingestion of some electrolytes fundamental for the transmission of the nervous impulsesuch as the sodium ion. Ensuring regular consumption, in turn, reduces the risk of muscle cramps, an annoying symptom for the athlete’s performance, as they interrupt training.

The wealth within Antioxidants It’s not a minor thing. This contribution, fundamental in the healthy aging process, also reduces the risk of developing diseases in the medium term.

However, To benefit from their properties, they must be included in a varied and balanced diet.. You can consume them alone, but also in juices or reduced with other drinks. If you choose the latter option, make sure your cocktails don’t contain added sugars that could tarnish the quality of the final product.

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