Vitamins & Minerals Lecture


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  • You have already learned what most vitamins and minerals do and what types of foods they come from. This unit will look at vitamins and minerals from a little different angle, zeroing in on how they relate to physical performance and whether or not increases physical training results in an increased need for any vitamins or minerals.
  • After completing this unit, you will be able to make recommendations for vitamin and mineral supplements for athletes.
  • So the question has long been asked, do athletes need more as a result of the greater stress and wear and tear they put on their bodies. What the research says is the answer is sometimes. There is evidence to suggest the frequency of training can increase needs and athletes that have restrictive dietary practices, simply do not meet their needs.However, an overwhelming consensus among sports nutrition professionals is that athlete can meet their needs through food alone, even if their needs are slightly higher because athletes tend to eat more in general.
  • Even if athletes need slightly more of some vitamins or minerals, it is still recommended not to exceed the upper limit. And you as the sports RD should always do a complete dietary analysis before making recommendation.In addition, research using supplements has not found that supplementation improves performance except in cases of true deficiencies.
  • Your text does a nice job of summarizing the role of the vitamins and minerals. You should pay particular attention to why each is important to athletes and how deficiencies may affect performance. These are great teaching points to use with athletes to help motivate them toward making healthier food choices. When it comes to B vitamins, there does not appear to be a need for levels higher than the current DRI. However, you see that adequate B vitamins are essential for energy production that fuels physical performance. Low levels result in fatigue, weakness, and anemia or muscle pain. All of these will slow an athlete down and impact optimal performance levels when a deficiency exists.
  • B6, B12, and folate can all play a role in anemia. Anemia results in fatigue and a decreased ability to transfer oxygen through the body, thus impacting performance negatively. For vegetarian athletes, getting adequate B12 can be a problem.
  • There is some evidence to support the need for higher intakes of vitamin C, E and A in athletes. These are antioxidant vitamins. High intensity exercise does increase free radical production as a natural reaction to the increased physical stress of exercise. The body responds to this by using up more of it’s antioxidant vitamins to prevent damage from the free radicals. The role these vitamins play in maintaining a strong immune system is also important. Overtraining can actually weaken the immune system and cause athletes to be more prone to infection or illness. This is another area of research interest in the sports nutrition arena.
  • There is a training response to the increased production of free radicals. The better trained you are the better able your natural defense mechanisms are to respond to the free radical production, but you still need adequate antioxidant vitamins coming in. This may mean getting 100-1000 mg of vitamin C instead of the typical RDA of 75 to 90 mg. Even with the increased need, the levels are reachable with food sources. Whether or not supplements of antioxidants are beneficial for muscle recovery and repair is a hot area of research interest and might make a good EAL topic for a research project. Some research suggests that high dose supplementation is not actually beneficial and could be harmful as it does not allow the body to develop it’s natural defense mechanism.
  • Whether or not supplements of antioxidants are beneficial for muscle recovery and repair is a hot area of research interest and might make a good EAL topic for a research project. Some research suggests that high dose supplementation is not actually beneficial and could be harmful as it does not allow the body to develop it’s natural defense mechanism.
  • Vitamin D and K are essential for bone health. An athlete prone to stress fractures may be coming up short on these vitamins. Also athletes with broken bones would benefit from adequate intakes for healing and getting back on the playing field sooner. Training times and training conditions will influence vitamin D levels. Again another area where recent research has been done. Athlete’s may train outdoors but not at the time of day when the sun is out at it’s peak for vitamin conversion. Also athlete’s that train indoors, such as figure skaters or gymnasts may rarely see the light of day and be as risk of deficiency. We know that it is difficult to consume enough vitamin D from foods alone. So it begs the question, should athletes be taking a vitamin D supplement? And if so is it a benefit to performance?
  • Our bodies are pretty smart when it comes to minerals. If we need more, we will absorb more as long as dietary sources are available. If we need less, we will absorb less usually. Key roles of minerals where most athletes are concerned are muscle contraction, nerve transmission, bone health and buffering. Athletes working out in hot temperatures or who sweat heavily can lose minerals through sweat. Ca and Mg on this slide are too such minerals although losses are very small compared to sodium. Nonetheless, calcium is essential for bone health and the type of sport also affects bone health. A study on cyclists found that cyclists have poor bone density. This may be due in part to inadequate calcium intake but also the nature of the sport. Cycling is not a weight bearing sport like running or weight lifting. Encouraging nutrient intake that helps to build bones would be a prudent strategy in keeping a cyclist healthy well beyond his or her profession career. Your job as the sports RD is not just to improve physical performance in the short term, but also promote health in the long term when the athlete is no longer competing. Phosphorous aids in buffering the effects of lactic acid built-up during high intensity exercise. You may come across endurance athletes taking lactic acid buffering supplements, sports legs is the name of one such supplement. Their effectiveness is questionable.
  • Sodium is the electrolyte lost in greatest amounts in sweat followed by chloride. Some potassium is lost in sweat but the amounts are minimal. Usually our food sources of these minerals are enough to make up for losses and supplements are not necessary beyond a sports drink. However, you will see in some cases salt tablets being used. Athletes wearing heavy padding and clothing such as football or hockey players may find that they sweat heavily and lose lots of sodium leading to dehydration and muscle cramping. Salt tablets or specially formulated sports drinks higher in sodium may be of benefit. You can also instruct them to add extra salt to their foods and snack on salty snacks either during or after training. If you ever do any half marathons or charity type run/walk/cycling events you may come across pickle juice. This is sold and marketed for preventing muscle cramps. Could it work, yes. Is it necessary, no. The amount of sodium in it is about 800mg per serving. This is higher that what people need to recover from dehydration and sodium losses. Plus if frankly doesn’t taste good to me. Athletes have long been told to eat bananas and oranges for preventing muscle cramps and these are commonly served at running and cycling events. However, potassium levels are pretty tightly controlled and the likelihood of muscle cramps from potassium deficiency are much less than overall fluid and sodium deficiency as the cause. However, bananas and oranges are a source of carbohydrate so they can help replenish carbohydrate levels.
  • We must not forget about the trace minerals of which iron is probably the most important. Iron deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in female athletes. It is also seen in endurance and vegetarian athletes. Athletes that complain of fatigue, poor recovery, poor endurance, cold feeling, or look pale, should be evaluated for iron deficiency. Athletes do not appear to have an increased need for iron but need to get adequate levels. Reasons for this beyond inadequate intake include the following - frequent training increases the need for myoglobin and hemoglobin for oxygen carrying and enzymes for energy production. And impact sports such as running causes hemolysis, breakdown of red blood cells. Heavy weight lifting can also cause hemolysis which then requires more iron to make new red blood cells. Then there is the common practice of using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs among athletes that can either cause hemolysis or blood loss from stomach lining damage.So enough about iron.Zinc is important for muscle repair and also play a role in a healthy immune system while chromium enhances the effects of insulin to get energy into working cells for muscular endurance.
  • Fluoride and copper work with vitamins D & K for bone health and other import functions also associated with other nutrients. Proper tissue repair whether it be muscle, tendons, or ligaments rely on trace minerals. Injured athletes will likely benefit from nutrition therapy that can help them recover fasters. So again, keep in mind you are not just there for performance but can play a role in helping injured athletes recover. Your clinical background can come in very handy.
  • Selenium is one mineral that is still very much up in the air. It is not clear whether or not a deficiency would affect athletic performance.
  • So in summary there are some vitamins and minerals of which athletes may have higher needs for. Most of this increased need can be obtained from food through a well planned training meal plan. Recommendations for supplements should be individualized and based on a complete nutrition assessment and consideration of sport and training conditions. Supplements do not appear to improve performance unless a true nutrient deficiency is corrected.
  • And that completes the lecture on athletes and vitamins and minerals.
  • Vitamins & Minerals Lecture

    1. 1. VITAMINS & MINERALS Lona Sandon, M.Ed., R.D., L.D. Assistant Professor
    2. 2. OBJECTIVES  Identify potential vitamin or mineral deficiencies for athletes  Provide recommendations for improving vitamin & mineral intake.  Evaluate need and appropriateness of supplements  Discuss the role of vitamins and minerals in energy systems and importance for sports performance.  Discuss free radicals & antioxidants in relation to exercise.
    3. 3. VITAMINS & MINERALS  Essential for human survival  Required in many chemical reactions needed for physical activity  Energy production  Macronutrient metabolism  O2 transfer & delivery  Tissue repair
    4. 4. DO ATHLETES NEED MORE?  Maybe or maybe not  Frequent high-intensity training may increase need  Due to higher kcal intakes, athletes typically meet needs by food alone  Those at risk of low intakes:  Vegan/vegetarians  Kcal restrictors for weight loss or weight dependent sports  Disordered eating patterns
    5. 5. DO ATHLETES NEED MORE?  DRI adequate for most, do not exceed UL  Evaluate intake before making recommendations  Little evidence that supplementation improves performance
    6. 6. B VITAMINS Vitamin Function for Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance B1 - Thiamin Energy production, Nervous system Men = 1.2 mg Women = 1.1 mg or 0.5 mg/1,000 kcal expended Muscle pain, weakness, fatigue B2 – Riboflavin Electron transport in aerobic energy production Men = 1.3 mg Women = 1.1 mg ?early fatigue B3 – Niacin Electron transport in aerobic and anaerobic energy production Men = 16 mg Women = 14 mg Mental confusion Muscle weakness Fatigue B6 – Pyridoxine Glycogen metabolism Men & women =1.3 mg Nausea, fatigue, weakness, anemia
    7. 7. B VITAMINS (CONTINUED) Vitamin Function for Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance B12 - Cobalamin Energy production Tissue growth and development Nervous and cardiovascular health Men & women = 2.4 µg Neurological problems Pernicious anemia Folate Tissue repair RBC formation Men & women = 400 µg Macrocytic anemia, fatigue Biotin Aerobic energy production , DNA synthesis AI men & women = 30 µg Fatigue, muscle pain Pantothenic Acid Aerobic energy production AI men & women = 5 mg Impaired coordination Muscle cramping Fatigue
    8. 8. OTHER VITAMINS Vitamin Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance C – ascorbic acid Evidence for ↑ need in endurance athletes 100-1000 mg/d Collagen formation, Antioxidant Men = 90 mg Women = 75 mg Fatigue, poor immune functions A Some evidence for ↑ need Tissue repair, immune function, Antioxidant Men = 900 µg RAE Women =700 µg RAE Poor immune function E Some evidence for ↑ need Antioxidant, free radical neutralizer, prevent tissue & DNA damage Men & women = 15 mg Muscle weakness Loss of motor coordination Hemolytic anemia
    9. 9. ANTIOXIDANT VITAMINS  Vitamins A, E, and C  Protect tissues from free radical damage  Free radicals  Cause oxidation that damages cells  Exercises causes increased production  Produced naturally as a byproduct of metabolism  Habitual training strengthens the body’s ability to deal with free radicals & halt damaging effects
    10. 10. ANTIOXIDANT RECOMMENDATIONS  Meet RDA/AI, do not exceed UL  Need or benefit of supplementation questionable  2010 Study by Bailey did not support supplementation of C & E for muscle recovery, prevention of oxidative stress, or inflammation  Ergogenic effects not established  Focus on whole food sources
    11. 11. OTHER VITAMINS (CONTINUED) Vitamin Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance D Consider training time (inadequate sunlight @6 a.m.) & indoors vs. outdoors Bone growth/ development AI = 600 IU Osteopenia, osteoporosis, stress fractures/bone breaks K Blood clotting Bone mineralization Men = 120 µg Women = 90 µg ???prevent blood loss due to injury, Poor bone mineralization ↑ risk for bone injury
    12. 12. PHYTOCHEMICALS  Chemical substances from plants  Approximately 50 phytochemicals are consumed in typical American diet  Consumption is associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancers  Common sources are fruits, vegetables, and grains  Effect on physical performance unknown  Lycopene may help protect against sun damage for athletes exercising outdoors
    13. 13. 3 CLASSIFICATIONS OF PHYTOCHEMICALS  Phenolic compounds  Antioxidant properties  Protect against cardiovascular disease  Flavonoids & Phenolic acids  Grapes (wine), Teas, chocolate  Organosulfides  Anticancer  Glucosinolates, Indoles, Isothiocyanates  Cruciferous vegetables, Garlic, Onions  Lycopenes  Carotenoids  Antioxidant, anticancer  Tomatoes, tomato products, watermelon
    14. 14. TIPS FOR INCREASING ANTIOXIDANT & PHYTOCHEMICAL INTAKE  Serve hot or cold tea with meals  Keep bright colored fruits & vegetables washed and ready for snacks  Use tomato sauces, pastes, and spaghetti sauce as a basis for meals  Add nuts and seeds to salads & cereals  Use garlic & onions in cooking  Add fresh or dried berries & cherries to salads, cereals, stir-fry, etc.
    15. 15. TIPS (CONTINUED)  Try soy milk as a beverage  Include fruits & vegetables with all meals  Choose whole grain over processed grains  Eat fruit for dessert such as a baked apple, chopped melon, or chilled berries  Use vegetable oils with salads or steamed veggies
    16. 16. MINERALS  Inorganic molecules  Essential for human survival  No caloric value  Not degraded by cooking or digestion
    17. 17. MAJOR MINERALS Mineral Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance Calcium ↑ need exercising in high heat, lost in sweat Muscle contraction Nerve transmission Bone formation Men & women (19–50 yo) = 1,000 m Muscle spasms, increased bone fracture risk Phosphorou s Bone formation, Enzyme activity, buffers lactic acid, ATP/CP production Men & Women 700 mg Bone pain & malformation, muscle weakness, fatigue Magnesium Can be lost in sweat Bone formation Enzyme activity, release energy of ATP, Muscle contraction Men = 400 mg (19– 30 yo) to 420 mg (31–70 yo) Women = 310 mg (19–30 yo) to 320 mg (31–70 yo) Loss of appetite, muscle weakness Muscle cramps Heart arrhythmias Hypertension
    18. 18. MAJOR MINERALS (CONTINUED) Mineral Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance Sodium*** ↑ need exercising in high heat, lost in sweat Major electrolyte Nerve impulse transmission Muscle contraction Aids glucose absorption 1500 mg Hyponatremia Nausea, vomiting Seizures, coma, muscle cramping Chloride** ↑ need exercising in high heat, lost in sweat Major electrolyte Nerve impulse transmission Aids digestion (HCl) Fluid balance 2300 mg Increased blood pH Abnormal heart rhythm Poor blood flow Potassium ↑ need heavy sweaters Major electrolyte Nerve impulse transmission Muscle contraction 4,700 mg Muscle weakness, cramps, heart arrhythmias
    19. 19. TRACE MINERALS Mineral Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance Iron*** Common deficiency in female athletes Oxygen transport and utilization Increased demand for myglobin & hemoglobin production Lost in sweat & mechanical hemolysis 18 mg (females aged 19 to 50) 8 mg (all others) Anemia, fatigue, cold & exercise intoleracne, low energy levels, poor endurance Zinc Protein synthesis & tissue repair, Enzymes for metabolism Men = 11 mg Women = 8 mg Impaired immune function Chromium Enhances insulin function Men = 35 µg Women = 25 µg Decreased muscle endurance Fluoride Bone mineralization Ligament/tendon strength Men = 4 mg Women = 3 mg Increase risk of bone fractures
    20. 20. TRACE MINERALS (CONTINUED) Mineral Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance Copper Enables iron transportation in blood, & oxygen carrying, Antioxidant & enzyme cofactor 900 µg Anemia Possible bone & tissue abnormalities Manganese Enzyme cofactor for Metabolism, Antioxidants, & Tissue growth Men = 2.3 mg Women = 1.8 mg Poor growth Bone and connective tissue abnormalities Altered CHO and fat metabolism Iodine Thyroid hormone synthesis for muscle protein synthesis, energy expenditure, body temperature regulation 150 µg Weight gain, cold intolerance
    21. 21. TRACE MINERALS (CONTINUED) Mineral Role in Exercise RDA/AI Deficiency effect on performance Selenium Component of bodily proteins Antioxidant cofactor Thyroid function 55 µg ??? Cardio-myopathy
    22. 22. SUMMARY  Athletes may have slightly higher vitamins & mineral needs but can get adequate intake from food  Supplements are generally not needed except in cases of deficiency  V & M of greatest concern include B vitamins, A, C, E, D & beta-carotene, iron, zinc, magnesium, & calcium  Iron is the most common deficiency typically seen in endurance athletes & female athletes.  Excess V & M supplements do not enhance performance
    23. 23. REFERENCES Bailey DM., Williams C., Betts JA., Thomas D., Hurst DL. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and recovery of muscle function after damaging exercise: effect of 6-week mixed antioxidant supplementation [published ahead of print 2010, Nov. 11]. Eur J Appl Physiol. doi: 10.1007/s00421-010-1718-x Fink HH, Burgoon LA, Mikesky AE, eds. Practical Applications in Sports Nutrition. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2006 Urso ML., Clarkson PM. Oxidative stress, exercise, and antioxidant supplementation. Toxicology. 2003;189:41-54. Volpe SL. Vitamins, minerals, and exercise. In: Dunford M, ed. Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals, 4th ed. American Dietetic Association; 2006.