Micronutrition for athletes

Micronutrition for athletes

In competitive sport today, nothing can be left to chance and victory is usually based on a simple detail.
There are 3 categories of athletes:
1 - top professional athletes
2 - competitive athletes (more than 10 hours of training per week)
3 - the leisure sportsman

There are several categories of sports:
1 - energy sports, which are demanding in terms of cardiovascular fitness
2 - endurance sports
3 - fractional sports (team sports),
4 - non-energy sports that are sports of skill, concentration (archery, golf, etc.)

Depending on the duration and intensity of the efforts, the body looks for the most interesting and effective fuel. The super fuel is the muscle glycogen stored in the muscles but quickly depleted. Liver glycogen is used to maintain blood sugar levels and supplies the entire body: All of this glycogen is depleted after 80 minutes of sport, which forces the athlete to use his fat reserves (in fatty acids) to continue. Hence the importance of the advice of your micronutrient expert who will make up for the exhaustion of these substances.
The benefit of micronutrition for athletes:
1 - fill in vitamin and mineral losses
2 - promote performance
3 - reduce fatigue
4 - accelerate recovery

The sportsman's nutritional balance

As a competition approaches, it is necessary to optimize glycogen reserves by increasing the ration of slow carbohydrates and reduce animal proteins in favour of vegetable proteins. During exercise, blood sugar levels should be kept stable by consuming suitable products such as energy drinks. The role of micronutrition will be to preserve the acid-base balance and to fight against the presence of free radicals to avoid injuries.

What is tissue acidosis?

The body naturally produces acids due to its intermediate metabolism, which is mainly due to protein degradation. These acids are divided into 2 main types: volatile acids, eliminated by the lungs and non-volatile acids, eliminated more slowly and with greater difficulty by the kidneys.
Volatile acids are citric, oxalic and pyruvic acids that result from the degradation of plant proteins and are transformed into carbonic acid. This is eliminated by the lungs as carbon dioxide. Their elimination is easy, fast, and easily adaptable.
Non-volatile acids are uric, sulphuric and phosphoric acids that result from the degradation of animal proteins. They are eliminated by the kidneys. Their elimination is difficult, slow and not very adaptable. The kidneys are also able to eliminate some weak volatile acids circulating in free forms.
If these excess acids are not eliminated, they accumulate year after year in connective tissue, it is chronic tissue acidosis that affects the transport of oxygen and cell nutrition, creating ideal conditions for the development of disease.

What are the causes of tissue acidosis?

The causes are food, excessive consumption of acidifying foods and deficiencies in alkalinizing foods.

3 Food types :

Acidic foods: these are foods that are naturally rich or composed of acids such as citric acid from lemon or malic acid from apple. In the body, these acidic foods will be metabolized. In a healthy person, this metabolism will lead to the neutralization of acids.

Acidifying or acid-producing foods: these foods do not contain acid substances but will release acids when used in the body.

Alkalinizing or basic foods: these foods are rich in base, they do not contain acid compounds and their metabolism does not release acid elements into the body.

The consequences of tissue acidosis

A high concentration of acid compounds in our body will disrupt its functioning and generate many imbalances. Acids cause tissue irritation and profound alteration of mucous membranes. The digestive mucosa, because of its thinness, is very sensitive. The tightness of the digestive mucosa is reduced and becomes abnormally permeable.
Our body will try to neutralize excess acids by mobilizing the basic substances at its disposal. But the continuous sampling of mineral salts, which are basic substances, will lead to demineralization of the body. This demineralization can affect teeth, hair, nails, bones and joints by weakening them and causing inflammation (rheumatism or arthritis).

What are the different disorders observed?

fatigability and chills
difficulties to recover
depressive tendencies
inflamed and sensitive gums
sensitivity of teeth to heat, cold, and acid
cavities and tooth decay
dull hair and hair loss
rectal or urinary burns
cracked or cracked dry skin and dry eczema
brittle, brittle, or split, scratched or stained nails
muscle cramps or spasms
joint damage, bone demineralization, osteoporosis
increased sensitivity to pain
high susceptibility to infections

How to measure this acidosis?

The urinary pH measurement gives a satisfactory reflection of an acidic state, provided that the sampling procedure and analytical methodology are followed.
To perform the urinary pH measurement, it is necessary to have urinary strips designed for this purpose (available in pharmacies).
To be validly interpretable, the operation must be continued for 10 to 14 consecutive days, noting the urinary pH every day: in the morning (on the second urine), at noon before the meal and in the evening after the meal.
A state of tissue acidosis results in urinary pH values that are consistently or often below pH 7.0.

Correction of an acidosis state

It will be done by feeding, by supplementing with vitamin B1, by supplying alkaline minerals, by protecting the digestive mucosa and by using draining agents that will stimulate the work of emunctorias such as the kidneys, lungs, and skin.
Here are the different ways to correct an acidosis state, this will be done by your micronutritionist.

My micronutritional approach in sportsmen and women

A micronutrition adapted to the type of effort practiced is undoubtedly an extraordinary advantage to optimize its performance and as well as its recovery.
It is necessary to take care of:
the digestive interface: thanks to probiotics and modulators of intestinal permeability (i.e. L-glutamine)
of cellular protection: antioxidants
of cellular communication: the correctors of acid-base by omega 3 etc.

1. L-glutamine

L-glutamine. Commonly called glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized from other amino acids. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the blood and muscles.
Glutamine is involved in a wide range of metabolisms, contributes to protein formation, immune protection and the repair of cartilage and tendons.
It is the essential fuel for enterocytes. It helps to maintain the entire intestinal barrier by preventing the passage of bacteria or bacterial toxins. An alteration of this barrier leads to a strong intestinal inflammation.
A decrease in glutamine is observed during malnutrition or during heavy exercise. Due to its involvement in the structure of many proteins, the slightest deficit in its production affects the whole body, particularly the muscles, because it facilitates recovery after sustained effort and the regeneration of muscle tissue damaged as a result of injury. On the other hand, it contributes to the regularization of intestinal immunity by stimulating the regeneration of the mucous membrane and the proliferation of a satisfactory intestinal flora.

2. Probiotics

When digestive hyperpermeability occurs, the digestive ecosystem is disrupted. It is therefore essential to consume probiotics which, by their role on immunity, on the modulation of inflammation, on their role of the intestinal mucosa, will occupy an essential place.

3. Antioxidants

Coenzyme Q10 is a cofactor of one stage of the Krebs cycle, 3 other mitochondrial enzymes, this antioxidant participates in the production of energy at the same time as it protects lipids from the harmful action of free radicals. The effects of its deficiency are well known in muscle pain.

4. Vitamins and minerals

They are essential for the proper functioning of the Krebs cycle without which the production of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) cannot be optimal.
During physical effort, vitamins allow the transformation of nutrients into energy. Several B vitamins are involved in the use of sugars, proteins and fats to provide the energy needed by muscles.

In addition, antioxidant vitamins (A, C, E) fight against the formation of free radicals linked to intense muscle activity. They also limit the inflammatory phenomena of microtrauma such as tendonitis and oedema.
On the other hand, 80% of French people are deficient in vitamin D. Known for its beneficial action on bones, this vitamin is much less so on muscle. However, it contributes to the increase in its mass and the strength it can develop.
Vitamin B1
Vitamin B1 does not buffer acids (as do organic buffers, citrates or bicarbonates), but it degrades them and brings them into the Krebs cycle, which in turn transforms them into ATP.
It is an essential trace element whose essential function is to participate, as a metalloenzyme, in the activity of many enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins.
In 13 studies, serum zinc was reduced by about 15-25% of the original value in athletes, especially female athletes. This decrease is mainly due to insufficient dietary zinc intakes and increased losses of zinc in sweat and urine.
Zinc deficiency leads to a tendency towards hypoglycemia, muscle fatigue and a reduction in isometric strength and a decrease in maximum power.
In muscle, magnesium plays a role with calcium as an essential mediator for muscle contraction and relaxation.
The major sign of hypomagnesemia is the appearance of physical and psychological asthenia, combined with muscle cramps and tingling of the extremities, preferably on the extensors. These events are potentiated by the stress of competition, the thermal environment (hot or cold), and hyperventilation.
Calcium plays a major role in the production by the synapses of neurotransmitters acting on muscle contraction and relaxation. A lack of calcium intake coupled with an imbalance between calcium and magnesium intake can therefore be one of the causes of cramping.
Chromium acts synergistically with insulin on the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats that promote glucose tolerance. The intake of large amounts of carbohydrates and the practice of endurance exercises increase urinary excretion of Chromium.
Omega 3
Recent publications indicate that the complementary intake of omega 3 allows an improvement in endurance sports performance.
In athletes, Omega 3 has multiple beneficial effects, including protective cardiovascular effects, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic action. They increase membrane fluidity and insulin sensitivity and decrease body fat levels. A better membrane fluidity facilitates the entry of glucose into the cells to form glycogen and improves recovery capacity.

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