Vitamins and minerals play an important role in a runner’s diet. They help create the increase in energy needed to fuel our workouts (B Vitamins), improve the body’s ability to carry and use oxygen from the blood (Iron & magnesium), maintain bone health (Calcium & Vitamin D), support healthy immune systems (Zinc), and repair and create new muscle tissue (Vitamin A, C & Selenium) following recovery from exercise. According to the American Dietetic Association and the American College of Sports Medicine’s March 2009 Position Paper on Nutrition and Athletic Performance, the most common vitamins and minerals found to be of concern in the athlete’s diet are calcium and Vitamin D, the B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium as well as some antioxidants including vitamin A, C, beta carotene and selenium. I always add the mineral potassium to this list since it’s an important regulator of blood pressure, many people under consume it, it is critical for muscle contraction and most importantly because potassium is an electrolyte lost in sweat. A weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market is a great way to meet your increased nutritional needs. Check out my Farmer’s Market Nutrition Guide to learn which fruits and vegetables make the greatest contributions. All values are based on a 1 cup portion.
Visit www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu for a listing of farmer’s markets in your area. Supporting your local farmer means that you receive fresher, higher quality foods and keep money in our community. It’s also a great way to get children turned on to trying new produce and is an easy way to break any bad winter eating habits that took root. Bring your recyclable bag to keep it really green!
Categories: Nutrition & Wellness