Mighty micronutrients – what they’re good for and where to get them

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Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals and are one of the major groups of nutrients your body needs. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, disease prevention and healthy development. Minerals play an equally important role in growth, bone health, fluid balance and other important processes.

Here we’ll provide a detailed overview of 7 essential micronutrients and their functions.

There are two major food groups, micronutrients – like vitamins and minerals, and macronutrients – such as carbohydrates, protein and fat. Macronutrients make up the bulk of the nutrition in food and supply you with kilojoules and serve as the building blocks for muscle and tissue development. Most people get a sufficient amount from a regular diet. But if you are hitting the gym regularly or looking to increase your muscle mass, you might benefit from additional protein supplements. These are all great choices Dymatize – ISO 100, Optimum Nutrition – Gold Standard 100% Whey, Muscle Pharm – COMBAT 100% WHEY, and GHOST – WHEY.

If you’re looking to bulk up as well, we recommend these great mass gainers Max’s – Clean Mass. Optimum Nutrition – GOLD STANDARD GAINER, PranaOn – Natural Mass Protein, and Muscle Pharm – COMBAT XL MASS GAINER.

Unlike macronutrients, most people only need small amounts of micronutrients, but consuming the recommended amount is important. Micronutrient deficiencies can have terrible consequences on your health, especially for those of you who are trying to build muscle or exercising regularly. Most people get enough through a balanced diet but here we outline some of the common nutrient deficiencies.

 

Zinc

  • Assists with immune function, protein synthesis and wound healing
  • Deficiency can lead to fatigue and affect muscle recovery when training
  • Helps maintain healthy testosterone levels in men
  • Deficiency can result in low thyroid hormone levels, which can lead to weight gain

Recommendations:

 

Magnesium

  • Assists with normal muscle function, bone formation and energy metabolism
  • Essential in the process of muscle contraction, meaning it can impact your overall strength and muscle function
  • Helps regulate blood pressure to maintain electrolyte balance, and improve your sleep quality, all important functions to help with your training

Recommendations:

 

Potassium

  • Key to maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in your body
  • Helps with hydration, recovery and muscle cramp prevention
  • Assists with nerve transmission and muscle function

Recommendations:

 

Vitamin E

  • Assists immune function and acts as an antioxidant that protects cells from damage
  • Provides a role in the anti-inflammatory process within the body
  • Prevents against sickness when doing significant conditioning training
  • Provides immune system enhancements

Recommendations:

  • Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are among the best sources of vitamin E. Significant amounts can also be found in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals
  • If you’re not getting enough vitamin E through your regular diet, try Rule 1 – R1 Train Daily Multi Vitamin

 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Helps your body use carbohydrates more efficiently for energy and building muscle
  • Assists your body in responding to exercise more effectively – helping you get stronger and more conditioned from your training
  • Can help increase lean mass by reducing cortisol and enhancing protein synthesis

Recommendations:

  • High amounts of Omega-3 Fatty Acids can be found in salmon, cod liver oil, sardines, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts
  • If you’re not getting enough through your regular diet, try Pillar Performance – ULTRA OMEGA

 

Iron

  • Helps provide oxygen to muscles and assists in the creation of certain hormones
  • Critical for motor and cognitive development
  • Deficiency can cause feelings of muscle fatigue and reduce the effectiveness of your immune system

Recommendations:

  • To boost your intake, add more foods high in iron into your diet such as lean meat, seafood, poultry, white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, peas, and nuts
  • We also recommend Muscle Nation – 100% NATURAL DAILY GREENS, if you need an extra boost

 

Vitamin D

  • Builds strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium
  • Deficiency can cause muscle weakness and bone pain
  • Helps the immune system resist bacteria and fight viruses

Recommendations:

  • Vitamin D is absorbed from sunlight, but intake varies based on geography, skin tone, air pollution levels and other factors. Sunlight exposure needs to be limited to avoid risk of skin cancer. So be sure to take proper precautions when heading out into the sun!
  • We recommend Rule 1 – R1 Train Daily Multi Vitamin, for an added boost of Vitamin D to your diet
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