I so often hear clients talking about their macros- which is SUPER important for meeting body composition and overall health goals. But, how often do we think about our micros?? This is important for everyone, but here are some athlete specifics recommended by the training industry:
Iron: low levels of iron can affect physical and cognitive energy as well as overall health. Athletes at greatest risk include distance runners, vegetarians and blood donors. Increase your iron intake with clams, mussels, oysters, beef, beans, spinach, dried fruit and pumpkin seeds.
Vitamin D: low levels of Vitamin D affect the body’s ability to absorb calcium and phosphorus, as well as metabolism and bone health. Athletes at greatest risk of low Vitamin D levels include athletes who train and compete indoors, live in Northern climates, have a high body fat percentage or train early in the morning or in the evenings. Ramp up your Vitamin D intake with sunlight and Vitamin D supplements.
Calcium: Low levels of calcium lead to decreased bone strength (think, fractures or stress fractures). Athletes at greatest risk for low levels of calcium are those with low energy intake, disorder eating patterns, or those who avoid calcium rich foods like dairy. Increase levels with milk, yogurt, dark green veggies, canned salmon or sardines.
Antioxidants: low levels, combined with shredding exercise, can lead to increased released of oxidants in the body. Again, athletes at greatest risk are those who restrict energy or fat intake or don’t get enough fruits, veggies and whole grains. High antioxidant foods include fruits and veggies.
Bottom line: macros are important. But don’t forget the little guys either!!
I’d love to hear which micros you’re going to focus on going forward!
To your health…