Today, let’s talk about something that often takes a back seat in the world of sports nutrition – the superhero duo of vitamins and minerals.
And guess what? As female athletes, our bodies deserve a spotlight, especially when it comes to meeting those unique nutritional needs. So, grab a protein shake and let’s dive into the world of nutrient empowerment!
Ironing Out the Details
First things first, let’s chat about iron – the unsung hero for female athletes. Ladies, we’re not only crushing it in the gym; we’re dealing with a monthly visit from Aunt Flow. That means we’re losing a bit of iron every month. Iron is crucial for transporting oxygen to those hardworking muscles, so make sure your plate is loaded with iron-rich foods like spinach, lean meats, and legumes.
Did you know that you can ALSO meet your iron needs by cooking your foods in a cast iron skillet? In fact, the iron from cast iron is one of THE most bio available sources (meaning it’s SUPER easy for your body to use!). Try cooking in cast iron 2-3 times a week.
Calcium: More Than Just Strong Bones
We all know calcium is vital for strong bones, but did you know it plays a crucial role in muscle contraction and nerve function too? For female athletes engaged in high-impact activities, ensuring an adequate calcium intake is non-negotiable. Dairy products, fortified plant-based milks, and leafy greens are excellent sources to keep those bones and muscles in peak condition.
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin
Sun’s out, guns out, right? Well, not exactly. While we love soaking up the sun, it’s also a fantastic source of vitamin D, crucial for bone health and immune function. Female athletes, especially those training indoors, might need to pay extra attention to their vitamin D levels. Fatty fish, fortified cereals, and a little sunshine can go a long way in keeping those vitamin D levels in check.
B Vitamins: Energize Your Workout
B vitamins are the ultimate energy boosters, and who doesn’t need an extra kick during those intense training sessions? For female athletes, B vitamins like B6 and B12 are crucial for energy metabolism and the production of red blood cells. Load up on whole grains, lean meats, and leafy greens to keep your energy levels soaring.
Struggling with anxiety and or depression? Did you know this can be caused by low levels of B-vitamins, including the magical B-9, aka Folate? This is why those veggies are SO DARN IMPORTANT! And then you say, but it’s in my multi vitamin. Unfortunately the folate in multi vitamins is often synthetic folic acid, which isn’t used the same way by the brain. If you need to supplement, make sure your vitamins says “folate” on the label.
Magnesium: The Muscle Relaxer
Ever had those muscle cramps that just won’t quit? Enter magnesium, the muscle relaxer. Female athletes pushing their bodies to the limit can benefit from magnesium-rich foods like nuts, seeds, and whole grains. This mighty mineral not only helps with muscle function but also aids in bone health and energy production.
Having a hard time sleeping? Dealing with anxiety? Did you know magnesium can help with these? Did you know there are different KINDS of magnesium for these unique needs? Simply google “magnesium for..” and check out all the cool research!
Tailoring Your Nutrition
Remember, these nutrient needs aren’t one-size-fits-all. The key is to tailor your nutrition to your individual activity levels, training intensity, and personal health considerations.
Wrapping It Up
To all the female athletes out there – you’re incredible, and your bodies are powerhouses. Fuel them right, nourish them with the right vitamins and minerals, and watch yourself conquer new heights in your fitness journey.
Here’s to strong bodies, powerful minds, and a nutrient-rich plate that fuels your passion for the game! Keep shining, you athletic marvels!
Want an extra layer of nutrition support, including access to nutrition coaches and help setting your macros? Check out our Nutrition Program!