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Micronutrients to Improve Athletic Performance

If you’ve been watching the Olympic Games, you might have gotten inspired to up your own performance in your favorite athletic activity. Athletes are usually so focused on how macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, fat—affect their performance, but what about bioactive compounds and micronutrients? Can they improve performance? The answer is a resounding “yes!” Here are seven powerful ingredients that can help you gain a competitive edge:

1. Coenzyme 10 (CoQ10): Coenzyme Q10 (coQ10) is a vitamin-like substance that is essential in generating about 95 percent of the body’s energy. It is also a potent fat-soluble antioxidant. Exercise increases the need for oxygen—10 to 20 times more than the resting state—causing an intensified metabolic process known as oxidative stress. The coping strategies that the body has developed to combat oxidative stress can become maxed out during times of intense physical activity and can lead to tissue damage and inflammation, excess fatigue, and delayed recovery. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that supplements of coQ10 not only decreased oxidative stress but also reduced over-expression of pro-inflammatory genes and reduced levels of creatinine, an indicator of muscle breakdown (1). Although a degree of muscle breakdown stimulates growth, minimizing damage can allow athletes to recover faster and train harder.

2. Resveratrol: Phenols are compounds naturally produced by plants and are used to protect against pests and pathogens. Resveratrol, a phenol, has exhibits similar protective properties in the human body. Now research has found that, when paired with exercise, resveratrol can enhance strength, metabolism, cardiovascular efficiency and exercise capacity. In this study, rats consuming resveratrol ran longer and faster (2). Additionally, the rats developed stronger leg muscles with an 18 percent strength gain in the calf muscle and 58 percent gain in their tibialis anterior (on the front of the leg) muscle. Even more important for athletes, scientists found that resveratrol’s ability to improve cardiovascular efficiency lead to higher levels of fat burning, increased muscle mass, and improved endurance.

3. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is renowned for quenching free radicals, as well as playing a major role in collagen synthesis, hormone formation, and fat metabolism. The newest skill to add to the vitamin C resume is its ability to act as an ergogenic (exercise-enhancing) aid…

Read more: Isagenix Health


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