Most runners, especially females, know it is important to check iron levels and maintain them to an optimal level, but how many of us regularly check our zinc levels, or consider whether we have enough magnesium?
Minerals can literally be the ‘magic’ that make us function properly, but many of us are deficient in them without even knowing it!
Zinc is involved in the regulation and reactions of processes and enzymes throughout your body. Without it, you simply don’t work properly.
Magnesium deficiency is the second most common deficiency in developed countries, right behind vitamin D. It’s an essential mineral with profound effects on blood pressure and insulin regulation.
Magnesium is vital for keeping your muscles healthy and firing as they should. Energy metabolism also relies on adequate levels of magnesium.
Since being diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in December 2017, I learn’t that I was incredibly deficient in zinc and magnesium.
Coeliac Disease is the most serious condition specifically associated with the consumption of gluten. The gluten triggers your body to attack the cells of your small intestine. This blunts the intestinal microvilli, which help to draw in nutrients from food while expanding the surface of the small intestine. Without a healthy growth of microvilli, your’re unable to absorb the nutrients you consume. This can lead to multiple deficiencies.
Life-long removal of gluten from the diet is essential in management of Coeliac Disease.
I am now working with a nutritionist from the BePure team (www.bepure.co.nz) to correct my deficiencies and to find the best foods to heal and fuel my body.
The take home message though, is that you don’t need to have Coeliac Disease to be deficient in minerals (or vitamins!). Many of our vegetables these days are deficient in minerals because the soil used to grow them is so intensely farmed. I recommend all runners check their:
-vitamin D levels (blood test).
– zinc levels (start with a taste test from your pharmacy and follow that up with a blood test if necessary).
-magnesium levels (consider how your muscles feel and how well you recover. If you experience muscle tightness or develop muscle strains and injury, consider magnesium supplementation and ask you doctor for a blood test).
-iron levels (blood test).
Nutrition plays a huge part in prevention of disease and optimal performance. I can honestly say I feel 100 times better since removing gluten from my diet and improving my deficiencies. For me, the magic truly is in the minerals!