“Got milk?” You probably have seen those advertisements for milk in fitness magazines endorsed by your favorite professional athlete. Whole milk contains plenty of essential vitamins & minerals, the mineral that is probably the most potent for athletes is calcium.
Due to the strenuous activities athletes engage in, they need more calcium than the average person, especially if they participate in an endurance sports. So what is so important about calcium? Let’s discuss that!
The Importance of Calcium to Your Body
Ever since an adolescent, you were told countless times to drink milk to build strong, healthy bones & teeth. What they meant is the calcium in the milk helps build strong and healthy bones & teeth. In addition, every cell in your body utilizes calcium to some capacity.
The following 4 areas in our bodies need calcium on a daily basis to properly function:
1. Nervous system
Calcium guides the electrical signals within the nervous system; also aids in sustaining brain health and understanding the aging process.
Calcium sends electrical signals to your muscle fibers to contract when performing an exercise or any physically demanding activity.
Calcium ions are required in order for the heart muscle to contract.
The most well-known attribute of calcium is that it helps build & maintain strong, healthy bones & teeth.
As you see, calcium is very important to your body. As you age, calcium is absorbed less in your bones; therefore, causing your body to take calcium away from your bones. By time you become a senior citizen, this could potentially lead to osteopenia or osteoporosis. This is why it is important to incorporate a diet rich in calcium, especially if you’re still between the ages of 18 to 45 years old.
MO Supplement’s own recommendation: Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life
The Importance of Calcium in Your Diet
Being an athlete, you place a physical demand on your body more so than the typical person. This causes you to lose calcium through your sweat; therefore, why you should aim get a higher dose of calcium per day than the 1000mg (at least 1200 mg per day) recommended for adults. Not getting the amount of calcium needed could lead to painful muscle cramps occurring on occasion.
Best Calcium Supplements for Athletes
Here are 3 ways to incorporate calcium into your diet:
1. Dairy products
This is probably the most popular way most people get their calcium. Here is a list of 6 dairy foods along with their milligrams of calcium per serving:
Dairy Product Milligrams per serving (mg) of calcium
|Milk, reduced-fat (2% milk fat), 8 ounces||293|
|Milk, nonfat, 8 ounces||299|
|Ice cream, vanilla, 1/2 cup||84|
|Pudding, chocolate, ready to eat, refrigerated, 4 ounces||55|
A lot of people are unaware of how rich vegetables are in calcium. Here is a list of 5 vegetables along with their milligrams of calcium per serving:
Vegetables Milligrams per serving (mg) of calcium
|Tofu, soft made with calcium sulfate, 1/2 cup||138|
|Turnip greens, boiled, fresh||99|
|Kale, raw, 1 cup||100|
|Chinese cabbage, bok choy, raw, shredded, 1 cup||74|
|Broccoli, raw, 1/2 cup||21|
3. Calcium Supplements
Since you are an athlete, getting enough calcium is very essential. In addition to having vegetables and dairy products in your nutritional plan, taking a calcium supplement will make sure you reach your daily quota of 1200mg of calcium.
In conclusion, unless you don’t mind muscle cramps and developing osteoporosis by the time you’re 65 years old, calcium should be an essential part of your everyday life.