LCalcium is “the” essential mineral for everyone’s good health. It plays a fundamental role in the construction and rigidity of bones and teeth, from childhood to old age. Bone is a living tissue where calcium is eliminated and replaced every day according to daily dietary intake. The balance and solidity of the bone are therefore preserved if the calcium is fixed correctly.
Since bone reaches its peak density between the ages of 20 and 25, it is recommended to have maximum bone mass at this age. For this, regular physical activity is essential. Indeed, the practice of sport promotes the fixation of calcium, which strengthens the bone system and reduces the risk of fracture in the event of a fall, blow, twist. Physical training appears to be a real pledge for the future, the promise of a solid skeleton until old age!
If the calcium needs of a woman or a man on a daily basis are around 900 mg per day, in athletes, the needs are greater, around 1,200 mg (just like for teenagers or women pregnant) and up to 1500 mg in an endurance athlete or bodybuilder. How to explain it? Because the muscles are regularly solicited in athletes and calcium also has the function of contributing to their good contraction (in order, in particular, to avoid cramps).
And if the latter is in insufficient quantity, then the performance of the athlete drops significantly, because the quality of muscle contractions inevitably decreases. In addition, calcium also intervenes in another mechanism essential to the athlete: that of the production of energy. By participating in the degradation of glycogen into glucose, it thus provides the body with a stock of energy.
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Finally, it contributes to good blood circulation, the regulation of blood pressure, the proper functioning of the nervous system and allows the body to function at full speed! If calcium is useful for athletes, sports practice has positive effects on the fixation of calcium. This was also highlighted in a 2007 study conducted by Mahidol University in Thailand. Researchers have shown that a sedentary lifestyle, like a low calcium intake, slows down the development of bones and accelerates their decline, and even more so with advancing age. The role of food is essential.
How to fill up with calcium?
Calcium must be provided by a varied, simple and balanced diet, because the body does not synthesize calcium. In athletes, the needs are higher, because regular sports practice increases the daily needs. And even more in women athletes who, at the time of menopause, helping with a deficiency in female hormones, see the risk of fractures increase exponentially (ladies, carry out a complete assessment of osteoporosis as a precaution).
Every day, every athlete should therefore try to include at least three servings of foods that are sources of calcium in their diet. Where to find them? In all dairy products (prefer goat’s or sheep’s milk versions, which are less inflammatory, in cheeses, yoghurts and cottage cheeses, and one per meal), seafood, sardines, green vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, watercress, dried fruit (apricots, figs, etc.), oilseeds (almonds, hazelnuts, etc.), whole grain products (breads or pasta) and certain mineral waters (Hépar, Contrex, etc.) as well as vegetable juices enriched with calcium.
Be careful, to make up for your deficit, it is better to avoid (without banning them but by limiting their consumption) certain decalcifying foods, such as red meat, cold meats, carbonated and sugary drinks, too salty or industrial foods. Finally, do not forget, when possible, to expose yourself to the sun for at least twenty minutes a day, because vitamin D binds calcium to the bones.
To conclude, be careful, because calcium deficiency is silent and synonymous with slow bone erosion. Mechanical overload or intensive training, especially at an advanced age, will do the rest and may be the cause of bone injury.
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