Sporty? Exercise regularly? Supplements to support an active lifestyle 

Summer is here and we are all spending more time outdoors. Whether it is to get a perfect beach body or just to make use of the great weather to be able to keep our bodies fit, this blog post will provide you with suggestions on what supplements to take.

Along with the extra hours of summer sunshine, our plates are also full with different fruits and vegetables. You probably think that along with adequate sleep, this should be sufficient to give you the energy that you need for your daily activities. However, summer time is also when we engage in more sportive activities. This means that we are pushing our bodies to peak performance. 

Many of us reach out to a protein shake to provide us the right sports nutrition. But did you know that research regarding the ergogenic effect of whey protein and colostrum supplementation is very limited (Williams M 2005)? In fact, it is recommended that one takes the individual proteins, minerals or vitamins that one needs instead.  

This blog post will provide some supplement suggestions to provide you with a much-needed energy boost to support your sports activities.  

Vitamins as sports supplements 

Vitamins assist in several important physiological functions. Several sport nutrition experts have provided scientific evidence that some athletes may be at risk for a vitamin deficiency (Benardot D et al. 2001). The consensus was that this is true for those in weight-control sports and those who for one reason or another do not eat a well-balanced diet. 

Especially important to exercise or sports performance are the B-complex vitamins that are involved in processing carbohydrate and fats for energy production, vitamins C and E that function as antioxidants, and vitamin D that helps in muscle and bone maintenance (Williams MH 2004).  

Vitamin D: Sport supplement for the muscles and bones 

Vitamin D helps in the absorbance of calcium. Together, they help maintain healthy muscles and bones (EU Register). Several lines of scientific study suggest that vitamin D status may have a significant effect on muscle performance and injury prevention, therefore possibly influencing athletic performance (Ogan D et al. 2013). 

Do I need vitamin D supplementation in the summer? 

We often hear that we only need to supplement for vitamin D in the winter due to the lack of sunlight. While this is generally true for all individuals, those who engage in sports will also need it in summer. This is because the body will be unable to make and store enough vitamin D for the rest of the year for our daily functions as well as the additional needs of exercise (Organ D et al. 2013).  

Another category of sporty individuals who can benefit from year-round vitamin D supplementation are individuals above the age of 50 years. According to the EFSA, calcium and vitamin D help to reduce the loss of bone mineral in post-menopausal women (EU Register). Low bone mineral density is a risk factor for osteoporotic bone fractures. Vitamin D also helps to reduce the risk of falling associated with postural instability and muscle weakness in older individuals. 

What amount of vitamin D do I need to take? 

Women older than 50 years and men older than 60 years will observe a beneficial effect when their daily intake of vitamin D is at least 20 mcg from all food sources (EU Register). Specifically, food supplements should provide at least 15 mcg of vitamin D per daily portion.  

Our white label liquid liposomal vitamin D product contains 25 mcg (1 000 IU (international units)) of vitamin D per daily dose. Contact us to find out how you can add our 13-times more bioavailable white label vitamin D formulation to your supplement portfolio.  

Vitamin C: Antioxidant for sports  

A scientific panel of sports nutrition experts noted that the prudent use of antioxidant supplementation can protect against a suboptimal diet and/or the elevated demands of intense physical activity (Benardot D et al. 2001). They advised antioxidant supplementation to limit the effects of oxidative stress in individuals performing regular, heavy exercise. 

As mentioned earlier, vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. It protects cells from oxidative stress and thus saves DNA, proteins and lipids from damage due to free radicals (EU Register). Vitamin C supplementation may therefore be recommended to prevent tissue damage in regularly exercising individuals (Williams MH 2004).  

Why liposomal vitamin C? 

We refer you to our blog post to learn all about all about this water-soluble vitamin. The post also explains why the liposomal form is recommended. Contact us for information on the scientific study that proves that our liquid liposomal vitamin C formulation is 12-times more bioavailable than a non-liposomal supplement.   

Mineral-containing sports supplements 

The human body needs about twenty different minerals in order to function properly. Important to athletes are their involvement in muscle contraction, normal heart rhythm, nerve impulse conduction, oxygen transport, antioxidant activity and bone health (Williams MH 2005).  

Since many of these processes are accelerated during exercise, those engaging in moderate to severe physical activity should obtain an adequate amount of all minerals in their diet. 

Magnesium: The muscle and energy supplement 

The adult body contains about 25 grams of magnesium of which 50% to 60% is stored in your bones. The rest is at work in your organs and other tissues (Volpe SL 2015).  

Important to sports, magnesium contributes to energy-providing metabolism, normal muscle function, a reduction of tiredness and fatigue and the maintenance of the body’s electrolyte balance (EU Register). Magnesium supplementation may also improve post-exercise blood pressure (Volpe SL 2015). 

Daily recommended dosage of magnesium 

Adults of both sexes should not consume more than 250 mg of magnesium per day (DRV finder). This is usually easy to come by with a balanced diet full of legumes, dairy products and whole grains. However, it was found that approximately 60% of adults in the United States, for example, do not consume the recommended daily dosage of magnesium (Volpe SL 2015). Supplementation is warranted in these cases.  

Advantage of liposomal magnesium 

The oral bioavailability of non-liposomal magnesium formulations has been proven to be rather poor (Blancquaert L et al. 2019).  

A double-blind, controlled clinical study revealed that our liquid liposomal magnesium formulation is 5-times more bioavailable than a non-liposomal magnesium supplement of the same dosage.  

Add liposomal magnesium to your product portfolio today! 

Zinc supplementation for high carb, low protein diets 

As a component of over 300 enzymes, zinc is a mineral that is involved in several metabolic reactions (Williams MH 2005, EU Register). Due to increased physical stress, increased sweating and losses via urine and faeces, athletes and exercising individuals might have an increased requirement of zinc. It is also possible that you suffer from a zinc deficiency if you are on a carb-rich, low protein diet (Williams MH 2005).  

Liposomal zinc supplementation 

The bioavailability of zinc in food depends on the presence of constituents that may complex zinc. For example, dietary fibre and phytates can form insoluble complexes with zinc. This impedes intestinal zinc absorption, and thus bioavailability (Udechukwu MC et al. 2016).  

Enveloping zinc in a liposome can prevent this complexation even if the supplement is consumed along with food. Intestinal absorption may also be increased, leading to a better intended effect. 

You can read more about liposomes and bioavailability here

Other sports supplements 

L-carnitine: The energy-giver 

Carnitine is a naturally-occurring amino-acid derivative that helps convert fatty acids into ATP (adenosine triphosphate) (PubChem). This is the energy currency of the cell and can provide a long-lasting source of energy for your sports activities. 

Carnitine also helps reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and cell death (Wang ZY et al. 2018). It thus plays an important role in facilitating the recovery process in response to physical activity by reducing tissue damage and muscle soreness (Carnipure). 

Who needs carnitine supplementation? 

The human body’s carnitine pool is maintained largely by the absorption of L-carnitine from dietary sources, biosynthesis within the body and reabsorption through the kidneys (PubChem). Although the bioavailability of dietary L-carnitine may be as high as 75%, since carnitine is mainly found in animal products, vegetarians and vegans can specifically benefit from carnitine supplementation.  

A carnitine deficiency may also occur due to aging, some forms of cancer, heart disease and male infertility (NIH Fact sheet).  

Which form of carnitine supplementation is best? 

The L-form of carnitine is the most common recommended supplement form because it is the biologically active, natural form (Ergomax). 

In our blog post on supplements for men’s health, we explained that the benefits of liposomal L-carnitine include a higher bioavailability and improved effects compared to non-liposomal forms (Yaşacan M et al. 2020).  

Market trend for sports supplements 

The global sports nutrition and supplements market was valued at 13.9 billion USD in 2018 (Statista). It is expected to increase in value to 35.35 billion USD by 2025.  

Contact us today to add liposomal sport supplements to your product range. 

Key takeaways 

  1. Vitamin D supplementation may have a significant effect on muscle performance and injury prevention. 
  2. Vitamin D supplementation is required year-round for physically active individuals and adults over the age of 50 years. 
  3. The antioxidant properties of vitamin C prevents tissue damage in regularly exercising individuals. 
  4. Magnesium supplementation is required for normal muscle function, a reduction of tiredness and fatigue and the maintenance of the body’s electrolyte balance. 
  5. PlantaCorp’s liquid liposomal magnesium formulation is 5-times more bioavailable than a non-liposomal magnesium supplement of the same dosage. 
  6. Zinc deficiency can occur if you are on a high carb, low protein diet. 
  7. Carnitine facilitates the recovery process in response to physical activity by reducing tissue damage and muscle soreness. 
  8. The L-form of carnitine is the most common recommended supplement form because it is the biologically active, natural form 
  9. The global sports nutrition supplements market is expected to increase in value to 35.35 billion USD by 2025. 

References 

  1. Williams M. Dietary Supplements and Sports Performance: Amino Acids. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005;2(63). https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-2-2-63 
  2. EU register of nutrition and health claims. https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/labelling_nutrition/claims/register/public/?event=search  
  3. PwC Analysis, Euromonitor International 2019, Press. https://www.pwc.com/it/it/publications/assets/docs/Vitamins-Dietary-Supplements-Market-Overview.pdf  
  4. Benardot D et al. Can vitamin supplements improve sport performance?. Sports Science Exchange Roundtable. 2001;12(3):1–4. https://paulogentil.com/pdf/Can%20vitamin%20supplements%20improve%20sport%20performance.pdf 
  5. Williams MH. Dietary Supplements and Sports Performance: Introduction and Vitamins. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2004;1(1). https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-1-2-1#Abs1  
  6. Ogan D, Pritchett K. Vitamin D and the athlete: risks, recommendations, and benefits. Nutrients. 2013 May 28;5(6):1856-68. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3725481/
  7. Williams, M.H. Dietary Supplements and Sports Performance: Minerals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2005;2(43). https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-2-1-43 
  8. Volpe SL. Magnesium and the Athlete, Current Sports Medicine Reports. 2015;14(4): 279-283. https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Fulltext/2015/07000/Magnesium_and_the_Athlete.8.aspx  
  9. EFSA: Dietary Reference Values for the EU. https://multimedia.efsa.europa.eu/drvs/index.htm  
  10. Blancquaert L, Vervaet C, Derave W. Predicting and Testing Bioavailability of Magnesium Supplements. Nutrients. 2019; 11(7):1663. 
  11. Udechukwu MC, Collins SA, Udenigwe CC. Prospects of enhancing dietary zinc bioavailability with food-derived zinc-chelating peptides. Food Funct. 2016 Oct 12;7(10):4137-4144. https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2016/FO/C6FO00706F 
  12. Wang ZY, Liu YY, Liu GH, Lu HB, Mao CY. l-Carnitine and heart disease. Life Sci. 2018 Feb 1;194:88-97. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29241711/  
  13. Carnipure(R). Sports: Exercise & Recovery | Carnipure  
  14. PubChem: L-carnitine. Levocarnitine | C7H15NO3 – PubChem (nih.gov) 
  15. Fortin G. L-Carnitine and intestinal inflammation. Vitam Horm. 2011; 86:353-66. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21419279/  
  16. Khalatbari-Soltani S, Tabibi H. Inflammation and L-carnitine therapy in hemodialysis patients: a review. Clin Exp Nephrol. 2015 Jun;19(3):331-5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25446285/  
  17. [Online] [Cited: 11 12, 2021.] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Carnitine-HealthProfessional/#en2.  
  18. What form of carnitine is right for you? | Welcome on Ergomax’s blog (ergomaxsupplements.com) 
  19. Yaşacan M, Erikçi A, Eylem CC, Çiftçi SY, Nemutlu E, Ulubayram K, Eroğlu İ. Polymeric Nanoparticle Versus Liposome Formulations: Comparative Physicochemical and Metabolomic Studies as L-Carnitine Delivery Systems.  8, s.l. : AAPS PharmSciTech, 2020, Vol. 21. 
  20. https://www.statista.com/statistics/450168/global-sports-nutrition-market/