In sports, the body needs an increased amount of micronutrients - vitamins and minerals. This is due to an increase in metabolic processes, active elimination of substances along with sweat, taking certain drugs (for example, diuretic drugs), etc. In this connection, athletes may be recommended a higher dose of nutrients, depending on the level of physical activity, diet , seasons, climatic conditions and other factors.

Of course, the body needs a full range of vitamins and minerals. This is especially true for athletes who are spending their nutrient reserves at a fast pace. However, the deficiency of certain vitamins can be associated with certain pathologies of muscle functioning. For example, some food components alleviate such specific states as muscle weakness and dystrophy, muscle cramps. All this indicates that certain nutritional components are more important for improving muscle activity.

In addition, if we talk about sports for men, then hormonal balance plays a significant role and therefore it is important to provide the body with nutrients for the normal synthesis of sex hormones.

Vitamins and minerals - their properties and daily intake

Table 1 - Minerals and vitamins for sport.

Vitamin E 10 mg Antioxidant, immunomodulator, relieves the symptoms of muscular dystrophy [1] Vegetable oils (sunflower, corn), nuts (almonds, peanuts), butter, margarine
Vitamin C 90 - 100 mg Antioxidant, immunomodulator, has detoxification properties Sweet pepper, kiwi, citrus fruits, cabbage, currants, greens
Vitamin B 2
2.0 mg One of the most important water-soluble vitamins [2] Liver, kidneys, eggs, almonds, dairy products, broccoli, spinach
Vitamin B 6 1.5 mg Necessary for protein metabolism and transformation of amino acids [2] Liver, kidney, beef, pork, tuna, nuts (pine, walnut, hazelnut, peanuts), bananas
Magnesium 400 mg Energy production, protein biosynthesis, maintaining the functions of the nervous system Nuts, beans, greens, whole grains, seafood, sesame
Selenium 100 mcg An antioxidant, an immunomodulator, along with vitamin E, increases the muscular strength of people suffering from dystrophy [1]. Brazil nut, seafood, liver, kidney, meat
Zinc 15 mg Immunomodulator, necessary for the synthesis of sex hormones and insulin, is responsible for sexual function and spermatogenesis Seafood, liver, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cereals

The body of an athlete is more susceptible to colds and infectious diseases, because sport takes a lot of energy. That is why increased intake of vitamin C and E is necessary first of all to physically active people. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, and its excess is excreted in the urine without causing harm. Therefore, it is often possible to meet the recommendations on the dosage of ascorbic acid, dozens of times above the daily rate. Vitamin E, despite the fact that it is fat soluble and can accumulate in the body, with prolonged use in large doses does not have pronounced toxicity [1].

Vitamins of group B need to receive higher doses, as they are consumed during intensive physical training. Vitamins of group B, as well as vitamin C, are water-soluble and are easily excreted by the excretory system, which allows them to significantly increase their daily dosage without harm to health.

Vitamins of group B are better to get in the complex, because some vitamins can not be absorbed without others, or do not fully perform their functions in the body.

Magnesium is an important element for an athlete for several reasons [1] [3]:

  • Participates in energy production;
  • Participates in protein biosynthesis;
  • It is necessary for the health of the cardiovascular system (together with potassium);
  • Normalizes muscle activity;
  • It is necessary for normal work of vitamins of group B;
  • And other.

Although under normal conditions the excretion of magnesium through the sweat glands is insignificant, among athletes and avid bathhouse attendants, the loss of magnesium can be a significant part [2]. A high protein diet also increases the need for magnesium [1].

Selenium, acting together with vitamin E, exhibits antioxidant properties, strengthens the immune system, and causes sperm motility. Due to the widespread impoverishment of the soil, the deficient state of selenium is a fairly common phenomenon.

Read more about “Why is selenium useful for men?”.

Zinc strengthens the immune system, is responsible for sexual function and the synthesis of testosterone - the most important hormone for a man, which determines, among other things, his sporting success. In general, zinc is one of the most important components of nutrition for men.

Read more about “What is zinc useful for men?”.

What can affect the level of vitamins and minerals?

The main source of nutritional components should be food. You need to balance your diet so that it meets the needs of your body. Often, it is very difficult, but achievable. Here are some tips to help you adjust your diet in the right direction:

  • Consume more live food. The concept of "live food" includes primarily products created by nature itself in its original form. These are vegetables, fruits, cereals. Your diet should contain about 50% live food. The benefits of organic foods are mentioned everywhere, and this only confirms their great importance for proper nutrition;
  • Minimize the consumption of processed, refined products. Such products practically do not contain micronutrients useful for the body in the form of vitamins and minerals, but often contain a large number of macronutrients in the form of fats and carbohydrates, the excess of which can adversely affect health. The food and chemical industries have long been united under one banner in such a way that they are one inseparable whole. You probably know what kind of products we are talking about. Strongly limit or completely eliminate them from your diet;
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol intake. These substances contribute to the active elimination of nutrients from the body, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron. Try to minimize these products (see “Refusing Coffee and Tea - Personal Experience” ).

Synthetic vitamins - yes or no?

The question of the benefits of synthetic vitamins has been acute for many years. Someone is a fierce supporter of nutritional supplements; someone, on the contrary, strongly opposes synthetic vitamins (see “The Harm of Synthetic Vitamins” ). In this matter it is better to rely on your own feelings: if vitamin-mineral complexes contribute to a marked improvement in well-being, take them according to the instructions with a break of one month. Otherwise, when the effect of vitamins has not been achieved, you should think about the advisability of further use, or try vitamin-mineral complexes from another manufacturer.

In any case, food supplements should be positioned as an additional factor in obtaining nutrients for proper nutrition. In no case should you make food supplements the main source of vitamins and minerals!


  1. T.P. Emelyanova "Vitamins and Mineral Substances: Complete Encyclopedia", 2000;
  2. Wikipedia - Free Encyclopedia;
  3. V. G. Liflyansky "Vitamins and Minerals", 2010;
  4. T. S. Morozkina, A. G. Moyseyenok “Vitamins”, 2002;
  5. MSMSU them. A.I. Evdokimova, a group of authors, “Vitamins”, 2014.

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