Topic of the Month
Micronutrients and physical activity
1 September 2012
The number of people who exercise, and their understanding of the role of nutrition in sports performance, is increasing: The percentage of Americans and Europeans who are physically active increased significantly over the last decade (1-3). In addition, people are tending to stay active for longer (4). The body needs carbohydrates, protein, fats (especially polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins and minerals in order to function properly. Prolonged exercise performed on a regular basis may result in increased micronutrient losses from the body or in an increased rate of turnover, resulting in the need for an increased dietary intake. Today’s science of sports nutrition is sophisticated, revealing new insights about the measurable benefits of micronutrients, the amounts needed thereof, and the appropriate timing of intake.