The two nutrients athletes need to supplement to perform and recover faster
Professional athletes push their bodies to the limit every time they train and compete, so ensuring that they have the right nutritional support to help them perform and recover faster is key.
Leeds Rhinos have undergone cutting edge vitamin and mineral testing as part of their official partnership with natural health company BetterYou, to identify the nutritional gaps that could impair athletic gains.
All the players undertook a vitamin D NHS blood spot test along with a hair sample mineral analysis (to check their magnesium levels) by laboratory Mineral Check at the beginning of the season in 2017.
Reporting on the results, BetterYou’s nutritional expert Greg Weatherhead said: “The players results were fascinating to see. As a collective, the majority’s vitamin D levels were optimal (equal or higher than 100nmol/L) which is good news as vitamin D is essential for strengthening bones and immune function.
“However, even though their levels were on average higher than the general population, a third of the players had sub optimal levels, which need to be improved.
“Vitamin D levels in athletes is greatly important. A recent study demonstrated an increased injury risk in NFL athletes with low serum vitamin D.
“When we looked at the players mineral analysis, close to all of them had sub optimal levels of magnesium, based on their calcium/magnesium ratio. Over half had high levels of calcium in relation to magnesium intake.
“This is not surprising as the players eat a western diet which tends to be rich in calcium and low in magnesium.
“The key here is keeping magnesium and calcium in balance. An imbalance could be associated with numerous health conditions ranging from cramping to heart disease. Where calcium is high relative to magnesium there could be a risk of excessive deposition of calcium into the soft tissues (arteries and muscles).
“Ideally a healthy ratio would be 3-parts magnesium to 1-part calcium or below. This would allow the body tissues to effectively manage excess calcium and function more efficiently.”
BetterYou has now created a bespoke supplement plan for each player for its oral vitamin D spray and transdermal magnesium products which are absorbed through the skin.
Jason Davidson, Head of Athletic Performance at Leeds Rhinos said: “Following the results, we have worked with the BetterYou team to establish a daily supplement routine to elevate the players vitamin D and magnesium levels. In addition, we have also been supplementing the guys on vitamin B12 and vitamin K2. The products are so easy for the guys to build into their daily routines and they are already seeing the benefits. They are bouncing back quicker and have also mentioned that they are seeing improvements in their sleep.”
An oral spray is more effective than traditional tablets and capsules in elevating vitamin D, as it delivers the vitamin directly to the bloodstream via the soft tissue within the mouth avoiding the digestive system. A study published in The Nutritional Journal showed that vitamin absorption via an oral spray is 2.5 times more effective than vitamin capsules. They are effective to take at any time of the day and are not reliant on food or water.
Seven in ten of us suffer from low levels of magnesium. And because we don’t get enough from our daily diet, a supplement that gets straight to where it’s needed is the way to recharge our systems.
Supplementing magnesium transdermally (through the skin) is a superior way to absorb this mineral, and has been proven to work five times faster than tablets. As it’s absorbed through the skin, it bypasses the digestive system straight into the body tissue providing a fast and effective dose directly to where it’s needed.
The BetterYou vitamin D oral spray and transdermal magnesium ranges are available at Holland and Barratt, all good health stores and online at www.betteryou.com. Vitamin D home test kits retail at £28 and are available from www.betteryou.com/vitamin-d-testing-service