Runners are constantly pushing the limits of their body’s in several different ways all at once. If they aren’t getting enough oxygen they can’t perform and if they don’t get enough of certain minerals such as iron, calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium they’ll fail as well. Iron is needed to for the hemoglobin to carry the oxygen to the cells, sodium and potassium are used by the nerves to fire messages to the muscles. Plus calcium and magnesium are needed to build strong bones. Runners, in particular, have problems with stress fractures because their bones can’t take the beating.
Eating A Lot Of Calcium Is More Important For Runners
Since the bones are made primarily of calcium it stands to reason that eating a diet high in this mineral is important. If you don’t eat enough you body will leach the calcium out of your bones to use in other processes. This leaves your bones weaker and in danger of stress fractures.
Most adults require about 1,000 mg per day of calcium but a runner would be better off getting at least 1,200 mg to make sure they don’t go into what’s called negative calcium balance. A negative balance occurs when your body is using bone calcium in other processes because the diet is lacking. The body will resupply the bones when more calcium is consumed in the diet.
Dairy products are some of the best and easiest sources of calcium in the form of milk, yogurt, cheese and other great products. There is also a lot of calcium in many green leafy vegetables but not near as much as what’s in dairy products. While it’s best to get your calcium from the diet, it wouldn’t hurt to add some to the diet in the form of a supplement to ensure that you’re getting all that you need and avoid injury.