Calcium is a mineral that we all know well for helping to strengthen our bones. This is an important task, however it does much more in our body. Calcium also is involved in our nervous system, blood clotting, and controlling our muscles. About 99% of the calcium in our bodies is stored in the skeletal bones, and the remaining 1% is found in other cells, such as muscle cells. Proper calcium intake is vital to athletes.
Here are five things you might not already know about calcium.
1. Broccoli, kale chia seeds, spinach, and almonds are all excellent sources of calcium. They also make great snacks to keep you full through out the day.
2. A diet high in bulk and fiber to slow the rate at which food passes through the intestines increase calcium absorption. So make sure to eat a variety of fiber!
3. It is possible to reduce the risk of fractures and stress fractures, which are common among athletes, by increasing your dietary calcium intake. Combining this with vitamin D helps even more.
4. Calcium plays a role is proper muscle contraction. This means that if you suffer from frequent muscle cramps, it may mean the your diet is lacking this mineral.
5. One study found that exercise may increase calcium losses. They examined the effects of 10-week intense endurance training, including volume, interval and tapering phases, on serum and urinary minerals levels. They found that urinary calcium increased and serum calcium decreased below the clinical norm following the high-intensity interval phase, but these changes were reversed following the tapering phase. Please be extra aware of the calcium rich foods you are taking in during high intensity training.