Our first important nutrient for those that train hard is chromiun. Chromium is a mineral that is most abundant in meats. Unfortunately minerals are amongst the most neglected nutrients. Typically people just don’t see them as being very important for the price. The reality, however, is that one of the most important systems in your body is continually dependent upon minerals to do its job, the Adrenal System. This is the system that regulates most of your hormones as well as your response to stress. Chromium is particularly important for sugar metabolism and weight loss. In addition, it aids in converting amino acids into protein. In other words, if you would like to lean down and put on some muscle, it is essential that you have sufficient chromium levels.Studies have also shown that it can help improve energy levels as it improves the body’s ability to utilize fat and sugar as fuel.
Though liver and meats are amongst the best sources of chromium, animals are as dependent upon diet for chromium as we are. With current farming techniques, soil mineral levels have been highly depleted and this makes diet an unpredictable source for minerals. For instance, recent research has shown modern fruits and vegetables to have mineral contents between 5-40% lower than the same produce from 40 years ago. For this reason I suggest supplementing most minerals. The latest data suggest that the best carrier for chromium is nicotinate or some form of it. Chromium nicotinate is approximately 4 times more efficient that Chromium picolinate for instance.
Chromium is especially important for 4 categories of people: Avid exercisers, those under a lot of stress (particularly for extended periods of time), pregnant women, and those that consume a lot of sugary foods (or have been). This is because stress, exercise, and pregnancy tax the adrenal system and therefor use chromium up faster. Sugar consumption adds to this because the high insulin levels add systemic stress, reduce sleep quality, in addition to the fact t that chromium is specifically used for sugar metabolism.
The next nutrient of interest is also a mineral, magnesium, and will be covered in a later post.