We hear a lot about macronutrients (carbohydrate, fat, and protein) when it comes to health and performance, but micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) can often be overlooked. Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients since we don’t require them in the same amount as macronutrients. Micronutrients do not provide energy or calories but help release energy from carbohydrates, fat, and protein. There are several essential vitamins and minerals which all play a different and vital role when it comes to assisting the body.
As an athlete, having a strong and stable musculoskeletal system is key to excelling in your sport. Your musculoskeletal system includes bones, cartilage, skeletal muscles, and connective tissues. Weightlifting and training can only take you so far if you have brittle bones. Your muscles connect to your bones and create controlled, precise movements such as standing, walking, and running. If your bones are weak, one wrong pull could result in an injury.
Which Micronutrients Benefit the Musculoskeletal System?
There are three micronutrients that research has shown to improve musculoskeletal factors. They include:
· Vitamin K2 MK-7
· Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
Vitamin K2 MK-7
Vitamin K is a generic name for a family of compounds with similar chemical structures. These compounds are called menaquinones (Vitamin K2) and phylloquinone (Vitamin K1).
MK-7 refers to a particular vitamin K chemical structure, and a study done on the comparison of MK-4 and MK-7 Vitamin K supplements showed that taking the MK-7 type led to higher serum levels, over a longer period of time.
Vitamin K is a significant contributor to bone and heart health, as well as normal blood clotting. Deficiency in Vitamin K could lead to a reduction in bone mineralization, which is a contributing factor to osteoporosis.
Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)
Vitamin D is a micronutrient that is obtained from sun exposure and small amounts from food. There are two active versions of Vitamin D – calcidiol and calcitriol. Vitamin D3’s active form is calcitriol, and it is beneficial in maintaining blood calcium and phosphorus levels as well as mineralization of bone. Studies have shown that Vitamin D3 supplementation is more efficient at raising serum 25-(OH) D concentrations, (the main vitamin D blood marker) compared to Vitamin D2, and levels of this marker is the best indicator of how much Vitamin D is available in the body.
A mineral found abundantly in the body; magnesium helps regulate many biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium also contributes to the structural development of bone and assists with the process that is important to muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm.
Magnesium citrate in supplementation form has been shown to have better absorption and bioavailability compared to some other commonly-found forms of magnesium. It is a form of magnesium that dissolves well in water, and therefore can be absorbed more entirely in the gut.
Turning to Supplementation
Often, it can be challenging to consume the daily recommended amounts of these micronutrients via food. Taking a supplement is an excellent option in this scenario. SynBio Sport‘s Sport Max supplement provides these three micronutrients in a two-a-day capsule. LGC tested and approved, Sport Max contains 2800 IU of Vitamin D3, 300 mg of Elemental Magnesium, 80μg of Vitamin K2, and 1000 mg of Magnesium Citrate per 2 capsules.
Lauren Armstrong RDN biog
"Lauren is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics. Her passion for nutrition and health leads her to stay up-to-date with recent diets, health claims, and everything in between. She enjoys breaking down the "science" in research and presenting it in a way that everyone can understand. Along with writing, she currently works with individuals seeking a healthier lifestyle. She educates on various eating patterns, fitness strategies, as well as managing chronic disease.”
· National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin K” https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminK-HealthProfessional/
· Nutrition Journal:“Comparison of menaquinone-4 and menaquinone-7 bioavailability in healthy women” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3502319/
· National Institutes of Health: “Vitamin D” https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
· American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: “Comparison of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 supplementation in raising serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D status: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22552031
· National Institutes of Health: “Magnesium” https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/