08 July, 2011
Swimming for fun or for fitness remains popular because it is ideal for many, from competitive athletes to the physically disabled. Swimming can be an intense physical activity that demands a lot from the body. Below are the best vitamins that are beneficial for swimmers.
Energy and endurance levels are important for swimmers looking to perform their best. The demand for energy increases as the swimmer's intensity and stroke increase. The most important vitamins responsible for energy and other essential chemical reactions within the body are B vitamins. Researchers from the American Cancer Society reported the benefits of B vitamins and their importance for growth, development and a variety of other bodily functions. There are seven vitamins that are considered water-soluble B vitamins: B1, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12, and each influences the body in unique ways. The American Cancer Society studies show that vitamins B1 and B2 assist the body by producing energy and influencing enzymes that promote proper muscle, nerve and heart function. Vitamins B6, B7 and B12 are also beneficial for natural energy because they support the breakdown of macronutrients from food into vital energy needed during endurance activities such as swimming. Studies show that individuals deficient of certain B vitamins can suffer from tiredness and muscle cramps.
A swimmer's heart must be strong to keep up with the demands of intensity and endurance. Research shows that a natural compound called Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) can strengthen the swimmer's heart and provide many other benefits. The University of Maryland Medical Center studied CoQ10 and found that the vitamin is an antioxidant that is produced by the body naturally. Research shows that CoQ10 is found in highest amounts in the mitochondria, the energy-producing center of the cell, and is vital for cellular health and energy. CoQ10 produces a molecule known as ATP, and it serves as the cell's major energy source by influencing biological processes, muscle contraction and the production of protein. Increased athletic performance, enhanced physical activity, and improved exercise tolerance also were noted as possible health benefits from CoQ10. Besides boosting energy levels, CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant that enhances the immune system and protects the heart. Scientists from Maryland Medical Center found that CoQ10 neutralizes harmful compounds that age and destroy cells in the body that lead to a number of health problems such as heart disease and cancer.
Under stressed conditions and intense exercise, it is important for the body to get essential vitamins to function well. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet or other sources. Medline Plus reports that vitamin C prevents harmful free radicals from damaging the cells because it is a powerful antioxidant. Free radicals are molecules that destroy cells and lead to diseases such as heart disease or cancer. Research from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism shows that vitamin C enhances the immune system and promotes healing for the body under intense moments of stress and exercise. It is involved in a many different biological pathways in the body that are vital to exercise metabolism and energy in the health of individuals who exercise.
- ready to swim image by Diorgi from Fotolia.com