Document Detail

Minerals: exercise performance and supplementation in athletes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1895366     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
This paper examines whether mineral supplements are necessary for athletes, and whether these supplements will enhance performance. Macrominerals (calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus) and trace minerals (zinc, copper, selenium, chromium, and iron) are described. Calcium supplements are important for the health of bones. Athletes tend to have enhanced calcium status as assessed by bone mineral density, with the notable exception of female amenorrhoeic athletes. Magnesium status is adequate for most athletes, and there is no evidence that magnesium supplements can enhance performance. Phosphorus status is adequate for athletes. Phosphorus supplementation over an extended period of time can result in lowered blood calcium, however, some studies have shown that acute 'phosphate loading' will enhance performance. Athletes may have a zinc deficiency induced by poor diet and loss of zinc in sweat and urine. Limited data exist on the relationship of performance and zinc status. Widespread deficiencies in copper have not been documented, and there are no data to suggest that copper supplementation will enhance performance. There is no reason to suspect a selenium deficiency in athletes. The relationship between selenium status and performance has not been established, but selenium may play a role as an antioxidant. Because of the low intakes of chromium for the general population, there is a possibility that athletes may be deficient. Exercise may create a loss in chromium because of increased excretion into the urine. Many athletes, particularly female, are iron depleted, but true iron deficiencies are rare. Iron depletion does not affect exercise performance but iron deficiency anaemia does. Iron supplements have not been shown to enhance performance except where iron deficiency anaemia exists. In conclusion, poor diets are perhaps the main reason for any mineral deficiencies found in athletes, although in certain cases exercise could contribute to the deficiency. Mineral supplementation may be important to ensure good health, but few studies have definitively documented any beneficial effect of mineral supplementation on performance.
P M Clarkson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of sports sciences     Volume:  9 Spec No     ISSN:  0264-0414     ISO Abbreviation:  J Sports Sci     Publication Date:  1991  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1991-10-24     Completed Date:  1991-10-24     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8405364     Medline TA:  J Sports Sci     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  91-116     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Exercise Science, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.
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MeSH Terms
Exercise / physiology*
Minerals / administration & dosage*
Task Performance and Analysis
Reg. No./Substance:

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