Calcium, the body’s 007
Our dear friend, Mr Calcium, is definitely one of the body’s MVPs. Playing numerous roles, this macromineral packs quite a punch – let’s see why.
If you had to ask, why is calcium good for a person, the average Joe would likely say, “because it’s good for your bones”. Few will be able to tell you why it is essential, and even less will be able to explain what calcium actually is.
Our body needs calcium in reasonably large quantities, which is quite a conundrum since we cannot make our own. If we’re not supplementing or getting enough through our diets, we’re on shaky ground… no good having a house without a good foundation, right?
So now you’re thinking, but it is good for our bones. And you’d be correct. Besides healthy bones and teeth, calcium plays a vital role in blood clotting, helping muscles contract, and regulating cardiac rhythms and nerve functions. Fun fact: since our skeleton is a living organ and needs adequate calcium to stay healthy, it amplifies the need to meet your daily requirement.
The great news is that this macromineral is found in high amounts in most dairy products (Recovery milk for the win – again) and is also found in certain vegetables to a lesser extent. Ensure you’re assisting with absorption thought since Vit D is a prerequisite for this – 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun, and you’ll be good to go. (NB – SPF 50 – invest in some because it sure beats having to invest in dermatologists in the long run).
Let’s geek out for a moment and take a quick look at some unbiased scientific research from examine.com’s extrapolated data studies. Based on peer-reviewed studies, calcium has been found to:
● Calcium supplementation appears to be quite potent in reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia (pregnancy complications characterized by high blood pressure – this can be fatal) when supplemented at 1,000mg a day, with more efficacy in those with lower dietary calcium intake.
● Studies are largely in agreement that calcium supplementation in high doses (500-1000 mg daily) can reduce the symptoms of PMS, largely when it comes to effective and pain-related outcomes.
● There was a statistically significant and notable reduction in the total score on the Daily Record of Severity of Problems scale in the calcium group as compared with the placebo group, which derived from an improvement in anxiety, depression, emotional, water retention, and somatic changes
● Supplementation of calcium either via food products (932mg calcium) or via tablet supplementation (1000mg) were both equally effective in increasing bone mineral density.
Back to basics. Calcium has been studied for many decades, and farmers, food technologists, scientists, biologists, manufacturers and retailers understand the importance of calcium hence why alternative milk products are fortified with calcium and many other minerals.
Ok, so we get it – it’s good for you, especially our bones and for osteoporosis prevention – but what’s the link to our little tickers?
Whether you’re an athlete or that average Joe who just knows it’s good, we all need a healthy heart. Our heart needs to transport our blood, filled with water, oxygen and nutrients around our bodies. Therefore, our cardiovascular system needs to have a strong powerhouse, and for our powerhouse to pump with strength and vigour, we need calcium. Calcium particles enter the heart muscle during each heartbeat and contribute to the electrical signal that coordinates the cardiovascular system. These calcium particles also bind to the mechanism within the heart’s cells and help these cells contract, which pumps the heart, and so the blood.
Beginning to see how mighty Mr C is? I know, right!
This being said… nothing gets my heart beating quite like an ice-cold chocolate HPR.
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Feel free to contact me, your resident HPR sports nutritionist, for any advice.
Candice De Mendonca
The Fitness Hybrid
HPR is loaded with everything that’s good for you to push through your own limits again and again. Often the difference between good performance and average performance has to do with how you fuel your body and help your body recover. HPR helps you to Push Past Possible.