A Calcium-Rich Diet Can Protect You Against Exercise Related Bone Injuries: Study

   |  Updated: May 20, 2015 18:39 IST

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A Calcium-Rich Diet Can Protect You Against Exercise Related Bone Injuries: Study
We all know that you need to drink milk to grow tall and strengthen your bones. You need all the calcium you can get for your body's overall development, proper functioning of the heart, muscles and nerves. So the lack of it could cause some serious problems. The condition is known as hypocalcemia and could trigger a host of physical ailments ranging from skeletal malformations, osteoporosis, dermatitis to weaker bones.

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For those who like to keep a close watch on their fitness and undergo regular physical training, consuming adequate calcium becomes extremely crucial. To simplify it further, athletes in low-impact sports, such as cycling, rowing and swimming, lose calcium through sweating which can weaken the bones and lead to osteoporosis later in life.

According to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS),  consuming dairy-rich diet before starting the activity may help reduce the risk of bone breaks. Head of sports nutrition at the AIS, Louise Burke, said the research backed by Dairy Australia showed that if you eat a diet rich in calcium before your workout, then your body uses calcium from the body instead of your bones.



Xinhua news agency reported. "It stops your bones from having to dissolve a little bit, to put the calcium back into the blood stream, as to being lost from the blood sweat," said Burke.



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He added, "Your body is doing that to keep blood calcium levels stable. So any time it feels that a little bit is going down, it has to rush to the nearest available calcium source to get it back into the blood stream."



High-impact exercise like running stimulates bone growth and the opposite is true for low-impact exercise, where the lack of weight bearing activity leads to low bone mineral density (as reported by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 



Research suggests that a dairy-rich meal around two hours before exercise could counter the calcium lost during exercise and athletes should ideally consume at least three standard dairy serves before exercise.



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"In one case, we have had the team chef create some breakfast recipes including cheese omelettes, bircher muesli and smoothies with milk and yoghurt to help athletes meet this target," Burke said.



Burke said weekend cyclists could benefit by considering what to drink after their morning rides. "All cyclists could think about their choice of pre-ride breakfast or, when they stop at a cafe on a weekend ride, consider ordering a latte or hot chocolate rather than a short black."



Inputs from IANS



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