What Mineral Intake?

Once again I have received some amazing information from one of the blogs I am following.  So awesome that I felt the need to share what I learned.  What good is information if you can’t pass it along?  So, without further ado, here is what I got from http://blog.nasm.org/fitness/


You may be familiar with sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium regarding needs for hydration, but these nutrients are also related to many other physiologic processes in the body. Nutrients—including micronutrients, major nutrients, and trace minerals—all play an important role in promoting total-body wellness. And staying healthy, strong and fit improves the overall quality of life, decreases stress and enhances athletic performance.

Many athletes are looking for a competitive edge regarding fitness and performance. While research does not conclusively show an ergogenic effect for specific nutrients, being deficient in any of them may hinder performance and potentially decrease overall health. Also of interest: It is debated in the research whether people with active lifestyles have increased needs for micronutrients. Intensity, duration, frequency and overall energy requirements also determine the needs of macro- and micronutrients. More research is needed to determine a conclusive answer on increased needs.

Though micronutrients, major nutrients, and trace minerals do not directly boost energy or allow improved athletic performance, they do unlock the properties of our macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate), which are necessary for all of our body’s physiological processes. You’ll see several specific examples in the chart that follows.

Incorporating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods will enable you to consume the major and trace minerals needed to allow your body to function at its best. These include the top 9 major and trace minerals: calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, selenium, iron, zinc, and chromium. If you are unable to consume a variety of foods, supplementation may be needed using a certified product.

The following information includes food suggestions and serving sizes, can help you ensure that your diet has a healthy mix of these top 9 nutrients.

Calcium (major)

Recommended Intake

RDA for adults: 1,000-1,300 mg/day

  • Female needs are at the upper end of this range.
  • Needs are not increased for active individuals except in hot or humid climates.

Physiological Role/Benefit

  • Building bones and teeth
  • Blood clotting
  • Muscle contractions
  • Transmission of nerve impulses
  • Activation of hormones and enzymes
  • Sustaining normal heart rate
  • Electrolyte balance

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • 8 oz milk (300 mg)
  • 6 oz yogurt (300 mg)
  • ½ C cooked turnip greens (100 mg)
  • ¼ C almonds (100 mg)
  • Medium sweet potato (50 mg)

Magnesium (major)

Recommended Intake: RDA for adults: 310-420 mg

Physiological Role/Benefitmineral foods

  • Male needs are at the upper end of this range.
  • Several metabolic functions required for the exercise
  • Macronutrient synthesis
  • Neuromuscular coordination
  • Transmission of nerve impulses
  • Regulating heartbeat
  • Immune system support
  • Electrolyte balance

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • 1 C brown rice (86 mg)
  • ½ C spinach (78 mg)
  • 23 almonds (77 mg)
  • ½ C lima beans (63 mg)
  • 21 hazelnuts (45 mg)
  • 8 oz milk (34 mg)

Sodium/Chloride (major)

Recommended Intake: For Healthy Adults RDA sodium: 2,300 mg; AI chloride: 2.3 g/day

Physiological Role/Benefit

For adults with high blood pressure: Upper limit for sodium: 1,500 mg

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood volume
  • Muscle contractions
  • Transmission of nerve impulses
  • Electrolyte balance
  • Digestive juices in the stomach

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • 1 t salt (2,300 mg)
  • Cured meats (read labels)

Naturally occurring in:

  • 1 C milk (107 mg)
  • 1 C beets (106 mg)
  • 1 stalk celery (32 mg)

Potassium (major)man shopping

Recommended Intake: AI for adults: 4.7g

  • Build proteins and muscle
  • Carbohydrate utilization
  • Control electrical activity of the heart
  • Control acid-base balance
  • Electrolyte balance

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • 1 medium banana (422 mg)
  • 1 medium baked potato with skin (926 mg)
  • 1 medium orange (237 mg)
  • ½ C spinach (420 mg)
  • 1 oz sunflower seeds (241 mg)

Selenium (trace)

Recommended Intake: RDA for adults: 55 mcg

Physiological Role/Benefit

  • Making antioxidant enzymes to prevent cell damage and improve recovery
  • Thyroid hormone metabolism

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • 6 Brazil nuts (543 mcg)
  • 3 oz tuna (92 mcg)
  • 3 oz shrimp (42 mcg)
  • 3 oz chicken (25 mcg)
  • ¼ C sunflower seed kernels (18.6 mcg)

Iron (trace)

Recommended Intake: RDA for adults: 8-18 mg

Physiological Role/Benefit

  • Female needs are at the upper end of this range.
  • Hemoglobin synthesis (anemia prevention)
  • Transfer oxygen from lungs to tissues and muscles
  • Cardiovascular performance
  • Metabolism
  • Cellular function

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

Heme sources are most absorbable from meat, seafood, and poultry. Plants and fortified foods are non-heme sources.

  • 3 oz oysters (8 mg)
  • 3 oz beef (1.6 mg)
  • 1 C white beans (8 mg)
  • ½ C lentils (3 mg)
  • ½ C spinach (3 mg)

Zinc (trace)

Recommended Intake: RDA for adults: 8-11 mg

Physiological Role/Benefit

  • Immune system support
  • Cell division
  • Cell growth
  • Wound healing
  • Carbohydrate breakdown

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • 6 medium cooked oysters (27-50 mg)
  • 3 oz pork (1.9-3.5 mg)
  • ½ C baked beans (0.9-2.9 mg)
  • 1 oz cashews (1.6 mg)

Chromium (trace)

Recommended Intake: AI for adults: 20-35 mcg

Physiological Role/Benefit

  • Carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism
  • Fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis
  • Insulin action
  • Glucose metabolism

Food (Amount of Nutrient)

  • ½ C broccoli (11 mcg)
  • 3 oz ham (10.4 mcg)
  • 1 English muffin (3.6 mcg)
  • 8 oz grape juice (7.5 mcg)

*Key: RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance, AI = Adequate Intake, mg = milligram, mcg = micrograms, g = grams, C = cups, t = teaspoons.


Rosenbloom, C. A. & Coleman, E.J. (Eds.) 2012. Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals (5th ed.). Chicago: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), National Agricultural Library. Accessed Dec 12, 2016. https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/food-composition/vitamins-and-minerals

NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information). Accessed Dec 12, 2016, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/


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