Worried about your teenager’s diet? Here is a bit of information for you. A new study has found that due to lack of certain nutrients in their diet adolescence have shown a lower standard of physical health. Because nutrition and fitness are intertwined these two findings could be related.
As an example, iron forms part of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen to muscles, and antioxidants such as vitamin C aid in rebuilding damage after intense training. Luis Gracia-Marco of the University of Zaragoza, Spain, and colleagues, have found that adolescents’ blood levels of various micronutrients are correlated with how well they performed in certain physical fitness tests. Part of this study, which involved thousands of volunteers aged between 12.5 and 17.5 years in cities scattered across Europe, gathered nutrition and physical fitness data.
Researchers found that blood levels of certain micronutrients were closely connected with the volunteers’ performance in physical fitness tests. For cardiorespiratory fitness, concentrations of haemoglobin, retinol, and vitamin C in males and beta-carotene and vitamin D in females was linked with VO2max (peak oxygen uptake). For muscular fitness, concentrations of haemoglobin, beta-carotene, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol in males and beta-carotene and vitamin D in females was associated with performing better on the standing long jump test.