What supplements do Olympic weightlifters use?

Calcium, Iron and Zinc

Vitamins and minerals also help the body manage your energy levels, how well your immune system works and how efficiently your muscles contract. Olympic-level athletes, such as elite weightlifters, use more energy and place their bodies under more stress when they train than many of the rest of us, and there are three essential minerals that can help them manage that: calcium, iron and zinc. Let's look at calcium's benefits first.

Your body needs calcium to grow strong bones and to maintain that strength and health. It also plays an important role in heart health and blood clotting, as well as how well your nerves communicate. Calcium boosts bone density (which reduces the risk of bone fractures).

Iron is an essential mineral and one of the most common nutritional deficiencies among athletes [source: U.S. Olympic Committee]. Iron (and the B-vitamins B12 and folate) is essential for making healthy red blood cells. It also plays an important role in how your body gets oxygen from your lungs to all its cells and in energy production.

Of those three essential minerals mentioned above, that leaves us with zinc. Zinc deficiency may lead to a weakened immune system, but what's special about zinc and elite athletes is that if their bodies don't have enough of the mineral, they can't maintain adequate levels of testosterone in the blood. Without the right level of testosterone, the body can't maintain adequate muscle mass and muscle strength.

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