Despite being so crucial to our metabolism and overall physical and cognitive function, micronutrients are often neglected in people’s diets.
Getting adequate micronutrients in your diet can be complicated and challenging. Most people struggle to implement the diversity required in their food to fulfil their micronutrient needs, mainly due to complexity and time constraints. The lack of varied, high-quality micronutrient sources in our diets has resulted in a deficiency epidemic across the globe.
Your body is a complex arrangement of metabolic processes functioning in unison. Whether your goal is to optimise performance, or simply improve your health and wellbeing, having an adequate micronutrient intake is essential for success.
If your micronutrient intake is inadequate, your body will not function at a high level during exercise, as metabolic processes that produce energy will be compromised. Likewise, many processes that drive recovery and adaptation will be starved of the appropriate nutrients required to function.
Micronutrients are also essential for optimising structures in the body, as they are used for building and maintaining muscle tissue and bones. These structures are critical to our performance under load, whether it be endurance, speed, strength, or power. Other important biological components such as hormones, neurotransmitters, and blood cells are vital for peak physical function and rely heavily on adequate micronutrient intake.
Another factor to consider is micronutrients’ effect on ageing and cell repair. Dr Bruce Ames’s Triage theory suggests that when the body is deficient in a micronutrient, it will prioritise processes in the body required for short term survival. Proteins and enzymes involved in long term health, such as those needed for DNA protection and repair, will lose out on the allocation of nutrients. This can result in accelerated damage and ageing to cellular structures, providing a suboptimal environment for recovery and longevity .
Ideally, your diet should provide you with adequate levels of every essential micronutrient sourced from various foods in order for all metabolic processes to function at their best.