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Synonyms: Calcium (other spelling)
Required for / function: bone metabolism, nervous system, blood coagulation, pH value regulation in the blood, activation of various enzyme systems, permeability of the cell walls, regulation of the heartbeat and blood pressure, alleviation of PMS, possibly effective cancer prevention
Deficiency symptoms: bone loss (osteoporosis), mood swings
Symptoms of overdose: kidney stones, stomach / intestinal problems, diarrhea, hypercalcaemia and disruption of the mineral balance
Dosage range according to GE / Dr. Colgan: 800 mg / 1000 mg
Natural occurrence: dairy products, fruit, nuts, vegetables and whole grain products, protein concentrates based on milk or whey protein
Additional information: Taken in high doses before heavy training sessions, increases the contraction force of the muscles
What is calcium
Calcium is the most common mineral found in the human body. About 1.2-1.5 kg (99%) are stored in the bones and teeth, which builds them up and strengthens them, while about 1% is of the greatest importance for the nerve and muscle cells. So it stimulates the release of acetylcholine, which enables muscle contractions. For this reason, powerlifters like to use high doses of calcium on heavy training days - the muscles can contract better and you benefit from a measurable gain in strength. Calcium can not only increase training performance, but also contribute to recovery, as it has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. It is not for nothing that many people drink a cup of warm milk just before going to bed. Not only does the tryptophan contained in it make it easier to fall asleep, calcium can also contribute to this. Athletes who trained two hours in the studio after a stressful day at work appreciate this effect.
Calcium should also not be underestimated during a diet. Lately there has been increasing evidence that athletes who consume more low-fat dairy products lose body fat more quickly than those who eat insufficient amounts of these foods. The minimum intake given during a diet is 1,200-1,400 mg.
A calcium deficiency manifests itself in bone loss, the so-called "osteoporosis". An attempt is made to compensate for a low calcium level in the blood by releasing calcium from the bones. The result: Bone weakness, in an emergency even deformation. Bones that lack calcium, tire faster and have an increased risk of breakage. Have you ever seen a martial arts expert kicking a baseball bat with the shin? For "normal people" an impossible task that would end in a broken bone. Due to the frequent training and special stresses the body stores more calcium over time on this one area in the shin, which makes this bone more resilient and harder and thus protects it from fractures. Martial arts experts who smash wooden plates or stones with bare fists feel the same way.
Ein Calciummangel äußert sich in Knochenschwund, der so genannten Osteoporose. Dabei wird ein niedriger Calciumspiegel im Blut mit einer Freigabe von Calcium aus den Knochen auszugleichen versucht. Die Folge: Knochenschwäche, im Ernstfall sogar Verformungen. Knochen, denen es an Calcium fehlt, ermüden schneller und weisen eine erhöhte Bruchgefahr auf. Hast Du schon einmal einen Martial Arts Experten gesehen, wie er mit dem Schienbein einen Baseballschläger durchtritt? Für Normalsterbliche eine unmögliche Aufgabe, die mit einem Knochenbruch enden würde. Durch das häufige Training und spezielle Beanspruchung lagert der Körper genau an dieser einen Fläche im Schienbein mit der Zeit mehr Calcium ein, was diesen Knochen widerstandsfähiger und härter macht und somit vor Brüchen schützt. Ähnlich ergeht es Martial Arts Experten, die mit bloßen Fäusten Holzplatten oder Steine zerschlagen.
Calcium side effects
Overdosing can manifest itself in kidney stones, gastrointestinal complaints, diarrhea, hypercalcaemia and a disruption of the mineral balance, since too much calcium impairs the utilization of iron, zinc, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium.
According to the DGE, the recommended daily intake is 800 mg, while Dr. Michael Colgan advises intensely exercising athletes to consume up to 1,000 mg daily. If you want to use calcium to increase your maximum strength in the short term, use 1,000-2,000 mg at most once or twice a week before intensive training with maximum heavy weights. Combine calcium intake with vitamin D, which is important for calcium absorption.
Calcium supplement makes sense
A supplementary intake with a calcium supplement is basically superfluous for bodybuilders who eat a lot of dairy products, considering that even one liter of milk contains more than the recommended daily dose - while athletes who only consume small amounts of these foods should think about a supplement. It is advisable to also supplement with magnesium in a ratio of 3: 4, i.e. 750 mg of magnesium should be taken with 1,000 mg of calcium in order to improve absorption and not bring the mineral balance out of balance.
Calcium is an important mineral that is responsible for strong bones, among other things. Calcium also plays an important role in blood clotting, muscle and nerve activities, the defense against inflammation and allergies and the functioning of the heart, lungs and kidneys. Calcium is one of the four most important electrolytes in the body. These include sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. All four are vital as they keep the body working properly.
At American Supps, we only carry high quality calcium food supplements such as the Garden of Life Plant Calcium.
A calcium deficiency always arises when the body does not receive enough calcium with food or when calcium does not take up properly or cannot be used. Other causes of a calcium deficiency can be hormonal or if there is a vitamin D deficiency. Calcium is primarily absorbed in the intestine, where vitamin D is used for absorption from the small intestine and incorporation into the bones.
Calcium deficiency symptoms
The symptoms of a calcium deficiency can be very diverse, as calcium is involved in many processes in the body.
- Brittle fingernails
- Skin and hair changes
- Heart and circulatory problems
- Muscle spasm and tremors
- Mental disorders
- Disorders in bone metabolism
- Dental diseases such as tooth decay or periodontal disease
Good natural sources of calcium are generally dairy products, fruits, nuts, vegetables and whole grains. But protein concentrates also contain rough narrow this mineral if they are made from milk or whey protein. If you supplement with a calcium preparation, you should know that vitamin D, lactose (milk sugar) and glucose improve absorption, while phosphate - which binds to calcium and is excreted unused with it -, fat, phytic acid (e.g. from Beans) and oxalic acid (e.g. from spinach or cocoa) hinder this. Optimal calcium donors would therefore be dairy products which, in addition to a large amount of calcium (milk contains an average of 120 mg per 100 ml), also contain vitamin D and lactose.
Milk and dairy products are among the most well-known calcium-rich foods, but they can also cause symptoms such as stomach cramps or diarrhea. 200 ml cow's milk provides approx. 240 mg calcium. Hard and semi-hard cheeses such as Parmesan or Emmentaler are particularly rich in calcium. A 30 g disc of Tilsiter provides approx. 250 mg calcium.
Plant foods also contain calcium. Green leafy vegetables such as kale, rocket or fennel are particularly rich in calcium, but so are herbs such as parsley or dill. In addition to healthy fats, nuts and seeds also offer calcium.