The diet of a sportsman should not only nourish the cells of the body for proper development and maintenance, but should also cover the energy expenditure derived from the body's extra effort.
When we refer to sportsmen we are not only talking about elite athletes, but about everyone -young and old alike- who do some kind of sport.
When we do sports with a certain degree of intensity, our metabolism must adapt to the new situation. This means that the amount of nutrients we need changes significantly.
In general, if a sportsman follows a balanced diet in quantity and quality, it should be sufficient to cover all of the nutrients the body needs, i.e. the energy or calories, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals required to be strong and fit.
Sportsmen, or people who do sports, should consume foods rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin B12. Getting less zinc than the body needs, for example, could have a negative effect as it is believed that many enzymes -substances that make our bodies work properly- depend on zinc to function, and if there is not enough zinc these enzymes cannot adequately regulate the body's energy expenditure while doing sports. This leads to fatigue and decreased performance.
If we eat foods with less zinc than is recommended by nutritional experts, our cell breathing mechanism will not work properly, which can cause our heart to not function as well during physical exercise.
A proper diet and nutrition are essential for anyone who does physical exercise or sports, as they must receive all of the nutrients required by the body for proper development and maintenance, as well as an additional amount to cover the extra expenditure from doing physical exercise. We must therefore ensure that the food we eat throughout the day covers the recommended daily intake of these nutrients.
In order to enhance physical performance and avoid fatigue, our diet must include foods with a high nutritional level and rich in zinc. Serrano ham provides 2.3 mg of zinc per 100g of product. Including Serrano ham in our diet covers 15.33% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of zinc for adults.