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Understanding Minerals

Information

Similar to vitamins, minerals also assist in many body processes and are crucial in muscle contractions, energy expenditure and immune function. Elite athletes have an increased need for both macro and micro-minerals because of the higher stress that is placed on the body during training. The following is a list of all of the minerals, their functions and food sources.

Macrominerals

 Mineral

Function in Body

Food Sources

Calcium

Aids in bone strength and structure, acid-base balance, muscle function

Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, calcium fortified foods/beverages

Phosphorus

Aids in bone strength and structure, acid-base balance, B-vitamin function

High protein foods, whole grains, carbonated drinks

Magnesium

Aids in protein synthesis, glucose metabolism, bone structure, muscle contraction

Milk and milk products, meat, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, fruit

Sodium

Aids in water balance, acid-base balance, muscle contraction

Processed and canned foods, cheese, soy sauce, (almost everything)

Chloride

Aids in water balance

Table salt

Potassium

Aids in water balance, glucose delivery to cells

Citrus fruits, potatoes, vegetables, milk, meat, fish, bananas

Microminerals

Mineral

Function in Body

Food Sources

Iron

Aids in oxygen delivery, essential for aerobic metabolism

Meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, whole grains, vegetables, nuts

Iodine

Aids in metabolism control by forming thyroid hormone

Iodized salt and seafood

Selenium

Antioxidant

Meat, fish, seafood, whole grains, nuts

Copper

Aids in iron transportation

Meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, nuts, whole grains, bananas

Manganese

Aids in energy metabolism, fat synthesis, bone structure

Whole grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables, bananas

Zinc

Aids in energy metabolism, protein synthesis, immune function

Meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, whole grains, vegetables, nuts

Chromium

Aids in glucose control

Brewer's yeast, mushrooms, whole grains, nuts, legumes, cheese

Courtesy of the United States Olympic Committee