Profuse Perspiration Can Affect Bones
You know you should drink extra water when exercising on hot summer days. What you probably didn't bank on is the need for extra calcium. Sweating buckets during exercise helps your body regulate its internal temperature while ridding your system of toxins and excess sodium. But sodium is just one of the electrolytes lost during profuse perspiration. Calcium is another.
Drafting college basketball players as his test subjects, a University of Tennessee professor analyzed the amount of calcium lost during training sessions. By literally squeezing sweat from the athletes' jerseys, Robert Klesges, Ph.D., found an average calcium loss of nearly 250mg per practice (a significant drain on the recommended intake of 1,000-1,200mg/day). The consequence of such excessive calcium exudation was an average loss of over 6% of bone mineral density (BMD) over the course of just one basketball season! When you consider that nearly half of Americans are already calcium-deficient, such depletion could pose a particular threat to those engaged in high-impact sports.
The irony is that exercise--particularly weight-bearing activities like strength training--is crucial to preserving bone density as we age. So, don't take this as an excuse to turn into a couch potato, just keep an eye on your calcium consumption. While nonfat dairy provides an easily accessible (and easily absorbed) calcium source, nondairy sources include soy, collard greens, kale, and arugula. Our featured recipe, "Asian-Style Wilted Kale," provides 259mg of calcium per serving (a full quarter of your daily needs!). Learn about other bone-healthy nutrients in the DNN's "Beyond Calcium."
Bonus: Stop blaming breakouts on workouts. Stanford researchers debunked the myth linking acne to exercise-induced perspiration. Your skin--like every other organ in your body--will benefit from both a healthy sweat and a healthy diet.