Role of micronutrients in sport and physical activity

Br Med Bull. 1999;55(3):683-90. doi: 10.1258/0007142991902556.


Many micronutrients play key roles in energy metabolism and, during strenuous physical activity, the rate of energy turnover in skeletal muscle may be increased up to 20-100 times the resting rate. Although an adequate vitamin and mineral status is essential for normal health, marginal deficiency states may only be apparent when the metabolic rate is high. Prolonged strenuous exercise performed on a regular basis may also result in increased losses from the body or in an increased rate of turnover, resulting in the need for an increased dietary intake. An increased food intake to meet energy requirements will increase dietary micronutrient intake, but athletes in hard training may need to pay particular attention to their intake of iron, calcium and the antioxidant vitamins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / administration & dosage
  • Calcium / physiology
  • Diet
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hemoglobin A / physiology
  • Humans
  • Iron / physiology
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / metabolism*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Physical Fitness
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Trace Elements / physiology


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Micronutrients
  • Trace Elements
  • Hemoglobin A
  • Iron
  • Oxygen
  • Calcium