Not everyone agrees that you can get everything you need to build muscle before, during and after military training simply by eating regular food. But most people would think that you lost your mind if you suggested that sugar is a great way to build muscle.
But did you know that an early study revealed that sugar in its raw, natural state contains chromium?
Yes…chromium! I know that you’ve heard of the “magic” of chromium picolinate to build lean muscle mass. And while there is some evidence that it works, the question is whether or not you should be taking a dietary supplement that contains chromium to give you the best results when you’re training for a military sport, getting ready for bootcamp, or just want to stay fit.
The Role of Chromium for your Military Training and Health
So let’s talk about that sugar thing and why you can’t always get what you need nutritionally from the food you eat. Just like many of the vitamins and minerals included in the best dietary supplements, chromium is naturally found in the foods you consume on a daily basis like meat, fish, poultry and whole grains.
The problem is that when foods, like sugar, are processed, the chromium and other nutrients are stripped away. It may look “pretty” on the table, but processed sugar does nothing for your muscles.
And, just like sugar, much of the food we eat every day is processed. Because of that, vitamins for sport and daily life are taken to replace what has been removed…to supplement your diet nutritionally.
Researchers still don’t know exactly the role of chromium in your body, but it does have a positive effect on insulin regulation. At least one study reveals that low levels of chromium resulted in low insulin performance.
And, while chromium deficiency is rare, people who are more active and involved in strength and endurance training are more likely to have lower amounts than needed. You are also at risk of a deficiency if you’re not getting enough to begin with and you are engaged in physiological stress, physical trauma and extreme exercise like what is expected of you during military bootcamp training.
That’s the science, but what about results? If you’re taking vitamins for your military sport and endurance activities you’ll appreciate its role in the metabolism of fats, carbs, and protein.
Which Chromium is Best?
Since you’re active, and probably exposed to a little stress and trauma in the military, you’re next question should be whether or not one form of chromium is better than another.
Most forms of dietary chromium are combined with another element so they can be readily absorbed by the body. Most often you will see it in the form of chromium picolinate.
Now, you can get chromium from foods (the less processing and heat exposure the better). Look for foods that contain ascorbic acid, that water-soluble C Vitamin, which promotes chromium absorption such as:
- Red and Green Bell Peppers
- Tomato Juice
On the other side of the scale, some foods contain phytates which bind to the chromium and can inhibit the mineral from transport across the intestinal tract and stop absorption. These foods are healthy and contain other things your body needs so they are not “bad” or something you should avoid. You just need to be aware that consuming them may limit the trace minerals absorbed by your body:
Some medicines may also interfere with chromium absorption:
- Medicines that alter stomach acidity such as antacids, corticosteroids, and proton pump inhibitors
- Beta-blockers which are normally used to treat conditions such as abnormal heart rhythm, high blood pressure, tremors and migraines
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed for thing such as arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis and can be found in OTC pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, and prioxicam.
- Prostaglandin inhibitors
But will Chromium Help with Lean Muscle Mass, Weight Loss or Fat Reduction?
A lot has been advertised about chromium picolinate and its benefits for gaining lean muscle mass, weight loss and fat reduction. Some studies did suggest a connection; however, there were other that suggested the results were not as fabulous as one would hope.
So what should you believe when you’re taking vitamins for military sports and training?
Well, you’re smart enough to know that there is no “cure in a bottle”, right? Achieving longevity and a quality of life that includes keeping your body and mind fit for performance comes from dedication, consistent effort, eating the right foods, and taking the best mix of dietary supplements.
Since there are several reasons why different people would experience different results, you just need to try it out. However, better results seem to come to those that take chromium picolinate in combination with other supplements such as L-Carnitine.
Of course, our team is aware of the best combination. Getting the proper vitamins for sport and military life is all about getting the right combination of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals and delivering them in the right combination at the right time. This balance will result in optimal performance. The best dietary supplements can help achieve that balance.
Did you know how important diet and nutritional fortification is to your Military Training Success?
Discover how science can give you the competitive edge…just when you need it most. Are you taking “generic” Dietary Supplements? Or are you fueling your body with the best there is?
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