Carotenoids & Athletic Performance
Guardion Health Sciences
Using Lumega-Z to improve visual performance for athletic activities is an exceptional option. Nearly all types of athletes, from Little Leaguers to professionals, are interested in ways to improve their on-field performance. Good nutrition and nutritional supplements are a popular way to improve athletic performance, but most athletes tend to focus on supplements that improve speed, endurance, strength or alertness.
Many athletes don’t realize that certain nutritional supplements can also enhance ocular health — and great vision is critical to outstanding athletic performance in many sports. Taking the right nutritional supplements containing carotenoids can be highly beneficial for the visual skills needed to face down a 100-mile per hour fastball or sink a hole in one from hundreds of yards away.
How Do Carotenoids Affect Athletic Performance?
Carotenoids are pigments that give certain types of fruits and vegetables their colors. Carotenoids are often found in carrots, Brussels sprouts, corn, peas, pumpkin, spinach, tomatoes and winter squash. Common carotenoids include lycopene, lutein, beta-carotene and zeaxanthin.
Carotenoids have been frequently discussed in conversations about the prevention of macular degeneration. A growing body of evidence suggests these carotenoids also may help improve or maintain the vision needed for excellent athletic performance. This is seen in a few ways:
First, carotenoids protect cells from the danger of free radicals produced in the body during physical activity and from stress, inflammation and the sun’s UV rays. Free radicals can damage muscles and blood vessels, contribute to inflammation and interfere with the body’s ability to recover from the physical toll that sports and sports-related stresses take.
Also, carotenoids help to boost the macular pigment of the eye, which protects the macula, or the area of the retina responsible for fine detail, visual acuity and color vision. A healthy macula is critical to contrast sensitivity, reduced light sensitivity and glare recovery time. The macular pigment can help preserve the eye’s ability to reduce glare and recognize visual patterns. The faster the eye recognizes a pattern, the faster the body can react to the information, which is essential in sports.
Carotenoid-Based Medical Food for Athletes
For ocular nutrition, there are a number of options, including standard supplements, which can be purchased off the shelf, and medical foods, which are prescribed by a healthcare provider. Medical foods are a category of nutritional treatment that the FDA has specifically categorized.
The FDA states that a medical food is one that is “formulated to be consumed or administered enterally under the supervision of a physician and which is intended for the specific dietary management of a disease or condition for which distinctive nutritional requirements, based on recognized scientific principles, are established by medical evaluation.”
Excellent vision, especially detail vision from the center part of the retina, is crucial to the performance of any athlete. If you are an athlete, it is important to ensure you take the best, highest-quality product for your ocular nutrition, such as Lumega-Z. Lumega-Z is the only medical food designed to restore and enhance the macular pigment, which is the support system for the very center part of the retina responsible for detail vision.
It is very hard to eat and absorb the level of carotenoids needed to replenish the macular pigment. Although there are approximately 600 carotenoids in nature, we do not consume a lot of them in the average Western diet. And, even if we did get a lot of carotenoids in our food sources, our body’s ability to fully absorb them declines with age. Also, one of the most important carotenoids, called meso-zeaxanthin, is not often found in nature; we must convert it from lutein inside the eye. As we age, our bodies can no longer complete this conversion process naturally.
For these reasons, a medical food like Lumega-Z that contains all three critical eye carotenoids — lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin — and a full complement of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients, is essential to improve and maintain the ocular health and visual function needed to excel in athletics.
If you are considering enhancing your nutrition and vision with carotenoids, you should see your eye doctor. Your doctor can help advise you as to whether Lumega-Z is right for you.
For more information about Lumega-Z with carotenoids or to find a doctor near you that is prescribing Lumega-Z, please contact Guardion Health Sciences today.