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Micronutrients: Minerals Case Study

3 pages
627 words
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Case study
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In the given case study, it is notable that Annes cramping, nausea, and diarrhea began upon the intake of the new sports beverage. It explicitly implies that the contents of the drink triggered the reactions as mentioned earlier. It is indicated that she consumed 100 oz of the drink containing calories, carbohydrates, sodium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Among these are vital minerals such as sodium, calcium, and magnesium which are essential in the prevention of muscle cramps and providing the electrolytes that are lost in sweat, among others (Chiras, 2012). Also, the case indicates that Anne resorted to drinking water when the cramping, nausea, and diarrhea intensified. It is, therefore, essential to study the minerals therein to understand the likely cause of her cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting during the race. Additionally, some recommendations will be offered to decrease the chances of a similar occurrence in the future.

Anne consumed approximately 375 mg of magnesium from the drink. This level qualifies as toxic as it surpasses the 350 mg per day supplementation recommendation (Fink, Burgoon, Mikesky, & Fink, 2010). As such, Anne is likely to have suffered magnesium toxicity; a condition that is characterized by nausea and diarrhea. Further, Anne consumed a relatively large quantity of calcium (approximately six hundred grams) in a short duration. The body is unable to adequately absorb such high levels of calcium inherently leading to the said muscle cramps. Annes sodium intake is within the adequate intake limits (1500 mg per day). However, since she was involved in vigorous activities, she most likely suffered sodium deficiency primarily due to excessive sweat loss. The short-term sodium deficiency was enhanced further by the fact that she had diarrhea hence suffered dehydration (Fink et al., 2017). The low sodium intake manifested itself through the cramping and nausea.

In future races, Anne should steer clear off drinks whose magnesium levels exceed 350 mg a day to prevent a case of magnesium toxicity. Additionally, she should moderate her calcium intake and ensure that she spreads out its consumption throughout the day. It is an effort that allows the body to absorb this mineral adequately. It is assumed that as soon as Anne ceased taking the new sports beverage and resorted to water, its (sports beverage) effects were mitigated since she was hydrated. Anne should drink plenty of water during the exercise since her body suffers dehydration due to vigorous activity. Hydration prevents a case of short-term sodium deficiency. It is advisable to stay away from sodium supplements in totality since the interaction of calcium and other nutrients may alter the absorption of other equally relevant nutrients such as zinc (Fink et al., 2017). Also, since sodium supplements are not required, Anne should focus more on dietary sources of sodium such as pork and whole wheat bread as these contain adequate amounts of sodium so sustain her throughout the exercise. Notably, sodium and potassium were in equal servings as it should. It is recommended that if she picks a different drink, it should contain similar amounts of sodium and potassium.

Conclusively, nausea and diarrhea are some of the symptoms of magnesium toxicity. It implies that the beverage therein contained unacceptable levels of magnesium. Additionally, the intake of large quantities of calcium within a short time results in muscle cramps as is Annes case. Naturally, athletes are prone to dehydration since they are involved in vigorous physical activities. This dehydration is a possible cause of short-term sodium deficiency resultantly leading to cramping and nausea. Anne is advised to regulate her magnesium and calcium intake as well as stay hydrated during any exercises.



Chiras, D. D. (2012). Human biology. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Fink, H. H., Burgoon, L. A., Mikesky, A. E., & Fink, H. H. (2010). Sports nutrition: Workbook and assessments. Sudbury, Mass: Jones and Bartlett.


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