The Importance of Good Nutrition and Recognizing Poor Nutrition in Clients

As an NCCPT trainer, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Abs are made in the kitchen”. And, as a trainer, you know how true that statement is. Nutrition not only plays a major factor in overall fitness, but overall wellness as well. Although a donut here and there or straying from that diet every once in a while won’t generally cause severe malnutrition and all fitness efforts to be derailed, if your clients aren’t getting proper, balanced nutrition, the effects could be hindering th­eir fitness efforts and their quality of life.

Here are some of the most common nutrient deficiencies that affect people today and the symptoms that you can watch out for.

Iron. Cracks at the corners of the mouth, dizziness, brittle nails, shortness of breath, and fatigue are symptoms that may indicate an iron deficiency.

Zinc. Acne, cracked and dry skin, a weakened immune system, and thinning hair are symptoms that may indicate a deficiency of zinc.

B-Vitamins. Tingling or numbness in the hands and feet, canker sores, depression, irritability, insomnia, warped finger and toenails, and hair loss are symptoms of a possible B-vitamin deficiency.

Essential fatty acids. Dry skin, small bumps on the skin, dry eyes, and distractibility are some of the symptoms that may indicate an essential fatty acid deficiency.

Magnesium. Weak muscles, muscle spasms, lethargy, irritability, and impaired memory are symptoms that may indicate a deficiency in magnesium.
Calcium. Dry skin, brittle nails, course hair, irritability, fatigue, and muscle weakness are some of the symptoms that may indicate a calcium deficiency.

Potassium. Weakness, tiredness, arm or leg muscle cramps, and constipation are symptoms of a possible deficiency in potassium.

Although it may not seem like a big deal, a nutrient deficiency can cause some major problems and negatively impact your clients’ fitness experience.

If you notice these or any other signs of a potential nutrient deficiency in one or more of your clients, let them know and help them learn what it means and what they can do. Work with them to create a well-balanced nutrition plan and, if necessary, refer them to their primary care provider to ensure that they have everything their body needs.