Why do you need sports nutrition?
Whether you’re exercising to improve your health, a professional athlete, or a bodybuilder, sports nutrition plays a vital role in optimizing the beneficial effects of physical activity. Choosing the right nutrition can result in injury prevention, better performance and recovery.
According to Thomas Edison, “The physician of the future will no longer treat the human structure with drugs, but will prevent and cure disease with nutrition.”
To support your goals and your health, different nutrition professionals offer a number of services. In addition, this nutrition can range from a daily food diary, to a complete nutrition and food plan for competitions and training.
Here we will explore the importance of sports nutrition and how a sports nutritionist can support our training regimen. In addition, they covered supplements and nutrients that are frequently included in the dietary program of athletes. We will discuss these things in detail.
The importance of sports nutrition
Consuming balanced food and drinks is very important for all of us. However, people who are actively involved in sports on a routine basis should be aware that it can also affect their performance. For example, athletes may require more calories than the average person.
Those who are athletes, or even people who decide to start exercising daily, should not let a good eating plan fall on their list of priorities.
sports performance and energy
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats provide our body with fuel to maintain energy. Furthermore, carbohydrates are a main fuel used by our active muscles. Adequate intake is necessary to prevent muscle fatigue. It is recommended to control the intake of fats, but not to eliminate them completely from the diet.
Fats provide fatty acids in our body that can be used as a source of energy, especially if your exercise sessions last more than an hour. These fats also provide the building blocks for hormones as well as for the formation of cell walls.
Proteins can be used as a source of energy and are essential for building new muscle tissue. People who participate in resistance training, your body will require additional protein.
Eating right is very important to maintaining a healthy weight. So if you’re trying to lose weight, strictly reducing your intake of fat, calories, or protein can have a negative impact on your performance. Meanwhile, it can also severely damage your body.
Some specific and helpful foods that should be part of the diet for optimal sports nutrition include:
Lean protein sources and low-fat dairy products
Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance, especially when participating in any sport. Inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration. It also affects performance and could also be dangerous to health.
Although dehydration can occur with any activity, it is most common when exercising in hot, humid conditions. The perfect thing for rehydration is water, but the use of isotonic drinks with electrolytes is recommended for those who perform physical activity for more than an hour.
After the event
You are strongly advised to avoid neglecting your nutritional needs, if you have had to walk the last half mile of your run due to fatigue or even things have not gone according to plan in your game. No matter what the outcome is, it should be your priority.
Soccer players, casual runners, athletes, and others often do not consume enough fluids when participating in different events or training. Therefore, it is very important to restore balance after each event. Water is perfect for rehydration.
How can sports nutrition professionals help?
The main objective of a dietitian or sports nutritionist is to create a nutrition plan for the training needs of different clients. The plans will incorporate hydration and nutrition. It doesn’t matter if you’re training for professional events or casually working out, sports nutrition is very integral to performance.
Such a strategy can also help:
promote good health
Increase energy levels
It helps control weight
Develop growth and body composition.
To create an effective nutrition strategy, sports nutrition professionals should always evaluate not only your diet and training, but also daily habits, lifestyle, supplements, and if you are taking any medications. Nutrition professionals must also support you and be able to analyze you with your short and long term goals.
The 2 key forms of carbohydrates are, 1. Starchy or complex, and 2. Simple sugars.
Complex carbohydrates, also known as starches, include grains like pasta, rice, and bread. Just like simple sugars, some complex carbohydrates are better than others. Processed refined grains like white flour and white rice are less favorable because the fiber and nutrients are removed.
Rather, nutritionists recommend that, when possible, people opt for unrefined grains that are still packed with minerals, fiber, and vitamins.
While simple sugars can be found in refined products and provide a sweet taste. These are found naturally in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.
We can also add them to our food using honey, white or brown sugar, maple syrup and molasses, etc. Although all types of sugars we eat are used by our bodies in the same way, it is strongly recommended that you obtain simple sugars from foods that are naturally high in sugars because such foods also contain important nutrients and fiber.
It is an essential component of any diet because it is a great source of energy and helps our body absorb nutrients.
Although fats are very important, we must control the amount of intake. Using too much fat could lead to excessive weight gain and an increased risk of serious health problems.
Saturated fats can be easily found in different animal products, as well as processed foods like potato chips, meat, and dairy products. This type of fat is considered unhealthy for the human heart and is believed to raise bad cholesterol (LDL) levels.
Avocados, nuts, oily fish and olives are rich in unsaturated fats. These fats are considered healthy for our hearts and can work to raise levels of good cholesterol (HDL) and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
Every cell in our body contains it and for this reason protein is important to help repair and build tissue. Proteins are also used to make hormones, enzymes, and a number of other body chemicals. In addition, proteins are very important in building the building blocks of bones, blood, cartilage, skin, and muscles.
Some of the most common protein foods include fish, meat, eggs, nuts, soy products, seeds, and legumes.
Different bodybuilders, sportsmen and athletes use supplements to boost their performance, recovery and strength. Supplements are available in various forms ranging from minerals and multivitamins to creatine, protein and many other ‘ergogenic’ aids.
It is recommended to ensure that your diet is balanced, healthy and suits your sport, before opting to take any form of supplement. It is also recommended that you consult a registered nutritionist or accredited sports dietitian beforehand if you have decided to take additional nutrients in supplement form. These experts can assess your suitability for a particular supplement.
Some common sports supplements include the following:
It is a high-energy compound that helps provide and store energy. It is produced within our body and is naturally available in meat and fish. It can also be taken in the form of supplements.
To increase muscle strength, sportsmen and athletes use creatine as a dietary supplement. Its goal is to increase performance during frequent high-intensity exercise and also help you train for longer.
A natural protein that is naturally present in milk and contains very little carbohydrate, lactose, or fat. It is considered a naturally complete protein, which means that whey is made up of all the essential amino acids that are required in our average daily diet.
In addition to housing the perfect combination of amino acids, this protein also contains branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are the first to be used during intense training. Whey provides our body with these amino acids, and in turn, they help rebuild and repair lean muscle tissue.
Whey protein is extremely easy to digest so it can provide instant nutrition to our muscles and can be absorbed quickly.
It is extremely important to stay well hydrated during training and exercise. Even a small amount of dehydration could be detrimental to your performance levels. Although drinking water is considered a good way to stay hydrated during exercise. Still, some bodybuilders and athletes turn to energy drinks, especially people who do endurance events like long-distance running.
Several energy drinks contain sodium and other electrolytes that encourage drinking and help stimulate thirst. They also improve our body’s ability to retain water. In addition, the carbohydrates contained in many energy drinks can provide us with extra energy that may be needed in the later stages of training.
This article is reviewed by an experienced dietitian and is provided for general information purposes only. People who have problems with their dietary plans are advised to consult specialists.