Why do you need sports nutrition?
Whether you are 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 proper nutrition can result in injury prevention, better performance, and recovery.
According to Thomas Edison, “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human body with drugs, but will prevent and cure diseases 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 food diary, to a comprehensive food and nutrition 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 athletes’ dietary program. We will discuss these things in detail.
The importance of sports nutrition
Eating balanced foods and drinks is very important to all of us. However, people who are actively involved in sport on a routine basis should know that it can affect their performance as well. For example, athletes may require more calories compared to average people.
Athletes, or even people who decide to start exercising on a daily basis, should not let a good nutrition plan fall on their priority list.
Sports performance and energy
Proteins, carbohydrates, and fats provide our bodies with fuel to maintain energy. Additionally, carbohydrates are a primary fuel used by our working 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 to our body that can be used as an energy source, especially if your exercise sessions last more than an hour. These fats also provide the building blocks for hormones, as well as the formation of cell walls.
Proteins can be used as an energy source and are essential for building new muscle tissue. People who participate in resistance training, their 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 fat, calorie, or protein intake can have a negative impact on your performance. Meanwhile, it can also severely harm your body.
Some specific and useful 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 playing sports. Inadequate fluid intake can lead to dehydration. It also affects performance and could also be dangerous to health.
Although dehydration can occur in any activity, it is very common when exercising in hot, humid conditions. The perfect thing for rehydration is water, but the use of sports drinks with electrolytes is recommended, for those who do physical activity for more than an hour.
After the event
We strongly recommend that you do not neglect 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 your plan in your game. No matter what the outcome is, it should be your priority.
Footballers, casual runners, athletes, and others generally do not consume enough fluids when participating in different events or workouts. Therefore, it is very important to restore balance after each event. Water is perfect for rehydration.
How Can Sports Nutrition Professionals Help?
The main goal 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 are training for professional events or exercising casually, sports nutrition is very important for performance.
This 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 your day-to-day habits, lifestyle, supplements, and whether you are taking any medications. Nutrition professionals must also support you and be able to analyze it with your short-term and long-term goals.
The 2 key forms of carbohydrates are, 1. Starch or complex, and 2. Simple sugars.
Complex carbohydrates, also known as starches, include grains like pasta, rice, and bread. Like simple sugars, some complex carbohydrates are better than others. Processed refined grains like white flour and white rice are less favorable because fiber and nutrients are removed.
Rather, nutritionists recommend that, whenever possible, people opt for unrefined grains that are still packed with minerals, fiber, and vitamins.
Whereas, 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 that we eat are used by our bodies in the same way, it is strongly recommended to obtain simple sugars from foods that are rich in sugars naturally 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 in processed foods like French fries, meat, and dairy products. This type of fat is not considered healthy for the human heart and is believed to increase levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
Avocados, nuts, oily fish, and olives are rich in unsaturated fats. These fats are considered healthy for our heart 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 tissues. Proteins are also used to make hormones, enzymes, and a number of additional body chemicals. In addition, proteins are essential to form 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, athletes and athletes use supplements to enhance 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 appropriate to your sport, before opting to take any form of supplement. It is also recommended to consult a registered dietitian or registered sports dietitian beforehand if you have decided to take additional nutrients in supplemental form. These experts can evaluate 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 available naturally in meat and fish. It can also be taken in the form of supplements.
To increase muscle strength, athletes and athletes use creatine as a dietary supplement. Its goal is to increase performance during frequent high intensity exercise and also to help you train 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 harboring the perfect combination of amino acids, this protein also contains branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are the first to be used during intense training. Whey provides our bodies 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 very 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 opt for energy drinks, especially people doing endurance events like long-distance running.
Several energy drinks consist of sodium and other electrolytes that stimulate the drink and help us to stimulate thirst. They also improve our body’s ability to retain water. In addition, carbohydrates are contained in many energy drinks and can provide us with extra energy that may be necessary 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 diet plans are advised to consult specialists.