Everything You Need To Know About Sports Nutrition
Sports nutrition is the basic foundation of athletic success. It is a well-designed plan for the supply of nutrients, food, proteins, and fluid to keep an athlete’s body hydrated and perform at peak levels.
The Sports Nutrition diet may vary from athlete to athlete, varying on the need of his/her body according to the sports activity they are performing. A well-derived Sports Nutrition plan helps an athlete achieve the desired results by providing the body with essential food and fluid supplies and keeping them hydrated and fueled.
Importance of Sports Nutrition
Consuming the right food is very important for an athlete and a person involved in any kind of sports. Proper food consumption is important as they play a vital role in the performance and energy-boosting for an individual.
People in activities like sports and athletics need to take more carbohydrates as they are the best source of instant energy. In contrast, those involved in bodybuilding requires to increase their protein intake to help in muscle building.
Sources of Sports Nutrition
The sources of sports nutrition vary according to the need of the athlete. These are available naturally as well as in the form of supplements.
These are the basic sources of energy for the body. Carbs intake can vary from person to person according to the activity they are performing, and their body needs. Carb intake can range from 45% to 65% of total food intake daily, depending on the body’s needs.
Types of Carbohydrates
There are two types of carbohydrates:
Starch as generally known or complex sugar is present in foods like grains like wheat and rice. In complex carbs, there are good and bad carbs as some contain more fiber and nutrients than others. People prefer complex carbs less as they go through processing, which removes there nutrients and fiber.
Sugars which give a sweet taste are simple sugars. These are also naturally occurring in fruits and vegetables. We can also add them to the food as in the form of brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup, honey, etc. Dieticians prefer them as they are rich in fiber hence good for the body.
These two types of carbs are the main source with different properties of their own, but the body uses them in the same manner.
These are present in every cell of the body and are essential in building and repairing the tissues. The body also use them to make enzymes, hormones, and various body blocks, bones, cartilage, skin, and blood.
They are crucial for persons in the bodybuilding field as they help them in muscle building and repairing the strained muscles and damaged tissue.
Some important protein sources are meat, fish, eggs, pulses, nuts, seeds, and soy products. Milk is also an important protein source, but those with lactose sensitivity should be careful with it.
Fats are an important and essential part of any diet plan as they help the body absorb the nutrients. Fat is also one of the best sources of energy. Fats are also an important part of the diet, but we should monitor the intake of fat as excessive intake of fat can lead to weight gaining and can increase the risk of health problems.
Types of Fats
- Saturated Fat. We find them in animal products like dairy products and meat. Such fat type can increase your LDL cholesterol level, which is bad for the body, and thus dieticians consider them harmful for the body.
- Unsaturated Fat is found in products like avocados, nuts, oily fish, and olives. These fats are considered good for your heart and can lower the LDL (Bad cholesterol levels) and increase the HDL cholesterol levels, which is good for the body.
Sportsmen, athletes, and bodybuilders use these products for boosting their performance, recovery, and endurance of the body. These are available in different forms ranging from protein, creatine, multivitamin, and various ergogenic foods.
Are Supplements ok to be used?
This is a question that commonly comes to mind when one wants to go for supplements. So, before one opts for supplements, they must know that their diet is balanced, suits their sports and needs, and healthy. If one feels the need even after it then they can use supplements in the guidance of a trained professional and dietician.
Types of Supplements
Commonly used supplements include the following types:
1. Whey Protein
It is a natural protein present in the milk, and contain little fat, carbohydrates, and lactose. It is considered a complete protein as it has all the essential amino acids.
These also contain Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’S), which are essential for the body and first ones used by body during intense training. These also help in repairing of tissues and in building lean muscle.
Whey protein’s other benefit is that they are easily digestible, thus providing the body with instant replenishment.
It’s a high-energy compound that helps to store and provide energy. This is produced within the body and can also be found in the meat and fish. Athletes take it to increase their muscle strength and train for longer periods.
Sports Nutrition Based on Need and Environment
These sports nutrition types can be obtained from plant-based sources, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and other source is milk. The issue with vegetarian protein is that there is not sufficient evidence to support their worth and additional supplements are needed with them.
High Altitude –
The need for athletes involved in sports relating to high altitude requires foods rich in iron to increase red blood cells’ capacity to carry oxygen. To protect athletes from high altitude sickness foods rich in antioxidants and protein are also essential.
Hot Environments –
Athletes training in areas with hot environments need to maintain their fluid and electrolyte balance. They need to intake foods rich in fluid and which help them in maintaining their body hydration levels.
Cold Environments –
Athletes training in areas with low temperatures are needed to maintain their body temperatures, and for that, they need to take proper balanced carbohydrates and caloric diet. Leaner athletes are at a higher risk of hypothermia.
Sports Nutrition Related Disorders
Many athletes are required to maintain lean bodies and low body weight and exhibit muscular development. The psychological pressure and physical stress can sometimes lead such athletes towards eating disorders.
Some common eating disorders are :
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Compulsive Exercise Disorder
Nutrition Deficiency Disorder
This is caused in athletes as to maintain body weight and performance they limit or stop the intake of some particular foods which are sometimes a source of essential nutrients and thus leading them to nutrition deficiency disorder.
Sports Nutrition is a part of an athlete’s life. So when you know all about it. Please let us know what you think of it in the comment box.
Read More: Tips To Cut Off Carbs From Your Diet