All serious sportsmen exhibit incredible stamina and endurance despite high heat and vigorous physical strain. Many will attribute this to practice and training. Some would even say that genes play a large part. But nothing can be closer to the fact that sports nutrition plays a vital part in an athlete’s performance and endurance.
Sports Nutrition: What Is It?
This is a science that studies diet and nutrition in relation to sports activity. It focuses on the quality and type of nutrients ingested by the athlete. This includes vitamins, supplements, and minerals that can further enhance one’s athletic performance.
It is not just a simple serving of a meal rich in nutrients. An athlete can be served with a protein-rich meal but then, lacks enough carbohydrates that are needed by the body for energy.
In sports nutrition, a dietician, nutritionist, physician, strength trainer, and coach can be involved. It is actually a serious part of preparation for a game or competition.
Nutrition for Performance
Most sports associations and organizations are in a debate regarding the long-term intake of supplements (apart from vitamins and minerals). But nutrition for performance is an area that all groups have agreed on. They maintain that a good choice of foods and fluids and supplements should always be put in use. This also includes the correct timing as to when to consume the food, supplements, and drinks. The general rule is that the nutrients consumed should be enough to enhance vitality and stamina during sports performance. The amount of nutrients should also make way for tissue repair and recovery after a vigorous performance. All these should be balanced with the athlete’s body weight and sports requirements.
Hydration is also extremely important in nutrition for performance. This should be a balance of good hydration before and after the competition or performance. Overhydration is something that sports nutritionists would want to avoid as well.
Supplements are not prescribed for performance. This is because the diets and the meals take care of that. Usually, supplements are given to athletes who have to lose some pounds to make weight.
Nutrition for Endurance
A special part of nutrition for performance is a good mash-up of endurance foods along with performance-enhancing nutrients. An athlete should have a diet that promotes endurance. There is a set of pre-meals that are carefully selected and prepared.
The basic rule for endurance nutrition is a good supply of carbohydrates. This is the source of steady energy for the athlete. When nutritionists prepare the athlete’s diet, carbohydrates are not just lumped into the meal. There should be a special balance of carbohydrates that will be stored as fats and that will be used up at once. There should be enough to prevent the body from using protein as source of energy. In sports nutrition, simple and complex carbohydrates are important, as well as the timing of the diet and the meal.
Sports Nutrition: Is It Really Important?
There are some who question this field of science. Some regard this as an unnecessary expense to an athlete’s sports budgetary allowance. Some think that this is essential. Just remember that all athletes who excel in their respective fields of sports today are backed by an excellent sports nutrition regimen. But then, historically speaking, there are also many who have excelled even without serious sports nutrition.
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