Sports nutrition and dietary supplements
Sport nutrition is essentially the study of the science behind food and how it can benefit or impair sporting performance and fitness.
The day-to-day diet and eating habits of individuals who frequently train or participate in sport is very important in terms of performance level and progression.Whether you are a professional or amateur athlete, if you wish to optimise your performance level and guarantee continuous improvement, a healthy and well-planned diet could help you to do so.
Sports nutrition doesn't have to be complicated. If you aren't interested in the details or the science of sports nutrition, but still want to get the most from your diet and fitness program, the following recommendations are for you.
- Eat a balanced diet each day
- Eat several hours before you workout
- Use appropriate dietary supplements thirty minutes before you workout
- Stay hydrated during your workout
- Stay hydratedafter your workout
- Eat appropriate after your workout
There is mounting evidence to the support the notion that regular exercise is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle, and that those who do lead active lifestyles stand a reduced risk of developing a range of health concerns, are less likely to get ill and generally live longer. However, actually mustering up the motivation to get active is very challenging for some.
The prevalence of obesity in the world has risen significantly over the past decade, prompting efforts from more governments to increase awareness about the importance of a balanced diet and staying physically active in order to maintain a healthy weight and optimum mental health.
Physical activity does not have to be vigorous and everyone and anyone from young children to pregnant women and the elderly can incorporate at least some form of exercise into their daily routine.
Whether you are just trying to get started at incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, or you are a body builder or a professional athlete, nutrition and hydration play a key role in physical activity and training, providing you with the fuel you need in order to carry out the exercise. If you are doing a lot of exercise or training each day then it goes without saying that your body will need more energy than it would if you were doing nothing. When you exercise the body must begin producing energy at a much faster rate than when it is resting. The heart will beat faster in order to pump blood more rapidly around the body, the lungs work harder, and your muscles will begin to contract. All of this will use up your stored energy at a faster rate than normal, and for this reason, individuals such as athletes who are not trying to lose weight will need to consume extra food each day so that what they eat and what they burn remains in balance. Everybody who do a lot of training should aim to increase portion sizes of carbohydrate rich foods like porridge, wholegrain pasta and brown rice, as carbohydrates will help to fuel your exercise regime.
Staying well hydrated whilst exercising is also extremely important. When the body’s water content falls below it’s normal level this can have an impact on performance. If you are exercising for longer than 30 minutes then you should be drinking fluid whilst doing it and ideally should be keeping fluid levels topped up throughout the day.
Eating and staying well hydrated are also essential to the training and exercise recovery process. Once individuals have completed a training session they should aim to have a snack which is rich in carbohydrates within at least 30 minutes as this will help to promote muscle repair and growth.
In order to ensure that your body is well prepared for exercise and training, understanding that different foods can provide different types of energy is important. It is also important to take into account the type of training and it’s intensity, as this will also be a factor when determining a suitable nutrition programme.
If you are interested in tailoring your nutrition to help you to maximise your training potential then a qualified nutritionist could help you to do this.
Supplements are used by athletes, bodybuilders and sports men and women to boost their strength, performance and recovery, and are available in numerous different forms ranging from multivitamins and minerals through to protein, creatine and various other ‘ergogenic’ aids which are intended to enhance performance.