Sports Nutrition and Performance of Athletes is the study and practice of Nutrition and Diet which is important for Athletes. Sports Nutrition provides a source of energy to the athlete, required to perform the activity at the athletes peak. The food we eat has an impact on our strength, training, performance, recovery, and injury prevention.
Whether you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, nutrition is fundamental to your athletic performance. You have to start somewhere, what about now?
Nutrition Is An Important Part Of Any Sports Training:
- Strength sports (weight lifting and bodybuilding)
- Endurance sports (cycling, running, swimming, rowing)
Sports Nutrition Focus
Sports Nutrition focuses its studies on the type, as well as the quantity of food and fluids taken by an athlete. To help improve your performance and weight control, which is an important factor in some sports like Gymnastics.
Here are the nutrients that your body needs :
- Organic substances that include Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, your immune system becomes weak and your risk of illness goes up. Because food is the body’s fuel, proper nutrition leads to better performance. Provide your body with the right nutrients, and you’ll be rewarded with higher energy, more muscle, and faster recovery.
Sport Nutrition professionals offer a range of services to support your health and sporting goals. This ranges from a daily food diary, to a comprehensive food and nutrition plan for training, supplements, and competitions.
How A Sports Nutrition Professional Can Help You
The aim of a Sports Nutritionist or Adviser is to create a Nutrition plan for an individual’s training needs to:
- Increase energy levels
- Promote good health
- Help manage weight
- Improve concentration
- Develop body composition and growth
- Enhance recovery
- Assess and analyse, to support you with your long and short-term goals
Help, But No Guarantees
Nutrition for Sport can help but is not everything. Athletes sometimes ascribe magical powers to nutrition, believing that if they just “get it right”, performance will zoom and fitness will be transformed.
Good nutrition can help performance. Poor nutrition can worsen performance. There is no guarantee, either way. Many athletic health gurus have died early.(*)
Just as athletes sometimes have unrealistic expectations about the importance of nutrition, so does the general population. Eating healthily or “healthy foods” does not result in immortality. It is possible to drink heavily, be morbidly obese and yet live a long (albeit unhealthy and setentiary) life.
It is all about risk and odds. Healthy Sports nutrition does lower the risk of cancer, heart diseases, and a host of other diseases. Furthermore, for the years we do have, it helps many of us live a fuller, happier life.
(*)“I used special diets, vegetarian diets with lots of vitamins. Then I’d see the East Germans gorging themselves on greasy French fries and Wiener Schnitzel then go out on the track and set world records. It makes you wonder about diet” – Mark Gorski – Olympic Gold Medallist, Cycling
General Sports Nutrition Key Points
- Eat a variety of whole, unprocessed foods in moderation
- Eat at least half the “Food Plate” servings of fruits and vegetables daily
- Very important: Control your weight
- Drinks Water
- Limit OR avoid alcohol
- Avoid smoking
- Eat a diet relatively high in fiber
- Eat fewer simple sugars – sweets or table sugar
- Avoid junk food
- Avoid high-fat – high cholesterol foods
- Avoid salty foods (unless you will be sweating quarts)
- Rely on food, not pills
- Consider a multivitamin/mineral supplements (depending on country)
- look into approved supplements
- Get adequate sleep – 8 hours
- “There are no absolute rules. Very different diets consumed by different people may have equal nutritional value and results in good nutrition.
- Occasional dietary indiscretions are not important”(**)
(**)Dr. Arnie Baker (MD) – Licensed USCF coach (he has coached racers to several Olympic Games)
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