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  • Dr. Mark Freund

Improving Sports Performance with Nutrition

improving sports performance with nutrition at home

Recent research on sports nutrition shows that what you eat is just as important as when you eat”. Maintaining good health through good nutrition with the right diet, vitamins, and supplements is essential for everyone, whether you are a professional athlete, a sports player, or someone who regularly engages in sporting activities. For these types of activities, we need energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients, backed with a good understanding of what foods should be consumed during workouts and how they can improve our ability to cope with certain workouts.

The approach of functional medicine to sports nutrition has moved traditional sports nutrition from a focus on protein, carbohydrate, and fat consumption to a more integrated approach to improving athletic performance. Sports nutrition now focuses more on using nutritional strategies to modulate training-induced muscle adaptation. Read on to learn more about sports nutrition and its role in improving athletic performance.

What is Sports Nutrition?

Sports nutrition can be defined as a practical daily nutrition plan that provides fuel for physical activity, facilitates the repair and rebuilding process after hard physical work, and boosts performance in sports competitions while promoting overall health and well-being.

sports nutrition

Sports nutrition is the practice of improving, training, recovering, and performing through the use of food, exercise, supplements, or other forms of physical activity. Sports nutrition and exercise have been identified as two of the most effective methods for improving every person's sporting performance.

Nutrition for Optimal Performance

Eating natural foods means that athletes get the most nutritional value from these foods. There is also evidence that the type of diet that provides the needed nutritional value to athletes involves higher nutrient intake than that of healthy non-athletes. The ideal diet should provide sufficient energy and nutrients to meet the training and exercise demands. It should enhance muscle recovery and adaptation to the training programs that are being followed.

A variety of food options like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, and low-fat dairy are incorporated into the daily diet to support nutrition habits that are sustainable for you – habits that you require to perform well. Another important part of the diet is to ensure maximum hydration throughout the training.

Good nutrition for an athlete means that it must enable them to achieve the right body weight and body fat requirements to support optimal athletic performance while promoting long-term health.

couple making a nutrition plan for sports

A nutritional plan specifically designed to focus on athletic performance is important to help maintain muscle and tissue recovery so that the athlete can perform at the highest level of fitness in practically any sport. Supplying the body with the right foods with a combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates that maintain the body's own energy should be part of the nutritional plan.

Sports foods can make a valuable contribution to an athlete's nutritional plan by providing nutrients that support training adaptations (e.g. proteins) and the repair and reconstruction process after hard physical activity, as well as overall health and well-being. To increase your physical performance, we are giving you a few tips on how to improve your sports diet.

Athletes should consume more carbohydrate-rich foods to improve athletic performance. Examples: Fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

  • For those who exercise daily for the duration of an hour and more will need to increase their calorie intake to cope with the energy demand. Consuming carbohydrates is the most effective way to do so as they are essential nutrients and a vital energy fuel source for the body and its recovery.

  • Taking more than 60% of your calorie intake from carbohydrates and the rest from protein and fats when you consistently do strenuous exercises can aid in your performance.

running and improving sports performance
  • Recommendations for the amount of fat needed for really active players should be the same as the general community, and they can be taken from natural and healthy sources such as fats coming from olive oil, nuts, avocado, and seeds.

  • Refrain from taking high-fat foods from chocolates, cakes, chips, fried foods, and biscuits as these can negatively affect your performance in the long run.

  • Keep in mind that it is important to adjust the amount of carbohydrate intake depending on the level of exercise. For low-intensity exercises, a maximum of 5kg a day should suffice; for moderate-intensity exercise, up to 7kg per day, and for high intensity, up to 10kg per day.

Protein and Sports Performance

A good diet is the key to success, and a high-quality protein source should be selected for meals and snacks to increase protein consumption that optimizes muscle regeneration. For example, athletes need ample protein, and people who train for bodybuilding competitions need to increase their protein intake.

Protein is essential for training and post-exercise recovery and repair. Most food options that are high in carbohydrates are usually high in protein, too, which helps you easily manage and meet your protein needs. For athletes and active players, the recommended protein amount needed is basically around the amount taken by people on average. Ideally, an athlete should take just a bit more, which means that if, on average, what is recommended is .8 to 1. Per gram of body weight, an athlete should take .2 per gram of body weight more. To cope with high-endurance training and for bodybuilding, .5 grams per body weight or more is recommended.

Role of Nutritional Supplements

Dietary supplements can help athletes achieve their nutritional goals during training and competition. For athletes, there are many different types of sports supplements, such as protein powders and professional aids. By improving these areas of an athlete's diet, they can improve their ability to train, recover and compete. Protein supplements offer an alternative to the quality proteins that athletes include in their diet, such as protein powders. Sports supplements are also often taken by athletes to improve exercise and athletic performance.

nutritional supplements for sports

Studies have shown that supplements help athletes to run faster, lift more weight and do more work on a specific exercise task. The main reason people take supplements is to correct or prevent nutrient deficiencies, but some can affect health and performance. Some direct performance benefits can be achieved by using nutritional supplements such as proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Importance of Sports Nutrition

Sports nutrition is not just about calories to achieve weight and body composition goals but also about proteins, muscles, carbohydrates, and fuel. The right diet provides you with sustainable energy so that you can recover from training and enjoy satiety between meals. Optimal nutrition is the key to achieving top performance in the field because food provides the nutrients necessary to build and maintain a strong body.

Whenever you exercise, you have a chance of getting an injury. Optimal nutrition not only helps you perform better but also reduces injury rate.

training to improve sports performance

At Natural Care Chiropractic, we offer personalized nutritional counseling for a number of different needs, including sports nutrition. When you need to learn more about the foods that your body requires to meet your daily needs adequately, it's time to consult with our nutritionist to discuss your goals. They will guide you in the right direction and help you achieve better sporting performance and overall health and well-being.

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