for Optimal Athletic Performance
Sports nutrition ensures proper distribution and absorption of nutrients and vitamins to boost sports performance. Seek our nutritionist for the right nutritional plan for you.
What Is Sports Nutrition?
Sports nutrition involves fluid nutritional programs tailored to individual athletes and teams to help them achieve their goals and perform at their optimum level. This specialized nutrition plan is specifically designed by a sports dietician who has knowledge and expertise in the following areas:
Sports nutrition plays an important role in your success in any sport as it will help to reach your goals and health targets. Thus, eating the right type of food is crucial to the success of your team, your sport, and overall health. Sports nutrition aims to increase athletic performance, improve mental and physical health, and enable you to achieve your goals. It can be an excellent resource for athletes and active adults who train and exercise to improve their recovery time, as well as for those who want to excel in their respective fields in sports.
The Goal of Sports Nutrition
Sports nutrition is different for each individual and is planned according to their goals. The diet plan will depend on a person’s specific energy requirements and physical fitness level. For example, an active adult who exercises three to four times a week can usually meet his nutritional needs. At the same time, top athletes who train intensively five to six times a week will need significantly more nutrients to meet their energy requirements. Insufficient calorie intake can affect athletic training and performance and can cause serious health problems. In addition, certain sports activities require different nutrition and exercise programs along with a balanced diet.
Sports nutrition covers a wide range of sports needs, and certain groups of athletes require additional guidelines and information to enhance their athletic performance. Here are a few conditions and circumstances where sports nutrition plays an essential role:
High Altitude Training
For athletes who exercise at high altitudes, a special training diet is required, and nutritional analysis is recommended to avoid deficiencies and ensure that sufficient nutrients are consumed to support the requirements of the sport. Eating foods that will help to increase iron levels and red blood cells to carry more oxygen around the body is crucial for athletes.
The risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and liver cancer, was increased after exposure to high altitudes. Foods high in antioxidants and proteins are essential, and fluid requirements vary depending on the athlete, so hydration status should be monitored individually.
A vegetarian diet contains high amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals but is inadequate to keep up with an athlete’s nutritional demands. For vegetarian athletes, fluid and electrolyte balance are crucial and should always be balanced, especially in the early stages of training and during the first days of competition.
Athletes who compete in hot conditions are at a higher risk of heat illness and may have health complications. Trying to achieve maximum performance during elevated temperatures then a hydration strategy is required. Moreover, slimmer athletes are at higher risk of hypothermia, so their nutrition intake should be monitored regularly.
Changing calories and carbohydrate intake is essential for all athletes, but the most important factor for athletes who exercise cold is adequate hydration and body temperature. Sufficient food and liquids that can withstand cold temperatures, such as cold and warm water, promote optimal athletic performance.
Many athletes have low body weight and muscles, but the pressure of good performance can cause mental and physical stress in athletes, leading to eating disorders and bad eating habits. Eating disorders in athletes are not uncommon, and without appropriate advice, health problems can develop at any time.
Sports Nutrition Basics
The energy you need for your life and physical activity comes from the food you eat and fluid intake. The macronutrients of the following food groups provide the energy required for optimal body function.
General guidelines for carbohydrate intake are based on body size and exercise characteristics. Carbohydrates are an essential energy source for the human body, as well as for animals and plants. Simple carbohydrates include sugar, which is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Examples of healthy complex carbohydrates are whole grain carbohydrates such as quinoa, lentils, beans, chickpeas, rice, wheat, barley, rye, and oats. The digestive system breaks down carbohydrates into glucose and blood sugar, which is supplied to cells, tissues, and organs as energy.
A sufficient amount of protein per person contributes to the nitrogen balance in the body, which is vital for muscle tissue. Protein plays an important role in muscle recovery and growth, but the body cannot produce all the essential amino acids, so they must be supplied through food. Protein is essential for every cell in the human body and consists of a chain of amino acids that can be complete or incomplete. Proteins are essential for the proper functioning of cells and tissues. A complete protein has all the amino acids the body needs and contains all the essential amino acid chains. Complete proteins are often not contained in any or more of these essential acids, but complete proteins contain some of them.
Fat helps to maintain the balance of energy, regulate hormones, restore muscle tissue, and improve muscle recovery. Fat can be saturated or unsaturated and can play an essential role in the human body. Saturated fats are often found in meat and high-fat dairy products, increasing the risk of diseases. Healthy fats provide energy, protect organs, maintain cell membranes, help with body development, and help maintain cells and membranes.
Unsaturated fatty acids are derived from carbohydrates such as nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. All fats can be either saturated (saturated fat is considered healthy) or unsaturated (unsaturated fatty acids), and both can play an important role in the human body. Depending on the intensity and duration of the exercise, the body uses carbohydrates and fats as the primary energy source. Active adults and competitive athletes use a variety of food sources with healthy fats for their diet to achieve their goals.
Examples of individual goals could be increasing lean mass, improving body composition, or improving athletic performance.