Sports Nutrition & Supplements
is a branch of dietary research that is applied specifically to individuals who participate in rigorous sports training. This includes everything from strength training like weight lifting and bodybuilding to endurance training like cycling and running. No matter what type of sports you enjoy, it remains important to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to function optimally. There are many variables that set athletes apart, but correct nutrition
and the right combination of sports supplements
can constitute the difference between winning and coming second.
The main goals of sports nutrition
can be summed up as follows:
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- To prepare athletes for performance or extended periods of training.
- To maintain a certain level of performance or training.
- To aid the body in recovering from performance or training.
- To maintain a certain body aesthetic or weight. This is important in sports like bodybuilding, horse racing and cycling.
A balanced diet that consists of the correct ratio of carbohydrates, proteins and fats is indispensible, as is the intake of both micro- and macro nutrients. This, however, may not be enough. Heavy training depletes the body of vital nutrients much in the same way as illness does and in order to replenish these stores, it may become necessary to take some sports supplements
. Natural supplements
have come a long way and there are various products on the market today that provide comprehensive nutritional solutions.
It is important to remember that each individual is unique and will respond differently to . The most crucial performance-enhancing factor in any athlete’s bag of tricks remains sports-specific nutrition and a complementary training regime. As consumers, we are regularly bombarded by print and audiovisual advertisements punting a new ‘miracle’ solution to weight loss or muscle growth. This can be very confusing. Should you be taking creatine, protein supplements, minerals or vitamins? Should you be focused on muscle growth
or boosting your metabolic rate? HMB, DHEA, Glutamine - which one of these is the right option for you?
The best way to answer these questions is to consult your trainer or physician. Sports supplements
can be a matter of great contention, especially for professional athletes who have to consider whether certain substances are legal or not. Protein, however, has been linked with sports performance for decades and constitutes a safe way to supplement your nutritional intake.
There are various factors that influence an athlete’s protein requirements. These include:
- The intensity of the type of exercise the athlete engages in. The more intense the exercise, the more protein is required.
- The length of training sessions and events. The longer the exertion period, the greater the protein requirement.
- The energy content of the athlete’s diet. Certain types of athletes (dancers, light weight wrestlers and gymnasts) keep their body weight down by restricting the amount of kilojoules they consume. These athletes, as well as those who follow a vegetarian diet, should make sure to supplement their protein intake.
- Gender. The male body burns fat easily, while the female body normally turns to protein and carbohydrates. This means that the fairer sex should take care when replenishing their protein stores during training.
These are just some of the factors that influence protein requirement. For a more comprehensive assessment, schedule a visit with a registered dietician.
Proper sports nutrition
is a fantastic way to improve your game and natural supplements
can be a great help. Approach your diet with care and you will certainly begin to see the benefits.