How Sports Nutrition Plays A Role In An Athlete's Life?
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How Sports Nutrition Plays A Role In An Athlete's Life?

Sayali Naik

The importance of Sports Nutrition

At the most basic level, nutrition is important for athletes because it provides a source of energy required to perform the activity. The food we eat impacts on our strength, training, performance and recovery.  Not only is the type of food important for sports nutrition but the times we eat throughout the day also has an impact on our performance levels and our bodies ability to recover after exercising. 

Consuming the right balance of food and drink is important for everyone and those actively participating in sports need to be aware that it can also affect performance. For example, athletes may need more calories than the average person or individuals training for bodybuilding competitions may need to increase their protein intake: a good nutrition plan is key to your success. The knock on effect of this should see a surge of enthusiasm and an increase in participation for similar types of sport around the world.  If you are planning on ramping up your levels of physical activity, it is imperative that you alter your nutrition to match your body’s demanding needs.

The importance of sports nutrition

Sports performance and energy

Fuelling your body with the right foods is essential for sports performance, importantly fats, protein and carbohydrates which maintain the body's energy.

  • Carbohydrates are the primary fuel used by working muscles, so adequate intake is essential for preventing muscle fatigue.
  • While it's important to monitor your fat intake, you shouldn't remove it from your diet completely. Fats provide fatty acids that can be used as a source of energy - especially if your exercise sessions last longer than one hour. Fats also provide the building blocks for hormones and the formation of cell walls.
  • Protein can be used as a source of energy and is critical for building new muscle tissue. If you're taking part in resistance training, your body will require additional protein.

Meals eaten before and after exercise are the most important in sports nutrition but you should really be careful with everything that you put into your body. As a general rule of thumb athletes should eat about two hours before exercising and this meal should be high in carbohydrates, low in fat and low to moderate in protein.

The proportions of protein and carbohydrates that you require will vary depending on both the intensity and type of sport so to get your individual balance right you should contact a qualified dietitian for professional help with your sports nutrition.

Hydration

It’s crucial to stay hydrated when taking part in sports: inadequate fluid intake leads to dehydration as the body is trying to cool down through sweating. This not only affects your performance, but it can also be extremely dangerous to your health and develop further complications. Although dehydration can happen in any activity, it’s more prevalent when exercising in hot and humid conditions.

Water is perfect for rehydration, but if you are engaged in physical activity for longer than one hour, sports drinks that include electrolytes or natural coconut water can be helpful. Electrolytes, tiny charged particles, are essential for maintaining a healthy sodium and potassium balance in our body. They help to stimulate thirst and encourage drinking, as well as enhancing the body’s ability to hold water. 

How sports nutrition plays a role in an athlete's life?

Supplements

Supplements are used by athletes, bodybuilders and sports men and women to boost their strength, performance and recovery. They are available in numerous different forms ranging from multivitamins and minerals through to protein, amino acids, pre workout and various other ‘ergogenic’ aids. Before individuals opt to take any form of supplement they should ensure their diet is healthy, balanced and suits their sport. Those who do decide to take additional nutrients in supplemental form should always consult an accredited sports dietitian or registered nutritionist who specializes in sports nutrition. They will be able to assess your suitability for a particular supplement.
How sports nutrition plays a role in an athlete's life?
How can a sports nutrition professional help?

A sports nutritionist can create a tailored nutrition plan to support an individual’s training regime and goals. The plan will incorporate both food and hydration integral to performance, but tailored nutrition can also help to:

  • increase energy levels
  • promote good health
  • help manage weight
  • improve concentration
  • develop body composition and growth
  • enhance recovery

To create the best nutrition strategy, a sports nutrition professional will assess not just an individual's training and diet but also their lifestyle, day to day habits, supplements and regular medication needs. 
How sports nutrition plays a role in an athlete's life?
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Please note that there might be a delay in the dispatch due to the current situation of Covid-19 || Chennai Orders will be delayed in delivery due to lockdown
Please note that there might be a delay in the dispatch due to the current situation of Covid-19 || Chennai Orders will be delayed in delivery due to lockdown