Sports Nutrition

Welcome to our Sports Nutrition & Workout section. Find valuable online nutrition advice such as diet tips, fitness guides, and general health info.

Correct Nutrition For Sports

One of the most important considerations for an athlete, or indeed anyone who is keen on sports, is correct nutrition. This doesn’t just mean ensuring you have a healthy diet. It also includes developing good eating habits both pre and post competition! Being able to time your meals so you get the best out of what you’ve eaten is important. As is knowing what to eat to ensure optimum performance.

A Healthy Diet – The Cornerstone Of Any Athletic Endeavor

Let’s start with a healthy diet. This is the foundation on which your entire sports nutrition and training program depends. What you eat provides the fuel to maintain your body through training and competition. And beyond. Ensuring you eat the right foods in the right quantities for whatever activity you’re doing will provide you with extended energy and improved muscle mass. An unhealthy diet on the other hand will only get you so far before you run into problems like muscle fatigue and weak muscles.

A healthy diet for an active sports person involves making sure all the food groups are represented on your plate at meals. Healthy fats, proteins and carbohydrates although it’s the last 2 that are required more immediately by athletes during training and competition.

Carbs – Your Main Source Of Fuel

Athletes invariably need to eat a lot more carbs than the average person. Carbs are your body’s primary source of energy. They are metabolised by the body into glucose, which is used to fuel your muscle cells during training and competition. If you aren’t eating enough carbohydrates, your body will start to look around for alternative sources of fuel and often this is protein. If your body starts to use protein to sustain energy, it will come at a cost to your muscles and muscle health.

Your requirements for carbohydrates will vary according to your training and competition schedule. So will the types of carbohydrates you need to eat.

Protein – Essential For Muscle Strength And Bulk

Getting enough protein is also vitally important. Your body uses protein to build and maintain muscles. How much muscle mass and strength you need depends on what sport you’re doing. Weight lifters for example require huge muscle mass and strength compared to a runner or a swimmer. However, adequate muscle mass and strength is important regardless because it’s your muscles that provide you with the power and strength you need to perform. Stinting on protein will reduce your muscle mass and muscle strength with a corresponding drop in your performance levels!

As a rule of thumb, the average person requires around 0.08 grams of protein daily per 2.2 pounds of body weight for maintenance. An endurance athlete needs to increase this by a third or more to 1.2 to 1.4 grams daily whilst a strength athlete needs to double protein intake to 1.4 – 1.8 grams. And as with carbohydrate intake, there will be certain times when you’ll need to increase protein intake.

Don’t Forget To Drink – The Importance Of Hydration

Then there is hydration. Athletes lose a lot of fluids through sweat both during training and whilst competing. It is vitally important that these be replaced before, during and after exertion. And the best thing to drink in the quantities required? Water. Sports drinks are fine when you only have to drink small amounts but when you need to take on a lot of fluids continuously water is the better option. Once you’ve finished competing or training juice, chocolate milk or a sports drink will help replace the glucose you’ve burned up.

For general information about muscle building foods and diet, muscle building supplements and tips and advice on topics like increasing blood flow and circulations to your muscles visit the Planet Supplements Health and Fitness blog.

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