Sports Nutrition is the study and discipline of diet and nutrition as regards to enhancing anyone’s sporting performance. It is a vital part of any sports training program, especially being equally popular in endurance sports and strength sports. In simple terms, this involves the use of food to enhance physical fitness, recovery and performance of athletes. The need for this type of program is essential in maintaining or building up champion athletes.
Dietary supplements are the most common form of sports nutrition. However, not all dietary supplements are created equal. Some actually do more harm than good and should therefore be avoided. These substances should only be taken if a professional or an athlete is suffering from specific ailments. A thorough check up is first required to ascertain the cause of the ailment.
One such example is creatine, a substance found in meat, eggs and fish. Athletes are advised to stay away from creatine sports nutrition supplements because they can do more harm than good. There have been reports of heart attacks caused by high levels of creatine in the body of young athletes. Because of this reason, many athletes have already stopped using such supplements. If you are among those athletes, there are still other supplements you can choose from but you must be careful. Avoid products that contain high levels of caffeine because it also increases the heart rate.
Another type of product that is used as sports nutrition supplements are multivitamins. Unlike supplements that increase physical activity, multivitamins do not promote physical activity. Therefore, athletes should not rely on multivitamins for their nutritional needs.
Bodybuilders and athletes in particular should focus on fats. Fats are necessary for providing an abundant supply of energy to the body and tissues. However, too much fats intake can be harmful especially if athlete concentrates in using them when working out. Too much fats in the diet can reduce muscle tissue’s ability to absorb glucose and amino acids which are the substances needed to exercise. Such reduction can be dangerous. For instance, a study involving swimmers showed that there is a significant reduction in muscle tissue mass with the intake of more than forty percent of fatty acids.
Amino acids are also found in protein-rich foods like meats, fish, eggs and beans. These foods supply proteins that are essential in the production of growth hormones, the hormones that promote the performance and endurance of athletes. However, amino acids are also vital for the repair of damaged muscle tissue. This is why athletes should also focus on protein and amino acids through the consumption of sports nutrition supplements.
Exercise physiology, on the other hand, deals with understanding the relationship between nutrition, training and performance. A professional in this field is usually a registered physician who has undergone specialized training. He or she is knowledgeable with the physiological aspects of the human body and its needs during athletic performance and training. Sports nutrition education can help the professional in providing the most effective nutrition and exercise physiology to athletes.
A degree in Sports Nutrition is also a prerequisite to become a sports medicine doctor. In this field of study, students learn how to design nutritional programs and devise diets that can optimize performance and health of athletes. Sports medicine is one of the fastest growing fields in health care science. Graduates of sports medicine degree programs can expect to find lucrative career opportunities.
Nutrition and exercise physiology share many principles. But while training for an Olympic athlete it is best to focus on one aspect and to master it. Nutrition and exercise physiology can be studied concurrently. Students can focus on one of these fields and continue their education in another.
When it comes to nutrition and physical activity, the athletes have specific nutrient requirements based on their sport. Aerobic and fitness activities require high levels of oxygen and energy. Nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and fluids are used during physical activity. Sports nutrition includes the proper intake of fluids and electrolytes, as these nutrients are essential for sustaining physical activities.
The proper sports nutrition include intake of carbohydrate, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals and fluids during competition. Athletes require fuel and energy to push themselves during competitions. The main components of an athlete’s diet include carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, minerals and fluids.
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