Sports Nutrition is the study and evaluation of diet and nutrition with regards to enhancing anyone’s athletic performance on the field. Sports Nutrition has become quite popular in recent years due to the increased attention to what you put into your body as well as the increased involvement of the physical fitness community in athletes. The term Sports Nutrition covers a wide spectrum of subjects from food selection and preparation to what supplements to take. Sports Nutrition has even made its way into high school classrooms across the country.
As a matter of fact, it is often considered an elective for students to major in Sports Nutrition. In college, students will learn about food selection and preparation as well as how to analyze nutrition data and make nutritional suggestions. Some students choose a minor in Sports Nutrition, as it relates to their career choice. It is also a course that many individuals look forward to because they know they will have a strong foundation of knowledge and understanding as it pertains to exercise and healthy eating. In High School, students will typically choose a Sports Management or Sports Medicine major.
A degree in Sports Nutrition will teach students a variety of skills, including proper meal planning and portion control. The most common food choices, an athlete will eat are protein and carbohydrates. However, the degree sports nutrition encourages eating vegetables, fruit and fiber as well. Sports Nutrition encourages athletes to consume a diet rich in lean proteins and carbohydrates. Athletes should strive to maintain muscle mass through exercise, not simply to improve their performance but to keep their bodies in peak condition for optimal performance.
As an athlete competing in sports competition, you need to be aware of how much food to eat and what types of foods should be eliminated from your diet. You should always remember to hydrate yourself before and after competition. Even the slightest distraction from hydration can cause a competitor to lose concentration during competition. For this reason, nutritionists for sports nutrition advise athletes to drink at least eight glasses of water per day or as directed by the specific brand of athletic bottle being used.
A dietitian will create a customized sports nutrition plan for each athlete based on his or her goals. If an athlete is serious about increasing muscle mass, then experts will recommend consuming more protein. Protein should come from eggs, soy, whey and casein, which are the highest quality protein sources available.
The recommended amount of protein an athlete should consume per day is one gram for every pound of body weight. Athletes who are committed to increasing their competitive prowess should also take note that the ideal meal frequency is just after completing a complete athletic session. This means consuming meals right after a training session to maximize the protein the body requires to recover from the workout. One should never fast before or immediately after an athletic activity, because the body will become dehydrated and may cause the athlete to lose focus during the competitive event.
An individual’s energy intake should be monitored during active adults. Consuming too much energy drinks, candy or other high calorie snacks will defeat the purpose of targeting an optimal calorie intake during active adults. If athletes perform intense workouts, they should increase their fat-burning hormone levels by consuming an HGH supplement, which is available over the counter in health stores. The best supplement to use to raise the HGH levels is Saw palmetto, which contains natural hormones that block the production of the human growth hormone (HGH) in the body. Athletes who want to build lean muscle mass should also increase their exercise intensity, by performing more frequent workouts that include both aerobic and resistance exercises.
In addition to considering how much food and water to consume, athletes need to consider how much fluid to drink, as well. Dehydration is often one of the causes of lost sporting performances. The most effective way to avoid dehydration is to take sports drinks with electrolytes, which are caffeine-free sports drinks that replace sugar and water with carbs, protein and electrolytes, which rehydrate the athlete while providing the fuel needed for peak performance. Sports nutrition professionals recommend sports drinks with natural electrolyte solutions and choose a sport energy drink that includes a good blend of vitamins and minerals.
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