Sports Nutrition is the discipline and study of diet and nutrition, particularly with regards to enhancing anyone’s athletic prowess. Diet and nutrition are essential for athletes because they help them enhance their performance and stay in good health. Nutrition is a critical component of most sports training regimes, being equally popular in endurance sports like long-distance running and marathon racing as well as strength sports such as weightlifting. A dietitian is an expert in food and nutrition who has been trained and specializes in assisting athletes achieve their ideal body weight.
The importance of sports nutrition has increased considerably in recent times with the introduction of a new kind of workout – the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) combat sport. This new style of fighting pits athletes against each other in a highly intense exercise regimen where the outcome is based largely on anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids enhance muscle mass and improve recovery time, allowing an athlete to train much more intensely than normal. It is not uncommon to see professional mixed martial arts athletes undergoing steroid therapy at a very young age. These practices are extremely dangerous and are banned by international sports bodies.
However, there is another side to the story. Many MMA fighters are incredibly strict with what they eat. The gym that they sign up with will most likely not allow them to eat a big breakfast because it will give them a “calorie overload” and make them run harder during their MMA training. This is called the “cut” and is frowned upon in the MMA community for obvious reasons. This can be extremely dangerous for athletes trying to gain strength and endurance before their MMA match. This is one of the main arguments against sports nutrition; if an athlete is cutting too much fat and building muscle, then the effects on performance could be devastating.
However, there are many mixed martial arts athletes that follow both lean and fatty diets, while still training very hard. Why? Because they know that good sports nutrition comes from the combination of a healthy diet and a regular workout. They are doing both cardiovascular exercise and strength training. This allows them to gain lean muscle mass and burn off excess calories, which improves overall fitness.
While most MMA athletes realize the importance of sports nutrition, they also understand the importance of following a proper diet and consuming the right types of foods at specific times in order to optimize their performance. Therefore, it is common practice for some of them to purchase two hours prior to competition to guarantee that they have consumed the required protein and calories to compete optimally. While competing is not necessary for sports nutrition, it is smart to ensure that you have consumed enough calories and protein in order to give your body the best possible chance of performing at its peak.
If an athlete is going to compete in Mixed Martial Arts, they must understand the importance of having the proper nutrition so that their muscle and physical conditioning are superior to others. It is not uncommon for them to consume protein bars throughout the day as it helps to fill the muscles with nutrients and then have carbohydrates afterward to provide energy. However, if they were to consume a meal that had carbohydrates and protein, the carbohydrates and protein would get stored in their muscles. Therefore, it is important to consume two hours before competition. One hour after, and they can consider themselves as well as their opponent muscle and fit.
Athletes who participate in other intense sports need to be aware of hydration and sports nutrition as it will directly impact their athletic performance and reduce the risk of injury. Hydration is vital to keeping your entire body hydrated; not only do athletes benefit from drinking plenty of water, but they also improve their performance because the hydration helps them avoid muscle cramps that come from being dehydrated. Hydration should also be achieved through eating a high fiber diet to keep your digestive system running smoothly. However, athletes who are involved in very physically intense sports should seek professional help from a nutritionist and expert to ensure that they are getting all of the nutrients that they require. Hydration is a critical component to every competitive athlete.
Finally, athletes should consider adding electrolytes to their diet as they can help maintain proper hydration. Electrolytes include salt, sugar, and potassium, which help to replace water and remove toxins from the body. Athletes should pay close attention to their sodium intake as this is equally as crucial to their athletic activity as is hydration. Athletes who suffer from high amounts of sodium in their bodies will often develop problems that can prevent them from playing their best sports.
If you liked this content, check out Sports Nutrition