Sports Nutrition is the discipline and study of diet and nutrition especially with regards to enhancing anyone’s sporting performance. Nutrition is an integral part of most sports training regimes, particularly in endurance sports and strength sports. These sports are usually very physically demanding, requiring athletes to have a strong and healthy body to get the most out of the activities that they engage in. It’s important for them to nourish and fuel their bodies so that they can perform at their best.
To make sure that you are getting the right amount of nutritional support, you need to know what your needs are. First, understand that any type of athletic activity requires an intake of calories to fuel the body and keep it fueled; this can come either from food or drink. However, there is one specific type of calorie intake that is needed for athletic activity and that is what is known as an athletic energy source, also referred to as an AER. This refers to the stored energy in the body that is specifically designed for an athletic activity. It’s the energy that your muscles need to perform at their optimum level.
Carbohydrates are the main source of this AER and they are the ones that athletes need to have the most in terms of carbohydrates to fuel the muscle. This is why athletes are advised to have large amounts of carbohydrates, which are easily converted into glucose. Sports Nutrition guidelines state that athletes should include complex carbohydrates in their diet so that they can generate more energy and provide the energy to carry out their physical activities for a full game. Complex carbohydrates are those that can be broken down and absorbed easily by the body such as rice, pasta and even apples and vegetables.
Aside from getting enough carbohydrates to fuel the body, there are other Sports Nutrition guidelines that recommend athletes to have the right fats among athletes. One of the things that athletes are told to do is to consume fats that come from plant sources instead of animal sources. Among these fats that should be consumed is omega-3 fatty acids. The main reason behind this recommendation is that the fat helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, especially stroke, and optimize brain functions.
Exercise physiology or sports nutritionists also suggest that athletes take supplements that can help them perform at their maximum capacity and in their peak condition. Supplements like protein are needed because it is the building block of muscles and it helps to keep the body muscles taut and capable of moving at a faster pace. There are certain amino acids and vitamins that are also among the essentials for athletes, especially those who are actively participating in competitive sports.
There are also certain dietary supplements that athletes should never miss including minerals and vitamins. Minerals and vitamins are very important for athletes because they help in the recovery of the body after strenuous activities. There are certain minerals and vitamins that can prevent the occurrence of injury and they include calcium, iron and sodium among others. Sports nutritionists recommend that athletes consume foods that are rich in amino acids, enzymes, proteins, minerals and vitamins as part of their everyday diet.
The importance of proper fluid intake during training and competition cannot be underestimated. Athletes need to drink plenty of water to replace the dehydrated body fluids that might be lost due to sweating. The fluids that are recommended by sports nutritionists include sports drinks with electrolytes, sports drink mixes with flavors of your preference and plenty of water. It is also recommended that athletes consume at least two liters of water per day to keep the body hydrated to the fullest.
Another thing that should be considered when it comes to sports nutrition is that young children should never be left alone during their athletic activity. Young children have a lot of energy and they can easily get bored with activities that they are not engaged with. This can be a distraction and the child may be encouraged to do things that he or she is not meant to be doing. Your child may also suffer from dehydration if they do not have someone to give them water to drink. Therefore, you should make sure that you have someone watching your young children while they are playing and you must ensure that their food and fluid intake is monitored constantly.
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