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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Sports Nutrition

Sports Nutrition

Nutrition requirements of sports persons are different than that of normal people. In most cases nutrition of the sports persons depends on the type of sport they are involved in. each sport has uses different parts of the body and requires different levels of physical fitness and energy requirement.

This is reason why sports nutrition is a science which requires proper study based on scientifically collected data. Most of the sports persons have sports nutritionists who guide sports persons what are the immediate foods they should have after exercising as well as after their sports events. These foods generally are aimed at replenishing the lost energy to muscles.

Most of the times the above are carbohydrate foods which are absorbed immediately by the body and the body can maintain its energy levels.

Sports nutritionists are available to guide all sports persons to educate them regarding what they should eat so that they can enhance their performance as well as maintain require fitness level.

For people who train in muscle building and physical fitness, sports nutrition is readily available in the market, this nutrition addresses their requirement for daily dose of required nutrients so that they can build muscle power along with getting adequate amount of energy and strength.

These sports nutrients have the power of nourishing and building muscle power with low fats and high calorie intake. These nutrients are available in the form of powders and bars. With powders you will require to mix these with water and drink after exercises and bars you can have them like any other chocolate bar. These are highly packed with nutrition.

Since these products are mixed with nutrients, these might not be liked by all; therefore, the companies have also taken care to make these nutrients in different flavoring. So sports persons should not have any difficulty in drinking or eating these nutrients.

Sports nutrition packs are made from several different types of raw materials like whey, oats, gram, etc. these materials provide nutrition as well as muscle building power. Sports nutrition packages are created by doctors’ consultation, several nutritionists decide compositions required by sports persons.

Sports nutrition should include proteins, carbohydrates, iron, and vitamins. Not just that these should also include adequate fiber and other nutritional elements that are required for a healthy body. Sports nutrition also includes eating proper balanced diet so that nutrients normally required by the body are provided to the body.

What is sports nutrition?

Sports nutrition can be described as the practice and the study of diet and nutrition and how they both relate to the athletic performance of a sports personality on the field. A sports nutritionist needs to be well versed, not just with the different foods that are good for sports personalities, but also with the type and quantity of fluids, as well as dietary nutrients, which make up an integral part of a diet for a sports person. The nutrients that should be included in high amounts in every sports diet are protein, carbs, calcium, iron, fiber, fats and other vitamins and minerals. However, it is mainly the sports diet plan for strength sports, like body building and weight lifting, along with endurance sports, like running, sprinting and cycling, which focus on adequate sports nutrition.

The ultimate goal of sports nutrition is to enhance an athlete’s performance. However, before that, the athlete’s body composition needs to be worked on, so that the athlete’s speed, balance, mobility, strength and concentration can be sharpened. Moreover, the bodies of several athletes go through a lot of wear and tear and may also sustain injuries. The sports diet should boost their immunity system and increase their internal body strength so that they can recover from such afflictions at a faster pace. The ideal sport diet increases the athlete’s overall energy, not just on the sports field, but also during practice sessions. Therefore sports nutrition is not just eating right for particular even, but making dietary changes to meet an athlete’s long term requirements.

History of a diet in sport

Although not a lot of people are aware of this, diets for sportsmen have been followed right since the time that the Romans and the Greeks began the Olympic Games. All the athletes that participated in the various events followed a special regimen that was crafted for optimal athletic performance. This regimen also included sports dietetics. Ironically, back then alcohol was regarded as an ergogenic supplement which was consumed for improved performance. This practice was carried on by most of the Olympic athletes till the 1900. However, the sport diet has undergone a drastic change since then, to incorporate more performance enhancing natural foods and to eliminate steroids and drugs, which could harm the body eventually.

Modern diet for a sportsman

Fortunately, in today’s world a sports person’s diet is very different from what was followed in the past. Whereas earlier sportsmen were encouraged by their trainers to eat huge amounts of just about anything, athletes nowadays are extremely careful about the foods they eat as well as the quantities and frequency of their meals. It has been seen that athletes no longer eat a lot more than what normal people eat. In fact, while most of them stick to the same quantity food, the types of food chosen are generally high in nutrition. Depending on the needs and requirements of the athlete, some of them may choose to eat higher amounts of calorie dense foods, whereas other athletes may stick foods that are low in calories and fat. 

Moreover, since scientists, medical experts and sports dietitians are constantly carrying out new studies and researches on what foods and supplements are good for athletes and which ones should be avoided. The area of sports nutrition and diet can be a bit complicated, since it is so vast; however there are certain dietary tips that can be incorporated in almost any sportsman diet, be it a golfer or a weight lifter. The first thing to remember is that sports personalities may require additional calories, because of the amount they work out. However, these extra calories should come from nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, nuts, eggs, fish, and lean meat. Empty calories that come from sweets, confectionary, bakery items, fried foods and aerated drinks merely increase body weight, without adding any nutritional value to the body.

However, it is important to realize that every individual has different dietary requirements, based on their age, gender, body type and their levels of activity and all of these factors should be taken into consideration, while planning a diet for a sports person. For example, athletes that belong to a certain field may require bulk and muscle mass, like wrestlers, weight lifters, body builders and so on. Hence their diet will contain a lot of high calorie foods, like almonds, bananas, whole milk, beef, chicken, and so on. However, some athletes need to maintain a low body weight and lean physiques or figures, like professional high jumpers and skaters. They will need to consume foods that give their body’s strength and stamina, but are low in calories, like green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, seeds, skinless chicken and turkey and low fat dairy products. Runners, sprinters and other such athletes need to have average sized physiques and hence they will need to include foods from all the healthy food groups in their daily diet.

Are sports dietary supplements healthy?

The main reason that athletes turn to sports dietary supplements is that they are looking for a “magical ingredient”, which may have the ability to boost their strength and stamina, which improves their performance for a while or during a particular event. While some natural energy boosting foods are acceptable, the consumption of illegal drugs and steroids like anabolic steroids should be strictly avoided. Some of the sports dietary supplements like protein supplements may be helpful in boosting muscle mass. However, it is not advisable to take any supplement, even on a one-time basis, without consulting a sports dietician as well as a fitness trainer first.

In case a person is exploring the option of becoming a sports dietician, there are a few courses that will need to be taken, before getting certified in the field of sports dietetics in the USA. There is a lot of information easily available through online resources, on sports nutrition graduate programs, degree, internships, center, books, certification and articles too, for further reference.

Why Athletes Eat More Carbohydrates?

The quality and selection of food is an important part of a diet for an athlete.  Athletes need to plan their carbohydrate intake, protein intake and vitamin intake as well. Athletes’ carbohydrate intake depends on the type of sport they are training for. For example, bikers, long distance runners and swimmers or athletes that have to stay active for long periods of time, need to follow a diet that is high in carbohydrates. Athletes’ carbohydrate requirement is determined by the sport that they are pursuing. Such endurance athletes carbohydrate intake should be about 50 to 70 per cent total calorie intake from carbohydrates.

What To Eat After Game To Gain Energy?

Carbohydrates provide quick energy. Foods which contain foods should be included in the list of foods to gain energy after a game. Most athletes eat carbohydrates before a game as the body burns carbohydrates for fuel first. Try eating these foods to gain energy after a game: fresh fruits and vegetables, cereal bars and so on. Healthy eating after a game also means including foods such as pasta, lean beef, fiber rich foods such as nuts, beans, whole grain breads, whole grain cereals, and so on. Food to gain energy after game could also be natural fruit juices and dried fruit.

Why High Protein Cause Dehydration?

Research has shown that there is a connection between a high protein diet and dehydration. High protein diets are followed by athletes as such diets help to increase the muscle mass in their bodies. However, a high protein diet and dehydration are linked because as the amount of protein consumed by the athletes increased, the degree of hydrated decreased. A sense of feeling thirsty is a sign that dehydration has already set in. Dehydration causes other problems which include shock, acidosis, an irregular heartbeat, acute uremia and even death. The latter is more frequent in people who are sickly, aged or in infants.

What Is The Idea And Good Pre Game Meal?

What is the ideal pre game meal? Some people feel that the ideal pre game meal is one that is loaded with carbohydrates as carbohydrates provide the body with quick energy. An ideal pre game meal is one that contains about 70% of carbohydrates. This will prevent the athlete from getting tired. Certain foods that should be a part of this pre game meal include cheese, whole grain bread, salad and cheese. Pregame diet guidelines include staying away from foods that have a high content of processed sugar and any new foods that have not been tried earlier. Choose your foods wisely for a pregame meal.
Submitted on January 16, 2014