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Sports-specific nutrition

Sports-specific nutrition

The following nutrients are essential for Sports-specific nutrition power moves:. Nutriton nutrition for young athletes. Published on: Dec

Sports-specific nutrition -

An important factor that distinguishes sports nutrition from general nutrition is that athletes may need different amounts of nutrients than non-athletes.

However, a good amount of sports nutrition advice is applicable to most athletes, regardless of their sport.

In general, the foods you choose should be minimally processed to maximize their nutritional value. You should also minimize added preservatives and avoid excessive sodium. Just make sure the macronutrients are in line with your goals. Macronutrients — protein, carbs, and fat — are the vital components of food that give your body what it needs to thrive.

They help build everything from muscle to skin, bones, and teeth. Protein is particularly important for building muscle mass and helping you recover from training. This is due to its role in promoting muscle protein synthesis, the process of building new muscle.

The general recommendation for protein intake to support lean body mass and sports performance is around 0. They fuel your daily functions, from exercising to breathing, thinking, and eating. The other half can come from simpler starches such as white rice, white potatoes, pasta, and the occasional sweets and desserts.

For example, an ultramarathon runner will need a vastly different amount of carbs than an Olympic weightlifter does. For example, if you consume 2, calories per day, this would equate to — g daily.

From there, you can adjust your carbohydrate intake to meet the energy demands of your sport or a given training session. In select cases, such as in keto-adapted athletes , they will provide a larger portion of daily energy needs.

Fats are unique because they provide 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs provide 4 calories per gram. In addition to providing energy, fats assist in hormone production, serve as structural components of cell membranes, and facilitate metabolic processes, among other functions.

Fats provide a valuable source of calories, help support sport-related hormones, and can help promote recovery from exercise. In particular, omega-3 fatty acids possess anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to help athletes recover from intense training.

After protein and carbohydrates, fats will make up the rest of the calories in your diet. Another notable factor to consider when optimizing your sports nutrition is timing — when you eat a meal or a specific nutrient in relation to when you train or compete.

Timing your meals around training or competition may support enhanced recovery and tissue repair, enhanced muscle building, and improvements in your mood after high intensity exercise.

To best optimize muscle protein synthesis, the International Society of Sports Nutrition ISSN suggests consuming a meal containing 20—40 g of protein every 3—4 hours throughout the day.

Consider consuming 30—60 g of a simple carbohydrate source within 30 minutes of exercising. For certain endurance athletes who complete training sessions or competitions lasting longer than 60 minutes, the ISSN recommends consuming 30—60 g of carbs per hour during the exercise session to maximize energy levels.

But if your intense training lasts less than 1 hour, you can probably wait until the session is over to replenish your carbs. When engaging in sustained high intensity exercise, you need to replenish fluids and electrolytes to prevent mild to potentially severe dehydration.

Athletes training or competing in hot conditions need to pay particularly close attention to their hydration status, as fluids and electrolytes can quickly become depleted in high temperatures.

During an intense training session, athletes should consume 6—8 oz of fluid every 15 minutes to maintain a good fluid balance. A common method to determine how much fluid to drink is to weigh yourself before and after training.

Every pound 0. You can restore electrolytes by drinking sports drinks and eating foods high in sodium and potassium. Because many sports drinks lack adequate electrolytes, some people choose to make their own. In addition, many companies make electrolyte tablets that can be combined with water to provide the necessary electrolytes to keep you hydrated.

There are endless snack choices that can top off your energy stores without leaving you feeling too full or sluggish. The ideal snack is balanced, providing a good ratio of macronutrients, but easy to prepare.

When snacking before a workout, focus on lower fat options , as they tend to digest more quickly and are likely to leave you feeling less full. After exercise, a snack that provides a good dose of protein and carbs is especially important for replenishing glycogen stores and supporting muscle protein synthesis.

They help provide an appropriate balance of energy, nutrients, and other bioactive compounds in food that are not often found in supplement form. That said, considering that athletes often have greater nutritional needs than the general population, supplementation can be used to fill in any gaps in the diet.

Protein powders are isolated forms of various proteins, such as whey, egg white, pea, brown rice, and soy. Protein powders typically contain 10—25 g of protein per scoop, making it easy and convenient to consume a solid dose of protein.

Research suggests that consuming a protein supplement around training can help promote recovery and aid in increases in lean body mass. For example, some people choose to add protein powder to their oats to boost their protein content a bit.

Carb supplements may help sustain your energy levels, particularly if you engage in endurance sports lasting longer than 1 hour. These concentrated forms of carbs usually provide about 25 g of simple carbs per serving, and some include add-ins such as caffeine or vitamins.

They come in gel or powder form. Many long-distance endurance athletes will aim to consume 1 carb energy gel containing 25 g of carbs every 30—45 minutes during an exercise session longer than 1 hour.

Sports drinks also often contain enough carbs to maintain energy levels, but some athletes prefer gels to prevent excessive fluid intake during training or events, as this may result in digestive distress. Many athletes choose to take a high quality multivitamin that contains all the basic vitamins and minerals to make up for any potential gaps in their diet.

This is likely a good idea for most people, as the potential benefits of supplementing with a multivitamin outweigh the risks. One vitamin in particular that athletes often supplement is vitamin D, especially during winter in areas with less sun exposure.

Low vitamin D levels have been shown to potentially affect sports performance, so supplementing is often recommended.

Research shows that caffeine can improve strength and endurance in a wide range of sporting activities , such as running, jumping, throwing, and weightlifting. Many athletes choose to drink a strong cup of coffee before training to get a boost, while others turn to supplements that contain synthetic forms of caffeine, such as pre-workouts.

Whichever form you decide to use, be sure to start out with a small amount. You can gradually increase your dose as long as your body tolerates it. Supplementing with omega-3 fats such as fish oil may improve sports performance and recovery from intense exercise.

You can certainly get omega-3s from your diet by eating foods such as fatty fish, flax and chia seeds, nuts, and soybeans. Plant-based omega-3 supplements are also available for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Creatine is a compound your body produces from amino acids. It aids in energy production during short, high intensity activities.

Supplementing daily with 5 g of creatine monohydrate — the most common form — has been shown to improve power and strength output during resistance training, which can carry over to sports performance. Most sporting federations do not classify creatine as a banned substance, as its effects are modest compared with those of other compounds.

Considering their low cost and wide availability and the extensive research behind them, creatine supplements may be worthwhile for some athletes. Beta-alanine is another amino acid-based compound found in animal products such as beef and chicken.

In your body, beta-alanine serves as a building block for carnosine, a compound responsible for helping to reduce the acidic environment within working muscles during high intensity exercise.

The most notable benefit of supplementing with beta-alanine is improvement in performance in high intensity exercises lasting 1—10 minutes. The commonly recommended research -based dosages range from 3.

Some people prefer to stick to the lower end of the range to avoid a potential side effect called paraesthesia , a tingling sensation in the extremities. Sports nutritionists are responsible for implementing science-based nutrition protocols for athletes and staying on top of the latest research.

Use of a body mass scale and a urine specific gravity refractometer can help identify athletes prone to dehydration. Sports beverages and caffeine are the most common supplements, while opinion on the practical effectiveness of creatine is divided.

Late-maturing adolescent athletes become concerned about gaining size and muscle, and assessment of maturity status can be carried out with anthropometric procedures.

An overriding consideration is that an individual approach is needed to meet each athlete's nutritional needs. Abstract Implementation of a nutrition programme for team sports involves application of scientific research together with the social skills necessary to work with a sports medicine and coaching staff.

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