Sports nutrition is basically the study about the nutrition and diet of athletes and sports people. Intake of proper nutrition can affect the performance of an athlete directly. Sports nutrition deals with everything that a sports person takes in, starting from any fluid to nutrients like vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates and fats, and even health drinks. Though sports nutrition is an essential part of all sports training programmes, it mainly is implemented in strength sports like bodybuilding or boxing and even endurance sports like swimming and running. Almost all athletes go for various food supplements to enhance their performances. Following are some essential nutrient inputs in a sports person’s diet:
Protein form a very essential part of sports nutrition as protein help in the building of muscles. Dietary protein enhances the performance and also helps to repair the worn out tissues. Athletes should take in dietary protein before, during and also after any kind of rigorous physical training. This would help in strengthening the muscles. The amount of protein intake should depend on your game as too much of protein supplement can be harmful to the help. Excessive intake of amino acids and protein can lead to diseases like calcium loss, gout, renal damage and many more.
Creatine is known to improve exercise performance and strength in well-trained sports person. Creatine stores energy and provides it when needed. Creatine supplements are available, though you can get natural creatine in fish and meat. It has been termed as legal steroid and is also used to increase muscles. It boosts your stamina and performance. Glutamine present in whey protein is an amino acid present in humans. Glutamine stimulates anabolic processes like protein synthesis. Higher intake can be risky.
High energy Supplements:
High energy supplements also improve the performance of the various physical activities of an athlete. Energy drinks like the Red Bull increase the levels of epinephrine, nonreprinephrine, and beta-endorphins in the blood and are considered as essentials of sports nutrition. They can also supply you with that extra carbohydrate that is required at the later stages of your physical activities. Some supplements can even provide proteins to prevent muscle loss. They supply all the essential nutrients that are required to keep you healthy and fit.
Energy drinks keep you hydrated, which is extremely important for an athlete as they sweat incessantly during practice and performance. Energy drinks maintain the sodium level in your body and prevents dehydration by improving the body’s water retaining capacity. The electrolyte level of your body is maintained as sports drinks like the Gatorade contain all the needed minerals. Sports drinks do not have proteins. Even milk and chocolate milk are good sports drinks as they help in protein synthesis. It has experimentally proved that milk and chocolate milk are better sports drink than others as athletes drinking these after exercising had 2% more fluid levels.
Caffeine reduces fatigue and supplies enormous amount of positive energy. It makes athletes more focussed and alert. Caffeine is best for athletes in short sprints and heavy weight lifting as caffeine improves the short time exercise performance. Caffeine uses the stored fat and covert them to energy. Since there is less glycogen depletion, you can exercise more. Prolonged evening use of caffeine is not recommended as that can lead to acid reflux, insomnia and stomach ulcers. Caffeine is also good for endurance sports.