Sports And Nutrition

Athletes who want a winning edge should get the right kind of nutrition. When you drink enough water and eat a balanced diet, your body can produce energy efficiently and fuel top performance. You can make the most of your athletic talent and acquire more strength, power and endurance when you train. Base your diet on a variety of elements including your age, size and physical condition; and the type of exercise you’re doing. See your doctor for some individualized nutrition advice.

Your Hydration

Water is the most important element in sports nutrition. It makes up about 60 percent of your total body weight and is involved in almost every bodily process. Your body cannot make or store water, so you must replace what you eliminate (i.e., urine, sweat). Everybody should drink at least two quarts (eight cups) of water everyday, and athletes need more than that. Drink plenty of liquid before, during and after sports events to stay hydrated and avoid overheating. When you workout or compete, especially during hot weather, try to closely match the amount of liquid you drink with the amount you lose for sweat.

Your Sources Of Fuel

Eating a balanced diet is another key element to sports nutrition. The right combination of fuel (calories) from carbohydrates, proteins and fats gives you energy for top performance.

Carbohydrates: The most important source of fuel, carbohydrates, come in fruits, vegetables, pastas, breads, cereals, rice, etc. and should provide about 60-70 percent of your daily calories. Your body converts sugars and starches in carbohydrates into energy (glucose) or stores it in the liver and muscle tissues (glycogen), giving you endurance and power for some highly intense, short-duration activities. If your body runs out of its carbohydrate fuel during exercise, it will burn fat and protein for energy, causing your performance levels to drop. This may happen if you start exercising without any or little muscle glycogen, exercise heavily for more than an hour without eating more carbohydrates, do repeated high-intensity, short-duration exercises or participate in multiple events or training sessions in a single day. Use a carbohydrate strategy to stay energized so you can perform at your best.

Nutrition Before Competing

What you eat several days before endurance activities will affect your performance. Your food the morning of a sports competition can effectively ward off hunger, keep blood sugar levels adequate as well as aid hydration. Avoid high protein or high fat foods on the day of an event, as these can put stress on the kidneys and take a long time for you to digest. Make sure you empty your upper bowel by competition time.

Loading On Carbohydrates

To avoid running out of carbohydrates for energy, some endurance athletes like long-distance runners, swimmers and bicyclists try to load their muscles with glycogen by eating some extra carbohydrates in combination with doing depletion exercises several days before an event.

 


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Nutrition With Vitamin Supplements

Nutritional vitamin supplements are a big business. Many say that they are unnecessary, whilst others contend that they are more necessary than ever. They have been a source of controversy and debate for many years. Why is this?

Vitamin supplements have been around a good long time in one form or another. Cod liver oil was widely given to children every day only 100 years ago. Those same children would never have dreamed that some day people would pay lots of money not only to take fish oil, but to take it more than once a day. You have probably seen the daily vitamins sold in most stores that even many doctors are now grudgingly stating are fine to take regularly.

The heart of the controversy is both the types and potencies of many of the supplements. Often, one single dose contains a nutrient in such high concentration as to be completely impossible to consume in a proportionate amount in foods that contain that same nutrient. Many people in the medical establishment insist that this is at best a foolish and at worst a potentially dangerous practice. They state that some nutrients, being water soluble, are simply passed through the system and others that are fat soluble can be absorbed into fat reserves in hazardous levels if consumed without caution.

Those who promote the use of supplements counter that passing part of a dose of a water soluble nutrient is worthwhile because it ensures saturation of that nutrient at a cellular level, maxing out the body’s available supplies. The supplement industry itself has added precautionary statements to their labeling to warn people of the potential hazard of consuming a high level of fat soluble nutrients.

Nevertheless, for vitamins and minerals, there is some monitoring by the Food and Drug Administration. For others that aren’t recognized as essential nutrients, the truth becomes more hazy.

If you truly wish to take nutritional supplements, start with small doses under the advice and supervision of qualified some professionals such as a registered dietician. After all, they aren’t called supplements for nothing.

 


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.

Benefits Of A Healthy Diet

A healthy diet is something everyone who cares about their health claims they want. But the question is how do we really get it?

The Key To A Healthy Diet

Developing a healthy eating habit is not as confusing or as restrictive as many people tend to imagine. The first principle of a healthy diet is to simply eat a wide variety of food. This is important because different foods make different nutritional contributions to the body.

Secondly, fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes—foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, low in fat, and free of cholesterol—should make up for the bulk of the calories you consume. The rest should come from low-fat dairy products, lean meats, lean poultry, and fish.

You should also try to keep a balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure – that is, do not eat more food than your body can use. Otherwise, the chances are you will gain weight. The more active you are therefore, the more you can eat whilst still maintaining this balance.

Following these three basic steps does not mean that you have to give up on your favourite food. As long as your overall diet is low in fat and rich in complex carbohydrates, there’s nothing wrong with an occasional cheeseburger. Just make sure you limit how frequently you eat these foods, and when you do, try to eat small portions of them.

You can also see healthy eating as an opportunity to expand your range of choices by trying foods – especially vegetables, grains, or fruits – that you do not normally eat. A healthy diet does not have to mean eating foods which are bland or unappealing.

 


John Rifkind is a contributing editor at FitnessHealthArticles.com. This article may be reproduced provided that its complete content, links and author byline are kept intact and unchanged. No additional links permitted. Hyperlinks and/or URLs must remain both human clickable and search engine spiderable.