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What Changes can Nutrition Bring to an Athlete?


Nutrition can help enhance athletic performance. The best way to stay healthy is an active lifestyle and exercise routine, along with eating well. Athletic performance pushes your body to the edge. As we know progress is always accomplished by progressively stressing your body and allowing it to recover. As per the best sports nutritionist in Mumbai, if an athlete does not receive adequate nutrition from the diet, the recovery is not possible. As one continues to train, stress, fatigue and metabolic waste will accumulate in the body. Training and competition require large amounts of energy, which comes from carbohydrates, fats and protein in the body. If one does not consume enough of these macronutrients from the diet, the body will not be able to perform at a peak level of performance. Experts at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, recommend having a meal high in carbs 3 to 4 hours before competition, giving the body plenty of time to convert it into glycogen which is used as a fuel for exercise. The other half of a body’s energy comes from fats, though many people avoid them to prevent extra pounds. In sports like wrestling, where there are expectations to keep body fat and weight low, reduced fat intake may hinder their performance.

An athlete is more likely to be tired and perform poorly during sports when he does not get enough: calories from the diet, carbohydrates, fluids, protein, iron, vitamins, and other minerals. The ideal diet for a sportsperson is very much different from the diet recommended for any healthy person as athletes need best sports nutrition plan. However, the amount of each food group an athlete needs will depend on: type of sport, the amount of training he does and the amount of time you spend doing the activity or exercise.

Hydration is a critical, universally accepted facet of nutrition. Athletes who are not hydrated and correctly fuelled when they hit the field are at a big disadvantage. A dehydrated athlete has a decreased blood volume resulting in less oxygen-carrying blood returning to his or her heart.

Strength training relies primarily on carbohydrates for energy. The muscles break down their own protein to fuel themselves during intense training. Endurance training consumes both fats and carbohydrates. The body rebuilding stronger muscles is what leads to growth in muscle mass and increased strength and endurance. The first two-three hours after training are the most critical for exercise recovery to perform well due to which the demand remains high for at least 24 hours after training. As we know if nutritional demands are not met during this period, recovery will be prolonged over days or weeks.

Training also produces stress hormones in the body. In the short term, these trigger the body to release energy stores such as body fat and increase the triggers for growth. However, if the levels of stress hormones remain high, the functionality of the immune system is impaired. Eating a well-balanced diet attuned to the demands of one’s body mass and the carbohydrate demands of an individual’s activity level is recommended. To help them perform better, athletes should avoid exercising on an empty stomach. Everyone is different, so one will need to learn: how long before exercising is best for them to eat and how much food is the right amount for them.

Weight changes may be the intention of one’s training. However, unintended and potentially dangerous weight changes can occur with poor nutrition. With continued training, an athlete will lose muscle mass without proper nutrition. He may gain or lose body fat at an unhealthy pace as well, depending on the particulars of your diet, training and genetics.

Women athletes that fail to maintain adequate nutrition may cease menstruating until the nutritional deficits are corrected thus hair, skin and nail health may also be compromised. The levels of growth and sex hormones, such as testosterone, are drastically decreased with prolonged nutritional deficits. In women malnutrition also places you at greater risk of many other diseases and health problems.

An example of an athlete who benefited from changing her nutrition was one of the 2012 US Olympic track cyclists who spent many hours training and building her endurance. It’s important to reach the next level in her training; she needed to know if she was missing any key nutrients from her diet. A blood analysis revealed that she was very low in vitamin D. Recommendations by sports nutritionists are best as it would increase her vitamin D, helped to improve her performance, and contributed to her success in London where she won two Olympic silver medals in track cycling!

Nutrition in the sports world has an effect on everything from performance to recovery on game day. Foods and liquids high in sugar and sodium inhibit hydration and reinforce poor eating habits. That is why All-State distance runner Matthew Mekaelian of Lake Forest High School preaches the benefits of good sports nutrition to his team.“At the beginning of sophomore year, I was running times in the mid-19 minute range for 3 miles. Then I cut out all sweets and sodas from my diet and focused on good nutrition,” he said. He credits the diet, along with diligent training, with helping him drop almost 5 minutes from his personal best 3-mile time in just 2-½ years.

Thus, the keys to peak performance are a balance of nutrient rich foods and a focus on quality and consistent nutrition coupled with regular training and dedication. Athletes performing at their absolute best must push their bodies to the limit, sometimes even past what they thought that limit was. Does a visit to best nutritionist in Mumbai; best option to help you in best nutrition plan.

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