Sports nutrition is the basis of athletic success. It is a carefully crafted and executed nutrition plan that enables athletes to perform at their best.
Knowledge of sport’s nutrition is essential to athletes, keep-fit fans, bodybuilders, and anyone who wants to stay healthy.
Let’s take a look at 10 sport nutrition facts you most definitely have to know to get it right.
1. Your weight doesn’t matter:
Weight is not the most crucial factor when dealing with sports nutrition. It is possible to have a weight that is considered “normal” for an athlete and yet lack muscle mass. It is important to be sure that you do not have too little muscle or too much fat. If that happens to be the case, exercise and a proper eating plan must be carried out to increase muscle and lower fat.
2. Gaining muscle is not just about protein:
In your quest to gain muscle, you could go on a protein consumption spree, but protein consumption is not all there is to gaining muscle. Good knowledge of sports nutrition helps to guide athletes through this common mistake.
Building muscle requires a combination of –
- Added resistance to muscles
- Possessing a great distribution of nutrients to bolster tissue health.
- Avoiding stress to encourage anabolic hormone production
- Consuming more protein in the appropriate amounts and at the right times to encourage muscle protein synthesis.
- Ensuring adequate sleep.
Randomly eating protein without acknowledging all these is a waste of time as what the body needs will not be accomplished.
3. Eating good food is key:
Sports nutrition has led to an understanding of how the quality of food taken affects your build and performance as an athlete. Good food helps to keep you healthy. Inadequate consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables has been seen to negatively impact the body, leading to an increase in body fat and a decreased athletic performance. Intake of fruits and vegetables is a must as it helps to preserve the good bacterial colonies found in the gut.
4. Skipping meals does not help:
Sports nutrition studies show that infrequent meals or skipping meals affect bodybuilding goals and the athlete’s performance. An eating pattern that does not satisfy the body’s energy requirements leads to problems such as lower lean mass, increased fat levels, and greater risks of cardiac problems. Having a proper eating pattern leads to lower caloric intake.
5. Your body needs some fat:
This may go against everything you think you know, but some fatty foods are, in fact, good for you. A proper insight into sport’s nutrition is necessary to tell the good fatty foods from the bad.
For instance, fatty foods containing omega 6 are to be avoided, while those containing omega 3 are beneficial for proper all-round development. Examples of food containing omega 6 are sunflower and corn coil, and an example of food containing omega 3 fats is oily fish.
6. Variety is the spice of life:
Another interesting finding from sports nutrition studies is that variety in food choices is necessary. Eating the same foods on the assumption that they are best and good for you puts you at risk. Some essential nutrients are bound to be missing from your small choices of food, leading to nutritional risk. This is no small matter for athletes.
It is advisable to consume a wide variety of foods that are well distributed throughout the day. In doing this, the risk of exposure to something bad is lowered, and your body is exposed to all the nutrients it requires.
7. Lower your stress levels
It is a well-known sports nutrition fact that stress levels impact eating behaviors, leading to an overall negative effect on your performance or bodybuilding progress. High-stress levels can promote the intake of energy-dense food high in fat and sugar. Put effort into discovering a strategy for stress reduction as this will lead you to sustain optimal nutrition bringing a positive effect on both your performance and health.
8. Stay energized
Any sport’s nutritionist will tell you that optimal exercise performance occurs when there is sufficient energy to carry out the exercise. Many people form the habit of consuming the foods (energy) after the workout session or after a competition. In simple terms, this is detrimental to your health and should be avoided. To perform, you must be energized. Anything else leads you to face some unpleasant health and performance consequences.
9. Take it easy:
Properly armed with a knowledge of sports nutrition, and having learned all the negative effects of stress and overexertion, you would understand why it is important that you take it easy.
Giving your body time to recover from exercise is just as necessary as the exercise itself.
It’s not all about putting stress on your muscles through exercise.
Take a step back and relax. Doing that ensures that you reap the full health benefits of the exercise.
Sufficient sleep is important, as a lack of sleep would lead to stress, irregular eating patterns, and all-around negative results on your body and performance.
10. Stay hydrated
It is hardly a sports nutrition article if this universal fact is not mentioned. It is rather surprising that as much as drinking water is preached, many people still go on without drinking as much water as they require. Poor hydration leads to poor performance; this is hardly news. Water is good for you. Drink a lot of it! A good fluid balance is important for several reasons, some of which include –
- sustaining heart stroke volume
- sustaining good sweat rates
- enabling transport and absorption of nutrients into the cells
- enhanced removal of metabolic waste materials from the cell.
Staying hydrated also helps to regulate the body temperature, keep joints well lubricated, prevent infections, and keeps organs functioning properly. Drinking enough water also helps you with improved sleep quality, thinking ability and gives you a better mood.
Wrapping it up
Yes, you have it; 10 sports nutrition facts. With this info, you can tell the false from the facts.