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Sports nutrition and its importance

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dietetics - sports nutrition

Sports nutrition and its importance

Sports Nutrition is the nutrition for athletes and is a quantitative science and is important as it effects performance. Nutrition for sports is much more than just a high protein diet and no single food solution can increase athletic performance.

Nutrient modulation is a very important part of sports nutrition as it involves the special practice of eating certain amount of protein, fats, carbohydrates to enhance performance. Meal timing and frequency is also important. Also a lot depends on the type of sport one is involved in, as some athletes would need dietary plan several days before competition such as carbohydrate loading whereas in other maintaining the ideal body weight is of utmost important for competition.

Good nutrition for athletes means eating food for maintenance of optimum health plus extra nutrients to achieve maximum performance. Many surveys show that majority of the athletes, coaches, trainers do not have the adequate knowledge on nutrition and hence we see most athletes resort to ridiculous nutrition practices and find themselves turning to drugs in an attempt to compensate for poor nutrition.

Do’s and Don'ts for athletes

Do's
  • Consult a sports nutritionist to plan the diet.
  • Try to maintain ideal weight according to the sports
  • Hydration is the key to good performance, drink plenty of fluids.
  • Good amount of carbohydrates intake is important for better performance, although the amount is specific to each sport.
  • Optimal mineral and vitamin intake is important for good performance and health.
  • Exercise daily to increase your lean body weight.
  • Use of sports supplements can improve performance.
Don’ts
    • Eliminate junk foods.
    • Don’t go overboard with protein intake.
    • Avoid intake of too much of caffeine as it dehydrates the body.
    • Don’t pop up pills without the consultation with nutritionist / doctors.
    • Avoid taking metabolite supplements without reading labels as many are banned by FDA.