Nutrition is the science or study that deals with food and nourishment, particularly in human beings or the process of obtaining the food which is necessary for health and growth, and sports nutrition is the study and science of nutrition and diet for improving anyone’s sports performances. Sports Nutrition is an important factor in any kind of sports training food. Only physical fitness or physical exercises do not work. Various types of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats may be required in the sports by the athletes and it varies according to kinds of sports, or how much fluids and food should be taken by the athletes depend upon how much he or she worked hard in the sports. Sometimes it is essential to take supplements too. Supplements can be found in the form of pills, capsules, tablets, or liquid. Dietary supplements contain one or more dietary ingredients which include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs, and any other important substances, etc. Supplements are also the most important part of the sports nutrition because it fulfills the requirements of nutrients in the body of athletes by choosing or taking dietary supplements, which improves their athletic performances in a greater way.
What types are of supplements in sport nutrition?
As you already know about supplements and the importance of it in the sport. There are several types of supplements are known as sports nutrition but mainly it has classified in three categories, they are as follows:
1. Energy supplements – Energy supplements are used by the athletes in enhancing the ability to exercise. Commonly, Caffeine, Vitamin B12, Guarana, Ginseng are used by the athletes as supplements. They can be found in the forms of pill, tablet, capsule, coffee, and tea. Especially, caffeine is used to improve energy level and increase metabolism, and guarana is used to increase the ability to work hard as well as it is used for weight loss too.
2. Recovery supplements – Recovery supplements are commonly used by athletes in recovering from fatigue due to hard exercises. Recovery supplements include protein and amino acids etc. Protein is used for hormones, oxygen transport, cellular repair, enzymes, and conversion to fuel. Dietary protein is taken for gaining muscle mass and strength. It can be taken before exercise, during exercise, and after exercise for the better result. But, be careful too much always be problematic. Too much intake of protein can cause various types of diseases such as liver damage, renal damage, gout, dehydration, diarrhea, bloating, etc.
3. Performance-enhancing supplements – Anabolic steroids, blood doping, Creatine, and Glutamine, etc. are used by the athletes. Anabolic steroids are used particularly by bodybuilders, which are related to the hormone testosterone. It can build mass and strength very quickly. Furthermore, anabolic steroids can cause blood pressure. Blood doping is used by the athletes in long-distance cycling. It increases oxygen delivery to exercising tissues and enhances performance in endurance sports.
Why is sports nutrition important in the sport and what are they?
In sports, athletes have to spend extra more energy and sports nutrition provides a source of energy that is required to perform the activities. The food or nutrients are taken by the athletes and the time on which food is taken by the effects of their strength, training, recovery, and performance. The interval between exercise and the meals must care because it can cause adverse effects. Sports nutrition varies according to sports taken parts by the athletes. The main sports nutrition includes:
1. Carbohydrates – Carbohydrates are fuels of the body which provide energetic power. Having enough carbohydrates helps to maintain energy levels, delay fatigue during the course of exercise, and support in recovery. The requirement of carbohydrates depends on your exercise that how hard and how long do you perform exercise. The more you exercise needs the higher amount of carbohydrates to fulfill the lost carbohydrates from your body.
2. Proteins – Proteins are the basement of your body’s muscles and tissues. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair. Athletes need more proteins than others. You can enhance your intake of protein increasing intake of protein-rich foods or supplements.
3. Fat – Fat also provides energy and it is also an important factor in the athlete’s diet. Too much is not good therefore, you can take it in a moderate amount. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are good for the health which are found in fish, avocado, nuts, canola, olive oil, and seeds.
4. Vitamins and minerals – Vitamins and minerals are known as micronutrients because the human body needs only small amounts of them. Your body needs in small amounts of micronutrients but it is most important, failing to get even those small amounts of micronutrients causes many kinds of diseases such as scurvy, rickets, blindness, etc. Having enough amounts of micronutrients can provide a substantial benefit to athletes. They help to make bones strong, heal wounds, and strengthen your immune system. Sources of some important vitamins are as follows:
- Vitamin A – Carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach.
- Vitamin B12 – Meat, poultry, fish, and beans.
- Vitamin C – Lemon, broccoli, peppers, sweet and white potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, and leafy greens, etc.
- Vitamin D – Dairy products, mushrooms, and fish oil.
- Vitamin E – Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils.
- Vitamin K – Liver, butter, egg yolk, parsley, spinach, and kale.
Sources of some important minerals are as follows:
- Iron – Meat, poultry, fish, nuts, oysters, broccoli, and beans.
- Calcium – Dairy products, soya beans, nuts, green leafy vegetables.
- Magnesium – Whole wheat, spinach, black beans, dark chocolate, etc.
- Phosphorus – Dairy products, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, nuts, whole grains, beans, and soya bean.
- Potassium – Banana, orange, apricots, grape, raisin and dates, etc.
- Sodium – Salt, celery, beets, and milk, etc.
- Chloride – Table salt, sea salt, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, seaweed, and olive, etc.