Sports Nutrition for Peak Performance
The body needs to operate at peak efficiency so the sports person can perform to their best ability. With the difference between winning and losing sometimes being a fraction of a second, nutrition could be the deciding factor. Here we show you the extra nutrients needed and the amounts you should have.
Sports nutrition summary
The nutrients needed are similar to the healthy eater, they both need balanced quantities of all key nutrients. The sports person just needs them in higher amounts:
For a healthy eater the proportion of calories from each key nutrient should be as follows:
In sports nutrition a slightly higher percentage of protein and a lower percentage of fats would be favorable. The sports person wants to carry no excess fats.
The following table shows the extra daily calorie intake required to stay at the same weight during normal training for different periods of time exercising (to the nearest 10 calories):
The carbohydrate intake should come from complex
carbohydrates. These provide energy to the body slowly and gradually unlike simple carbs which are sudden and short lived. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include:
the nature of protein and it's use in muscle, some sports require a higher intake than others. These are high intensity sports like sprinting and body building. Good sources of protein include:
There are three types of fats:
In sports nutrition the majority of fats consumed should be mono-unsaturated. Sources include:
So many factors play a role in the amount of water a sports person requires, climate and personal physiology being the most important. There are 2 schools of thought on fluid replacement for the athlete:
We subscribe to them both, you obviously need fluid while you exercise especially on hot days. So why not weigh yourself afterwards as well for a further check and take on more fluids if needed.
Again a difficult one to quantify, the sports person does need more as it's secreted in sweat, but there are still many factors that govern how much a particular sweats.
This is where sports drink becomes ideal, the sodium levels are perfect. One bottle of an isotonic sports drink combined with your normal fluid replacement will be adequate.
The extra calorie intake if it's balanced will more than cover your needs for the R.D.A. However in sports nutrition...
...There is now research that shows larger amounts of vitamin C & E can help improve performance. Supplements can provide all the vitamin C needed. The good news about vitamin E is that foods with good fats (mono-unsaturated) are also high in vitamin E. These include:
Now onto beta-carotene, found in many vegetables especially carrots beta-carotene is known to improve athletic performance. For this reason it's often added to many protein powders on sale today. Doses range from 15mg to 50mg. Click here for further beta-carotene information.
Sports nutrition overall
Including sports nutrition as part of your training takes minimal effort and really can make a difference. A few minor adjustments to your diet is all it takes and you will see results.
The values shown are for moderate to vigorous exercise such as running/jogging, swimming, basketball, tennis, cycling etc.