The Importance of Nutrition in an Athlete’s Lifestyle
08 October 2013
For an athlete to be successful not only do they need to put in a lot of effort into exercising and training but a big part of it comes to nutrition; athletes need to watch their intake of food and nutrients to make sure their training and exercise does not go to waste from eating something that counteracts the physical activities. Most athletes have personal nutritionists to make their everyday food menus and create diets for specific situations or training and they are usually very strict about it. Without proper nutrition, an athlete will almost always under-perform because it is equivalent of having 1/3 of their physical needs removed.
It is known to most people that nutrition can greatly affect an athlete’s performance so it is recommended that athletes follow certain meal plans so they can get the best out of what they eat. Not only does nutrition help better their performance on the playing field but it can also help prevent serious injuries and illnesses. Sometimes the difference between you breaking your bone or not is the small amount of calcium you may be missing form your diet, right?
Maughan (2013) stated that “Olympic Committee issued a consensus statement on nutrition in sport, which began with the following words: “Diet significantly affects athletic performance”” (p.204-208) Sometimes athletes or coaches blame losing on the lack of training they do and then when they add more training they get confused because the results don’t change. Maybe it is because they don’t get the nutrients they need, Nutrition is a big thing when it comes to individual performances but most people just tunnel under-performance into the subject of the lack of training when in reality there is more to it. More training maybe be good for better performance but like everyone says, too much of anything will turn it into a negative factor “It is now recognized, however, that more training is not always better – it brings an increased risk of injury and chronic fatigue” (Maughan, 2013, p.204-208) this is one reason why nutrition is so important for an athlete, nutrition is used as a support for the training, a backup, it is used to increase the ability for the body to absorb the training they was just done. You may be working out and training for 7 days a week but a person that’s eating well and working out maybe 4-5 times a week will probably get the same amount of gains that the person that trains a lot gets, maybe even more. Nutrients are separated into different types: Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, Electrolytes and Supplements. Proteins are basically the physical building block of any athlete, they are the ones responsible for making you look big and giving you the strength you need for whatever you may be doing. Some athletes require more muscles some require less in which case the intake of protein will be significantly different. Fats and CHO (Carbohydrates) are for the more high intensity exercises because since CHO is stored energy and high intensity exercise requires the body to be able to react and provide itself with the needed energy, CHO will always be a reliable source of energy. There are low CHO diets where the body relies more on fat oxidation for energy however it is believed “that a healthy diet is one that is high in CHO (at least 55% of energy) and low in fat (less than 30% of energy).” (Maughan, 2013, p. 204-208) Vitamins and minerals are mainly for energy metabolism, how fast one spends their energy. They also play an important part in body structure and bone/muscle strength. Water and Electrolytes hydrates the body and is also great for endurance exercises. Being hydrated is the building block of almost every other nutrient that you take in and it also decreases body temperature which helps prevent serious...
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