The one thing I always get asked about sports nutrition is what should I eat in order to perform at peak levels during training and races.
An athlete's body is subjected to enormous amount of strain during workouts. Also a great amount of energy is required and consumed during these periods. In order to perform well, the muscles must be strong enough and has enough energy to sustain the vigorous activities required during workouts.
For the past many years, a lot of arguments have surfaced regarding what is the optimal diet for the athletes that will enable them to perform at their best potentials. All over the world, dietitians have different opinions on the best food plan for their athletes. There's no sign of these arguments stopping soon. In fact, we can expect them to continue on for the coming years ahead.
Despite the various arguments, many people agree that optimal nutrition can enhance performance levels and recovery in intense physical activities. They do agree that the intake of appropriate food and fluids at the right time and the use of appropriate supplements are vital to having optimal health and performance for these athletes.
During high physical activities, the body needs a great amount of energy. The main source of energy comes from carbohydrates. Stored as glycogen in the muscles, they provide the body with the fuel for intense short burst of energy. The more intense the activities and the longer the duration of such activities, the more glycogen is used up. When glycogen is depleted, you'll have no more energy left and will need to stop exercising. Therefore, you'll need to consume a sufficient amount of carbohydrates in order to maintain enough glycogen in your body. Experts recommend to consume 3.6g of carbohydrates daily for every pound you weigh. So, consume 504g of carbohydrates each day if you're weighing 140lbs.
Muscle building requires sufficient amount of protein as it is the basic building material of muscles. Especially those doing strength training, athletes will required a lot of protein to build their muscles. It is recommended that serious strength athletes should take 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein for every pound of body weight.
Fat is an essential nutrient that provide fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins. It also provide a moderate amount of energy to the body. However, you'll only need a small amount of it to be healthy. Only 20% to 25% of your total daily calories requirements should come from unsaturated fat
It is important for athletes to be well hydrated. Additional to the normal daily requirement of consuming 8 glasses of water, they should also have fluid intake before, during and after exercises and races to compensate for the fluid loss during these periods. Two hours before any workouts, you should drink 2 cups of fluid. Every 15 to 20 minutes during the workouts, you should drink 4 to 8 ounces of fluid to keep hydrated. Drink 16 ounces of fluid after the fluid to replenish fluid lost. To be more precise, you can weigh yourself before and after workouts. Drink 16 ounces of fluid for every pound lost during these workouts.
To keep yourself energized during prolonged periods of workouts that last more than 1 hour, use sports drinks and energy bars. Besides giving you energy, sports drinks will keep you adequately hydrated during workouts. After every workout, consume some protein and carbohydrates to promote muscle tissue repair and rebuilding and also to replace the glycogen that was lost during workouts.
During workouts, you can give your muscles a slight power boost by consuming creatine. In order to realize its benefits, you'll need to do this in combination with a good diet and a good training program. A good source of creatine is found in meat. This nutrient can also be obtained from supplements. To give your muscles an initial boost, consume 5g of creatine monohydrate 4 times a day. Do this for 5 consecutive days. Then, everyday take 2g for maintenance.
I've just shown you some great sports nutrition tips. Keep them in mind and use them for your personal success.
About the Author
About the Author: Lenox Smith is a sports nutrition specialist dedicated to helping every sportsperson achieve their peak performance through proper sports nutrition. Get free insider access to his opt-in list, private blog and members-only Forum. http://SportsNutritionTactics.com