Whether you are an adult exercising for health improvement or an athlete seeking competitive advantage, sports nutrition should be taken into consideration. Sports nutrition plays an important role in the success of your fitness or performance goal. In the end, sports nutrition can make reaching your fitness goals possible.
To help you in your goals, you should also seek guidance from professionals. There are dieticians that you can hire to develop nutrition and fluid programs according to your goals and your body’s needs. However, before hiring, you should know the basics of sports nutrition – macronutrients.
Macronutrients are in the following food groups, which can supply the necessary energy essential to optimise body functions:
Carbohydrates are considered the most important source of energy. The digestive system will break down the carbohydrates and turn it into glucose (or blood sugar). You already know that glucose can feed energy to your organs, tissues, and cells.
Simply put, a carbohydrate is a primary fuel utilised by your working muscles. With this, adequate intake is important for preventing muscle fatigue. There are two kinds of carbohydrates:
- Simple: simple carbohydrates include sugars found in foods like milk, vegetables, and fruits.
- Complex: examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grain, potatoes, vegetables, and oats.
If you are taking part in resistance training, your body will need more protein. Protein is utilised as a source of energy and it is essential for building new muscle tissue and aid recovery. Basically, proteins are made up of amino acids.
Keep in mind that the body cannot produce amino acid. With this, it should be supplied with food. There are two kinds of proteins:
- Complete: complete proteins typically consist of amino acids that are needed by the body. Examples of complete protein include animal sources like fish, meat and poultry. Milk is also considered a complete protein.
- Incomplete: incomplete protein typically includes plant-based proteins. As the name suggests, it is characterised by a lack of one or more essential amino acids.
While it is crucial to monitor your fat intake, you should not totally remove it from your diet. Fats will provide fatty acids, which can be used as a source of energy – especially if the session is longer than one hour.
Fats should be included in your diet because it provides the building blocks for the formation of cell walls and hormones. Fats can also help with the protection of organs. There are two kinds of fats:
- Saturated: saturated fats can increase the risk of disease. It can be found in animal products like red meats.
- Unsaturated: unsaturated fats are considered healthy, which comes from plant sources like nuts and olive.
Remember that sports nutrition is the keystone of athletic or fitness success. You should expect a nutrition plan from your dietician that will help supply the right type of food, nutrients, and fluid to keep your body functioning at its peak.