• Basics of Sports Nutrition


    One area that I have always enjoyed focusing on is Sports Nutrition. I commonly had clients who would work out actively, but weren’t getting the results that they were aiming for. The most common things I saw was that client’s were not losing weight, their body fat percentage was still rather high, or they had low energy. The bottom line behind exercising and your health is that not only do you have to move, but you have to also watch what you eat. That is where sports nutrition comes in. Therefore, if you have any questions after reading this article, please send me a message and I will be happy to address them. Also, please keep in mind, that sports nutrition is not restricted to those who are professional athletes. Everybody can benefit from learning about sports nutrition.

    First and foremost is that to maintain energy levels and to lose or maintain weight and body composition for optimal athletic performance, it is crucial that you eat at least once every three hours. This includes eating a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. A good example, which covers all three for a snack, are carrot sticks with almond butter. Or you can have dried berries with some almonds and sunflower seeds. Eating every three hours helps to stabilize your sugar levels, increases metabolic rate, gives you energy during sports activities, and helps to turn more fatty mass into lean mass. Furthermore, if you are only having large meals three times a day, it will slow you down whether it is at the gym or while playing football. Sugar levels stay stable for about three hours, as long as you consume some protein with your sugars and carbohydrates.

    Secondly, you must eat a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In future articles, I will get more in depth as to what exactly to eat and how to make changes to your existing diet so that your diet supports your workout routine.

    In general, if you workout actively, then you should consume:
    7-8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight
    1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight
    No more than 20-30% of total calories consumed should be fats.

    Carbohydrates provide energy and muscular fuel, help control cholesterol and fat, assists digestion, and helps with nutrient and water absorption. Some examples of quality carbohydrates are fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and whole grains.

    Proteins also provide energy if all of your carbohydrates have been depleted and it is essential for developing and maintaining tissues. Proteins also help to transport vitamins, minerals, and fats to and from the cells. Some examples of quality protein includes chicken, turkey, salmon, and other meats and seafoods.

    Not all fats are unhealthy. Your body needs some healthy, unsaturated fats because they are also a source of energy and muscular fuel. They deliver many of the vitamins to the cells, such as viamins A, D, E, and K. And in fact, if you restrict too much of your fat consumption, this can lead to having an inadequate amount of energy. Some examples of healthy fats include olive oil, nut oils, and fish oil (or even consuming freshwater fish is acceptable).

    From here on out, we will go into the specifics of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for sports nutrition. Then from there, we will cover what to eat and when for optimal athletic performance and meeting your health goals along with ergogenic aids. Furthermore, if you are interested in sports nutrition for yourself, please feel free to contact me via email: info@illuminatedhealth.com or call me on +44 (0) 7867 383748

    Remember, you are what you eat!

    Health and happiness,

    Varsha

     


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