Athletes undergoing strenuous training and competition have greater need for nutrition in sports than the sedentary population. Obtaining adequate nutrients will ensure maximal recovery time and lower rates of infections.
Increased perspiration associated with sport, particularly endurance sport, can lead to an increased loss of minerals and potentially set us up for nutritional deficiency diseases as the nutrient intake sufficient for the general population is not always sufficient for athletes.
Nutrition in sports is often only taken into consideration when we suffer an illness or a disease and sometimes we can leave it too long with fatal consequences. Athletes lose more electrolytes like magnesium, potassium and sodium due to perspiration. Extra iron is needed when athletes become anaemic, as they commonly do. Minerals are needed in higher amounts and supplementation can ensure adequate intake is achieved.
Bone & Joint Health
Optimal bone strength is important for all athletes. Stress fractures can bring an abrupt finish to years of training because the athlete’s diet is not providing the necessary nutrients they require to maintain the strength of their bones.
In order to keep you joints healthy you need more than just calcium – it has been clearly demonstrated that the body requires a range of minerals, vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids and other specific nutrients for the formation, repair and maintenance of healthy bones and joints.
Many scientific studies now acknowledge the effects of certain nutrients in preventing and even reversing the effects of joint wear and tear.
The 90 essential nutrients – 60 minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 amino acids and essential fatty acids give your body the nutrition required for the maintenance and repair of healthy bones and joints.
Nutrients such as glucosamine & chondroitin sulphate are beneficial in promoting joint repair and lubrication.
New Pain Relief Supplements such as ‘CM’ – (Cetyl Myristoleate) provide significant pain relief for joints and muscles – without the side-effects of NASAIDS (non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).
NSAIDs can cause irreparable damage to the joint and stomach lining and the anti-inflammatory effects over the long term are no better than glucosamine and chondroitin which also repair the joint.
You should experience measurable results from any supplementation within 90 days.
Factors that may influence outcome include: quality of the product, supplementing with a single nutrient (as opposed to all 90 essential nutrients), poor absorbability – liquids have better absorbability and digestive enzymes can be of great help in speeding up the healing process through nutrition.
Sports Drinks – How Many Nutrients Does Your Sports Drink Have? A simple question – and for most people who drink Gatorade, the answer to that question is ‘three’. That’s right, a whole three nutrients.
The whole key to good nutrition in sports is to put back what the body sweats out. Obviously we need to drink a lot of water – as a guide, the average person should drink about 8-10 glasses of water per day. When you exercise and you sweat, then you should double this amount for every hour you train.
When you sweat, you sweat out minerals (at least 60 in trace amounts), you burn up protein (amino acids) as well as glucose and your requirements for energy increase.
Look for sports drinks containing the maximum number nutrients including minerals, vitamins, amino acids and other nutrients beneficial for nutrition in sports and overall health including Ginseng, Green Tea and Taurine.
The Couch Potato Factor
So what is ‘secret advantage’ of the couch potato? They don’t sweat! While an obese person may be more likely to suffer a range of diseases associated with obesity – the athlete who over trains and sweats without fuelling her body with a great source of nutrition is just as likely to suffer diseases such that threaten the quality of life as she gets older. The warning signs are tiredness, fatigue, erratic blood sugar levels, abnormal heart rhythms and the end result is one of many chronic nutritional deficiency diseases.
The solution is simple, put back what you are losing through a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition and proper daily supplementation.