Note On Sports Nutrition / Optimising Sporting Performance

A Note On Sports Nutrition

What you eat becomes the physical structures of your body; what you eat also runs these physical structures.
Sport increases your nutrient requirements before, during and after exercise. During exercise nutrients are needed to enable your muscles, cardiovascular and respiratory systems to work together so you can achieve your sporting goal. Exercise also increases strain on your body and produces potentially harmful molecules, so ensuring your body has the right nutrient defences during and after exercise is of high importance if you want to limit injury and damage to your body.

After exercise nutrients are needed so your body can repair and become stronger, so that you can achieve better results next time your exercise. Our bodies are designed to succeed and survive; but if we over exert and do not support our bodies with the raw materials needed to fuel this lifestyle; we risk injury, poor performance and an increased risk of non sport related health problems.

We all have our individual capabilities but if we provide the right fuel for the individual we get to see that individual's full capability, rather than just their potential. Make sure your individual health is supported by having a personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan, so that your body's systems can come together and function at their best so you can achieve your best.

Top Tips For Athletes:

  • Stay hydrated before, during and after exercise.
  • Hydration isn't just about water. Oils, minerals and even proteins are relevant to your body's ability to manage how your body's cells hold on to water.
  • Watery fruits are particularly hydrating such as melon, cucumber, peaches, nectarines, coconut water and most tropical fruits. They grow in hot climates for a reason.
  • Stick to pure water or coconut water during exercise and for longer periods of exercise 45 mins+ add mix half fresh juice with water or coconut water and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Eat at the right times.
  • Avoid eating meals less than 1.5 hours before exercising otherwise your body will have to decide whether to put its energy into digesting or fuelling your muscles which may result in both your digestion and sport performance being undermined.
  • 10 mins before have some fruit. This will help fuel the start of your activity. Eating carbohydrate any earlier could encourage your body to store the energy which stops it being readily available in your blood, meaning you start on an empty fuel tank.
  • The day before a big event reduce your fibre intake.
  • Fibre stays in the gut for a long time, meaning your large bowel is likely to be full during exercise, which can slow you down and cause discomfort. Peel fruit and vegetables and avoid grains, especially wholegrains e.g. bread, pasta and cereals. Try starchy veg like sweet potato, squash and peeled carrot mash instead.
  • Make sure your individual health is supported by having a personalised nutrition and lifestyle plan, so that your body's systems can come together and function at their best so you can achieve your best.

Zoe Kay
Zoe@znutrition.co.uk
http://www.znutrition.co.uk