In addition to good training, nutrition plays a more or more important role both in sports performance and in leading a healthy life in general. If you are an athlete, I am sure that more than once you have worried about your diet, but do you really know what sports nutrition is? Keep reading…
What is sports nutrition?
Sports nutrition is the part of nutrition specialized in sports. Generally, when talking about sports nutrition we think directly about bodybuilding or weightlifting, and people with hypertrophied muscles. But sports nutrition goes much further.
This part of nutrition specializes in people who practice sports, and adapts to the needs of the person, depending on the sport they practice and the type of training they do and with what intensity. It is best to always have a professional, such as an online nutritionist, to guide us and help with the diets.
What is a sports nutritionist?
Sports nutritionists are professionals specialized in food and human nutrition, but who have also specialized in sports nutrition. These professionals can help us both lose weight and gain weight, also when we have special nutritional needs, such as athletes.
Proteins or hydrates?
Another false myth about sports nutrition is that all food must be protein. In recent times, numerous foods enriched with proteins have become fashionable.
Depending on the sport you may need more protein or more carbohydrates. In the case of a runner, cyclist, person who performs high intensity aerobics, and in general endurance sports, will need foods that favor effort and provide energy, as is the case of hydrates.
In the case of strength sports, such as weightlifting, an increase in muscle mass is sought, so this athlete will need a higher amount of protein. The diet of each of them will be different, but both should contain hydrates and proteins, although in different proportions.
Do not forget that a healthy complete diet also consists of healthy lipids (fats).
When to go to a professional?
If we are going to perform low or medium physical exercise, surely we do not need to change anything in our diet (as long as it is correct and healthy). We should only slightly modify what we eat on the days we do exercises.
A person who comes to the gym between one and three times a week for an hour, to perform an activity of medium intensity, does not need to adapt their diet to sports nutrition.
On the other hand, if the sport that is going to be done is moderate to high intensity, training more than 4 days per week and for periods longer than one hour, this person will have special nutritional needs as an athlete and it is best to hire to an expert nutritionist specialized in sports diets.
High intensity sport produces a loss of glycogen and the muscles are subject to much wear. Avoid muscle catabolism or muscle wasting (with proteins) and also compensate for the loss of glycogen (with the help of carbohydrates).