Fast Facts About Sports Nutrition
Water, Water Everywhere
You can survive for a month without food, but only
a few days without water.
Water is the most important nutrient for active
When you sweat, you lose water, which must be
replaced. Drink fluids before, during, and after
Water is a fine choice for most workouts. However;
during continuous workouts of greater than 90 minutes,
your body may benefit from a sports drink.
Sports drinks have two very important ingredients
- electrolytes and carbohydrates
Sports drinks replace electrolytes lost through
sweat during workouts lasting several hours.
Carbohydrates in sports drinks provide extra energy.
The most effective sports drinks contain 15 to 18
grams of carbohydrate in every 8 ounces of fluid.
Rev up Your Engine with Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are your body's main source of energy.
Carbohydrates are sugars and starches, and they
are found in foods such as breads, cereals, fruits,
vegetables, pasta, milk, honey, syrups and table
Sugars and starches are broken down by your body
into glucose, which is used by your muscles for
For health and peak performance, more than half
your daily calories should come from carbohydrates.
Sugars and starches have 4 calories per gram,
while fat has 9 calories per gram. In other words,
carbohydrates have less than half the calories of
If you regularly eat a carbohydrate-rich diet
you probably have enough carbohydrate stored to
fuel activity. Even so, be sure to eat a precompetition
meal for fluid and additional energy. What you eat
as well as when you eat your precompetition meal
will be entirely individual.
Flexing Your Options to Build Bigger
It is a myth that eating lots of protein and/or taking
protein supplements and exercising vigorously will
definitely turn you into a big, muscular person.
Building muscle depends on your genes, how hard
you train, and whether you get enough calories.
The average American diet has more than enough
protein for muscle building. Extra protein is eliminated
from the body or stored as fat.
Score with Vitamins and Minerals
Eating a varied diet will give you all the vitamins
and minerals you need for health and peak performance.
Exceptions include active people who follow strict
vegetarian diets, avoid an entire group of foods,
or eat less than 1800 calories a day. If you fall
into any of these categories, a multivitamin and
mineral pill may provide the vitamins and minerals
missing in your diet.
Taking large doses of vitamins and minerals will
not help your performance and may be bad for your
health. Vitamins and minerals do not supply the
body with energy and, therefore are not a substitute
Popeye and All That Spinach
Iron supplies working muscles with oxygen.
If your iron level is low, you may tire easily
and not have enough stamina for activity.
The best sources of iron are animal products,
but plant foods such as fortified breads, cereals,
beans and green leafy vegetables also contain iron.
Iron supplements may have side effects, so take
them only if your doctor tells you to.
No Bones About It, You Need Calcium
Many people do not get enough of the calcium needed
for strong bones and proper muscle function.
Lack of calcium can contribute to stress fractures
and the bone disease, osteoporosis.
The best sources of calcium are dairy products,
but many other foods such as salmon with bones,
sardines, collard greens, and okra also contain
calcium. Additionally, some brands of bread, tofu,
and orange juice are fortified with calcium.
A Weighty Matter
Your calorie needs depend on your age, body size,
sport and training program.
The best way to make sure you are not getting
too many or too few calories is to check your weight
from time to time.
If you're keeping within your ideal weight range,
you're probably getting the right amount of calories.
This health education material
has been favorably reviewed by then American Academy
of Family Physicians Foundation
Adirondack Sports and Fitness - Sports Nutrition for
- An article outlining
the vegetarian athlete's energy, protein,
mineral and vitamin needs. Also contains meal
BUPA: Nutrition and the Athlete
- A nutrition
expert guides athletes toward attaining peak
condition. Includes tips on weight management,
control of glycaemic index and the effects
of alcohol, caffeine and creatine.
- A customized sports nutrition prescription
designed by L. Tyler Wadsworth, M.D. to optimize
the diet for athletic performance or weight
- Sports performance nutrition
advice and shop. Includes the latest findings
on the effects of glyconutrients.
Healthy-Living.org: Athlete's Nutrition
why athletes need to supplement their diet
with extra nutrients to maintain good health
and prevent injuries. Provides links to relevant
Nutrition for Serious Athletes - Sports Nutrition
- Provides tips, excerpted
from the author's book, on recommended nutrient
and fluid intake and gives advice about suitable
pre- and post-game meals.
Nutritional Needs of the Vegetarian Athlete.
Discusses the specific requirements for vegetarian
athletes of the major nutrient types. Provides
links to information on nutrient intake before,
during and after an event. Includes recipes.
Rader Programs - Athletes
- Discusses the reasons
why some athletes develop eating disorders,
describes symptoms and suggests measures to
prevent the occurrence of the disorders.
Second Opinions - Diet for Athletic Performance
- An article debating the issue of carbo-loading
Nutrition To Go
- Dawn Weatherwax, a sports
nutritionist, describes the services that
she offers to amateur and professional athletes
and their coaches.
Women's Sports Nutrition
- Provides clinical and
nutritional blood testing for athletes or
physically active women from age twelve.The
results are used to design personalized nutrition
programs that include food chemistry based
diets and supplements.
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