Sports nutrition was once reserved for professional athletes and the niche sector of bodybuilders looking to increase their gains. In recent years, sports nutrition has hit the spotlight and is a popular fixture in many fitness lovers’ routines.
The basis of sports nutrition is to provide your body with the correct amount of nutrients and fuel to sustain energy for improved fitness. Since its early inception into the market, its nutritional significance has made its way into many styles of training from weight training to weight loss. So is this type of nutrition right for you in the long term and do you need to include it in a dietary program for enriched fitness?
Take a look at some of the most common questions about sports nutrition and whether or not it is worth the hype.
Are sports supplements safe?
Supplements are readily available throughout the UK, and many claim to have a range of different benefits from helping you gain muscles to assisting in weight loss. While there are many reputable suppliers in the market with products that are safe to eat and drink, it is advisable to speak with a dietician or doctor about how they can fully benefit your goals.
Eating healthy better than supplements?
There is no substitute for a balanced diet rich in nutrients and different food types. If you think that supplements will provide a magical solution for faster fitness gains, then it is highly likely you have not considered how a supplement can work for you in the long-term.
Simple changes in what you eat will fill some of the gaps that you need to improve performance in the gym and to realise that supplements are just that, a supplement to a varied diet will help you create a flexible food plan to assist your fitness regime.
Is too much protein bad for you?
When it comes to protein, the recommended amount to consume is between 0.3 to 2g per kilogram of weight. Protein supplements are one of the most popular products in the nutrition market, and they help to increase protein levels to build and maintain body tissue. This type of supplement comes in different forms including shakes, tablets and snack bars and is often consumed at various intervals throughout the day when training.
If you are not getting enough protein in your diet, this type of supplement could help, but there is also evidence that you could get the same amount of nutrition from increasing food in your diet that contains natural protein such as eggs, poultry, dairy and beans. There is also known to be cases that overeating protein can have effects on your health such as worsening any kidney problems you may have and increasing your risk of osteoporosis over time. this is where a keto diet may be beneficial, as it will require you to force your body into a metabolic state by reducing your carbs, and eating more fats.
Are sports drinks better than water for hydration?
Water is an excellent tool for hydration, and it is recommended that you get approximately 2 litres a day to sustain healthy bodily functions. This, of course, is increased when you exercise. Although water is recommended in fitness training, drinking a lot of it can also wash the essentials salts from your body that are needed to sustain fitness levels. If you are doing gentle exercise, then water will suffice, but if you are undertaking intensive training, then there is a range of sports drinks available that can help restore fluids and nutrients lost through sweat. Dioralyte may also help with this as it contains rehydration salts.
Be sure to stay away from highly caffeinated energy drinks while exercising, as these will dehydrate you and leave you feeling sluggish after a workout.
Sports nutrition and supplements are becoming increasingly popular in all age groups who want to improve gains from their workout. Understanding how they work and getting the balance right in your diet is just part of the bigger picture when improving fitness and may only benefit you personally if you incorporate healthy eating, sufficient exercise and adequate hydration into your lifestyle.
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