Sports nutrition involves the appropriate use of the right types of fats, along with minerals and vitamins at the right time. To optimize performance, build muscles and to avoid injury athletes should avoid these common nutritional mistakes to get the proper benefit of training.
- A quick fix protein shake before a workout. Protein is digested much slower than carbs, and may delay the absorption of carbs, which will not be available to fuel muscles during exercise. Instead a solid small meal of between 150 to 350 calories two to three hours before the training session is better. A slow-digesting source gives enough time to digest the food and allows nutrients to be absorbed before the workout starts. A slice of whole grain bread with some almond butter, or whole grained oats will re-balance blood sugar over a longer time. Nutrient needs will be catered to, without overtaxing your hormonal and digestive systems causing you to feel sluggish and unmotivated.
In fact, according to a blog published on Nutrascience Labs by Aja Campbell, CrossFit Coach, founder and owner of ATTAGIRL NY,protein powders are one of the most popular sports supplement choices today. She also recommends magnesium and fish oil for strength and conditioning.
- Exercising on an empty stomach. Since pure body fat does not burn out, during exercise a combo of carbs and fat is burnt. When carbs aren’t readily available, the body breaks down its own muscle mass and uses it as blood sugar. By skipping breakfast, muscle mass is reduced instead of being built and metabolism slows down Instead, eating a small wholesome snack 20 minutes before the start of the workout will balance cravings.
- Energy bars when overused will give back the calories burned during exercising. Energy bars commonly in pack the nutrition equivalent of a turkey sandwich. Instead of this, eat a recovery bar within an hour after workout and in the next proper meal in a few hours, keep it light. Preferably with veggies, a small portion of lean protein like (chicken, seafood or tofu) and a whole grain (like brown or wild rice).
- Eating too little or too much fat. Most athletes and health enthusiasts try desperately to get rid of all fat. Fat is part of all cells in the human body ,including muscle, so “good” fat is needed to heal and repair post-workout .Without enough fat, you could be sore and may not see the right results like firm toned muscles. Plant based fat from chopped nuts avocado, olives etc., will restore the required appropriate fat levels
- Improper post workout nutrition. In the post workout recovery period the body tries to rebuild itself with carbs to maximize muscle glycogen, the primary fuel used in the workout. Amino acids which are in protein are necessary to rebuild and repair muscles, maximizing glycogen storage potential, and to support optimal immune system function.
Whilst it is true that complex carbohydrates from whole grains, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables remain one the best things athletes can eat, regardless of their conditioned state, the importance of balanced nutritional supplements at the appropriate time cannot be overlooked. Supplements that have full spectrum vitamins and minerals will increase performance, help improve stamina, as well as provide quick recovery and rebuilding of muscle mass.