Sports & Athletic Performance
A Answers (8)
Personally, I feel that proper nutrition forms the foundation upon which sports performance is built. Without a good nutrition program, every aspect of your physical and mental abilities will decline. Everything from your level of hydration to the timing of your carbohydrate intake will drastically affect performance. The body simply cannot perform or function optimally without the building blocks of proper nutrition. Muscles cannot build, repair and become stronger without enough complete protein. The bodies ability to endure a grueling pace for hours on end is highly dependent on its glycogen stores.
Additionally, your ability to train and practice for a sport is dependent on your nutrition. If your nutrition program is filled with holes, you aren't going to be able to practice and train at the intensity and duration that is needed in order to become the best. Too many people neglect the importance of nutrition. Don't make this mistake because, to a certain extent, the outcome of your training and performance is hinged upon it. Nutrition is a variable of performance that you are in complete control of, so take advantage of it!
Nutrition plays a very big role in sports performance. When you eat is as important as what you eat. Nutrition is your go juice. No nutrition equals no go. For optimal energy for your work outs, eat immediately after each work out. This way you will be fueled up for your work out the next day and be able to efficiently utilize your time. On performance days eat a good meal 2-3 hours before competition and keep high carb snacks on hand for inbetween sessions so that you can stay fueled up with out having it stay in your stomache during competition. A competetor trains flexibility, strength, power, agility and speed and doesn't want that training to fade during competition due to lack of energy. In addition, nutrition is what builds you up after your workouts. A heavy work out (even the light days) stress joints, ligaments and even tear you up a bit. When your muscles sustain these micro tears, protien is essential to build you up stonger. Without protien for rebuilding, there is an increased chance of overtraining and overuse injuries. So for maintenance purposes and for increased energy during competition how you choose to feul yourself is very important.
Nutrition plays a very important role in sports performance. Without adequate carbohydrate and fluid, an athlete will get tired very easily and quickly. Protein is needed to rebuild muscles. Without all three of these plus adequate vitamins and minerals, an athlete will never be able to perform to their maximum potential. An athlete needs to pay close attention to when and what he is eating prior to a game or match as well as how much he is drinking. If unsure of how to use nutrition to reach his or her maximum potential, an athlete should contact a Registered Dietitian.
Along with genetics and training, nutrition is an important contributor to optimal sports performance. Our bodies are like machines in some ways, put quality fuel into the engine and it will be primed for an excellent performance; however, if you put lesser-quality fuel into the engine, performance can suffer. Sometimes, we neglect nutrition because our genetics and/or training has carried us through despite a lackluster nutritional plan. Only at the highest levels of performance and competition will our weakness(es) in any of these departments be exposed. Therefore, to achieve optimal results, emphasize nutrition the same way you value talent and a properly designed training/practice plan.