NUTRITION FOR ATHLETES

NUTRITION FOR ATHLETES

Summary: Explaining the hard-to-let-go myths on the proper nutrition for athletes.

Do you feel that athletes are in better shape than others because they constantly work out and are on a strict diet? Well, for some this is true. But others are not practicing the proper nutrition for athletes simply because they are holding on to some very popular misconceptions. Those who have a good relationship with their nutritional requirements are the ones that are actually in better shape than those who are not. Here are some of the myths that some athletes are forever holding on to.

#1 Myth: Load up on protein to gain more muscles.

Totally baseless. There is no scientific study that proved the association of extra protein to muscle gain. In fact, a proper nutrition for athletes prohibits an excess of 2-2.5 times the protein as in the RDA. To much protein intake can result in dehydration, kidney, liver problems, as protein needs a lot of fluid to remove waste products.

#2 Myth: When an athlete is thirsty, it means his body needs fluids.

The body might need fluids even if one is not thirsty. An athlete needs to keep watch on their fluid intake and how much of it they lose. It is highly recommended that they know their nude body weight before and after a competition to determine the water loss. Every pound lost is equivalent to 2 cups of water.

#3 Myth: Sugar should not be a part of a good nutrition for athletes before a competition.

Completely untrue. Sugar, which is a kind of carbohydrate, can actually fuel an athlete’s energy, therefore improving his performance. Eliminating sugar in the nutrition for athletes may not let them perform at their best.

#4 Myth: Athletes who exercise for more than an hour are the only ones who need the sports drinks.

Plain untrue. Those who exercise even for less than an hour and especially in hot and humid conditions can actually get a lot of good stuff from taking in those sports drinks. Dehydration due to water loss can easily be prevented with the sports drinks.

#5 Myth: A good way to lose weight is through exercise.

No way. If you consider your water loss as your weight loss, this may be true. But the water lost during exercise and other physical activities is to be replaced. Water loss is certainly not the same as fat loss. Fluid loss not replaced can lead to dehydration which is harmful to one’s heath.

Proper nutrition for athletes should be based on a health practitioner’s advice and not on mere hearsay or popular beliefs. After all, not only an athlete’s health is at stake, but his career as well.

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