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Sports nutrition guidelines

Sports nutrition guidelines

Sports nutrition guidelines Healthy eating. Guidelinez, due to the limited findings on boron Sports nutrition guidelines, its use Sports nutrition guidelines not nutritipn, and more research is Alternate-day fasting and hunger management to determine its physiological impact. Interestingly, two of the included papers had prescribed protein intakes of 2. Close Modal Close Modal. are naturally derived precursors to testosterone or other anabolic steroids. KidsHealth For Teens A Guide to Eating for Sports. Are super restrictive diets healthy for me?


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In Soothing arthritic joints article, we discuss macronutrient and micronutrient needs of athletes and look at calories, meal timing, and how to tailor requirements to specific sports. We nuyrition give meal examples for breakfast, nutritino, and guidelinss.

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The ISSN also notes that optimal protein intake may nutrihion from 1. Higher amounts of protein can help athletes avoid protein catabolism and slow recovery, Sports nutrition guidelines, which the ISSN notes can contribute to Herbal remedies for digestive health and muscle wasting over time.

For moderate amounts of intense training, an athlete should consume 1. Sports nutrition guidelines high volume intense training, the ISSN suggests 1.

Healthy protein sources include:. Fats are essential in the diet Speed up metabolism maintain bodily processes, such as hormone metabolism guideoines neurotransmitter function.

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Athletes should ensure they consume guiddelines essential guidelimes and minerals Spors need to support their guodelines health and Sports nutrition guidelines Sporta. People can usually nytrition adequate intakes of essential vitamins and minerals by eating a varied, balanced diet.

Some athletes may choose to take vitamin or mineral supplements or ergogenic aids, such as creatine. The ISSN recommends that consumers evaluate the validity and scientific merit of claims that manufacturers make about dietary supplements.

There is little evidence to support the efficacy or safety of many dietary supplements, including:. However, scientists have shown that other ergogenic aids, such as caffeine and creatine monohydrate, are safe and effective for athletes.

It is important to be aware that some athletic associations ban the use of certain nutritional supplements. Moreover, athletes should ensure they maintain adequate hydration.

Given that sweat losses are a combination of fluids and electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, athletes may choose to and benefit from using sports drinks, milkor both to meet some of their hydration needs. The ISSN suggests that athletes training intensely for 2—6 hours per day 5—6 days of the week may burn over — calories per hour while exercising.

As a result, athletes engaging in this level of activity may require 40—70 calories per 1 kg of body weight per day, compared with the average less active individual, who typically requires 25—35 calories per 1 kg of body weight daily.

According to the ISSN, athletes weighing 50— kg may require 2,—7, calories per day. It also notes that athletes weighing — kg may need to consume 6,—12, calories daily to meet training demands.

The timing and content of meals can help support training goals, reduce fatigue, and help optimize body composition. Guidelines for the timing and amount of nutrition will vary depending on the type of athlete. For example, the ISSN advises strength athletes consume carbohydrates and protein or protein on its own up to 4 hours before and up to 2 hours after exercise.

The American College of Sports Medicine ACSM also notes the importance of consuming protein both before and after exercise for strength athletes. By contrast, endurance athletes would need to consume mostly carbohydrates and a small amount of protein roughly 1—4 hours before exercise.

Both the ISSN and ACSM emphasize the role of meal timing in optimizing recovery and performance and recommend athletes space nutrient intake evenly throughout the day, every 3—4 hours.

Some people may find that consuming meals too close to the beginning of exercise can cause digestive discomfort. It is therefore important to eat an appropriate amount and not exercise too quickly after eating.

People who are training or racing at peak levels may find it challenging to consume enough food for their energy requirements without causing gastrointestinal GI discomfort, especially immediately before an important workout or race.

For example, the ISSA highlights the importance of hydration and carbohydrate loading for competitive swimmers. At the same time, it emphasizes consuming easily digestible carbohydrates, such as bananas and pasta, prior to events to avoid GI discomfort.

Athletes may need to work with a sports nutritionist, preferably a registered dietitianto ensure they consume enough calories and nutrients to maintain their body weight, optimize performance and recovery, and plan a timing strategy that suits their body, sport, and schedule.

Athletes need to eat a healthy and varied diet that meets their nutrient requirements. Choosing whole grains and other fiber -rich carbohydrates as part of a daily diet generally promotes health.

However, immediately prior to and during intense trainings and races, some athletes may prefer simpler, lower fiber carbohydrates to provide necessary fuel while minimizing GI distress. The following is an example of what an athlete might eat in a day to meet their nutritional needs.

Breakfast: eggs — either boiled, scrambled, or poached — with salmonfresh spinachand whole grain toast or bagel. Lunch: stir-fry with chicken or tofu, brown ricebroccoligreen beansand cherry tomatoes cooked in oil. Dinner: a baked sweet potato topped with turkey, bean chili, or both, served with a watercresspeppers, and avocado salad drizzled with olive oil and topped with hemp seeds.

Snacks are an important way for athletes to meet their calorie and nutrition needs and stay well fueled throughout the day.

Options include:. Athletes need to plan their diet to optimize their health and performance. They should consider their calorie and macronutrient needs and ensure they eat a varied diet that provides essential vitamins and minerals.

Hydration and meal timing are also vital for performing well throughout the day. Some athletes may choose to take dietary supplements.

However, they should be mindful of safety and efficacy issues and ensure that their sporting association allows them. Both amateur and professional athletes may benefit from consulting with a sports nutritionist to help them plan the optimal diet for their individual needs and goals.

Many athletes look for safe and efficient ways to boost their performance. In this article, we look at six vitamins and supplements that may help. Diets particularly suitable for athletes are those that provide sufficient calories and all the essential nutrients.

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Medical News Today. Health Conditions Health Products Discover Tools Connect. Why is diet so important for athletes? Medically reviewed by Alissa Palladino, MS, RDN, LD, CPTNutritionPersonal Training — By Louisa Richards on April 20, Importance Macronutrients Other nutrients Calories Meal timing Tailoring nutrition Example meals Summary Athletes will have different nutritional needs compared with the general public.

Why is nutrition important? Micronutrients, supplements, and hydration. Sufficient calories. Meal timing. Tailoring nutrition for sport type. Meal examples. How we reviewed this article: Sources. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations.

We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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: Sports nutrition guidelines

Eating for Exercise and Sports | Of note, nuutrition study was non-nitrogen balanced Allergy relief for children the jutrition group Sports nutrition guidelines approximately 1. Well-controlled clinical untrition provide stronger Sports nutrition guidelines as nuhrition the Sports nutrition guidelines Spoets value and importantly how the findings can best be used. Two studies with contrasting outcomes have examined the ability of acute ZMA administration to increase anabolic hormone concentrations. Res Vet Sci. Maintenance of energy balance, replenishment of intramuscular triacylglycerol stores and adequate consumption of essential fatty acids are important for athletes, and all serve as reasons for an increased intake of dietary fat [ ]. Economos, C.
Become a Dietitian Competitive sports people and athletes will likely require more carbohydrates than an average gym user to match the intensity of their activity level. In favor, Cox et al. Fenugreek extract has been shown to increase testosterone levels by decreasing the activity of the aromatase enzyme metabolizing testosterone into estradiol [ , ]. and psychological i. Other sections highlight how to evaluate the scientific merit of nutritional supplements and provide general nutritional strategies to optimize performance and enhance recovery.
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However, it was not until that the cGMPs were finally approved, and not until that the cGMPs applied across the industry, to large and small companies alike. The adherence to cGMPs has helped protect against contamination issues and should serve to improve consumer confidence in dietary supplements.

The market improved as companies became compliant with cGMPs, as these regulations imposed more stringent requirements such as Vendor Certification, Document Control Procedures, and Identity Testing. These compliance criteria addressed the problems that had damaged the reputation of the industry with a focus on quality control, record keeping, and documentation.

However, it does appear that some within the industry continue to struggle with compliance. In Fiscal Year , it was reported that approximately Further, Undoubtedly, relying on certificates of analysis from the raw materials supplier without further testing, or failing to conduct identity testing of a finished product, can result in the creation of a product that contains something it should not contain such as synthetic chemicals or even pharmaceutical drugs.

All members of the industry need to ensure compliance with cGMPs. According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act NLEA , the FDA can review and approve health claims claims describing the relationship between a food substance and a reduced risk of a disease or health-related condition for dietary ingredients and foods.

However, since the law was passed it has only approved a few claims. The delay in reviewing health claims of dietary supplement ingredients resulted in a lawsuit, Pearson v. Shalala , filed in After years of litigation, in the U.

Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that qualified health claims may be made about dietary supplements with approval by FDA, as long as the statements are truthful and based on adequate science.

Supplement or food companies wishing to make health claims or qualified health claims about supplements can submit research evidence to the FDA for review. The FTC also regulates the supplement industry. Further, before marketing products, they must have evidence that their supplements are generally safe to meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.

This has increased job opportunities for sports nutrition specialists as well as enhanced external funding opportunities for research groups interested in exercise and nutrition research. While the push for more research is due in part to greater scrutiny from the FDA and FTC, it is also in response to an increasingly competitive marketplace where established safety and efficacy attracts more consumer loyalty and helps ensure a longer lifespan for the product in commerce.

Companies that adhere to these ethical standards tend to prosper while those that do not will typically struggle to comply with FDA and FTC guidelines resulting in a loss of consumer confidence and an early demise for the product. A common question posed by athletes, parents, and professionals surrounding dietary supplements relates to how they are manufactured and perceived supplement quality.

In several cases, established companies who develop dietary supplements have research teams who scour the medical and scientific literature looking for potentially effective nutrients.

These research teams often attend scientific meetings and review the latest patents, research abstracts presented at scientific meetings, and research publications. Leading companies invest in basic research on nutrients before developing their supplement formulations and often consult with leading researchers to discuss ideas about dietary supplements and their potential for commercialization.

Other companies wait until research has been presented in patents, research abstracts, or publications before developing nutritional formulations featuring the nutrient.

Upon identification of new nutrients or potential formulations, the next step is to contact raw ingredient suppliers to see if the nutrient is available, if it is affordable, how much of it can be sourced and what is the available purity. Sometimes, companies develop and pursue patents involving new processing and purification processes because the nutrient has not yet been extracted in a pure form or is not available in large quantities.

Reputable raw material manufacturers conduct extensive tests to examine purity of their raw ingredients. When working on a new ingredient, companies often conduct series of toxicity studies on the new nutrient once a purified source has been identified.

The company would then compile a safety dossier and communicate it to the FDA as a New Dietary Ingredient submission, with the hopes of it being allowed for lawful sale.

When a powdered formulation is designed, the list of ingredients and raw materials are typically sent to a flavoring house and packaging company to identify the best way to flavor and package the supplement. In the nutrition industry, several main flavoring houses and packaging companies exist who make many dietary supplements for supplement companies.

Most reputable dietary supplement manufacturers submit their production facilities to inspection from the FDA and adhere to GMP, which represent industry standards for good manufacturing of dietary supplements. Some companies also submit their products for independent testing by third-party companies to certify that their products meet label claims and that the product is free of various banned ingredients.

For example, the certification service offered by NSF International includes product testing, GMP inspections, ongoing monitoring and use of the NSF Mark indicating products comply with inspection standards, and screening for contaminants. More recently, companies have subjected their products for testing by third party companies to inspect for banned or unwanted substances.

These types of tests help ensure that the dietary supplement made available to athletes do not contained substances banned by the International Olympic Committee or other athletic governing bodies e.

While third-party testing does not guarantee that a supplement is void of banned substances, the likelihood is reduced e. Moreover, consumers can request copies of results of these tests and each product that has gone through testing and earned certification can be researched online to help athletes, coaches and support staff understand which products should be considered.

In many situations, companies who are not willing to provide copies of test results or certificates of analysis should be viewed with caution, particularly for individuals whose eligibility to participate might be compromised if a tainted product is consumed.

The ISSN recommends that potential consumers undertake a systematic process of evaluating the validity and scientific merit of claims made when assessing the ergogenic value of a dietary supplement [ 1 , 4 ]. This can be accomplished by examining the theoretical rationale behind the supplement and determining whether there is any well-controlled data showing the supplement is effective.

Supplements based on sound scientific rationale with direct, supportive research showing effectiveness may be worth trying or recommending. Sports nutrition specialists should be a resource to help their clients interpret the scientific and medical research that may impact their welfare and help them train more effectively.

The following are recommended questions to ask when evaluating the potential ergogenic value of a supplement. Most supplements that have been marketed to improve health or exercise performance are based on theoretical applications derived from basic science or clinical research studies.

Based on these preliminary studies, a dietary approach or supplement is often marketed to people proclaiming the benefits observed in these basic research studies. Although the theory may appear relevant, critical analysis of this process often reveals flaws in the scientific logic or that the claims made do not quite match up with the cited literature.

By evaluating the literature one can discern whether or not a dietary approach or supplement has been based on sound scientific evidence. To do so, one is recommended to first read reviews about the training method, nutrient, or supplement from researchers who have been intimately involved in the available research and consult reliable references about nutritional and herbal supplements [ 1 , 9 ].

To aid in this endeavour, the ISSN has published position statement on topics related to creatine [ 10 ], protein [ 11 ], beta-alanine [ 12 ], nutrient timing [ 13 ], caffeine [ 14 ], HMB [ 15 ], meal frequency [ 16 ], energy drinks [ 17 ], and diets and body composition [ 18 ].

Each of these documents would be excellent resources for any of these topics. In addition, other review articles and consensus statements have been published by other researchers and research groups that evaluate dietary supplements, offer recommendations on interpreting the literature, and discuss the available findings for several ingredients that are discussed in this document [ 19 , 20 , 21 ].

A quick look at these references will often help determine if the theoretical impetus for supplementing with an ingredient is plausible or not.

Proponents of ergogenic aids often overstate claims made about training devices and dietary supplements while opponents of ergogenic aids and dietary supplements are often either unaware or are ignorant of research supporting their use.

Sports nutrition specialists have the responsibility to know the literature and search available databases to evaluate the level of merit surrounding a proposed ergogenic aid.

Some athletic associations have banned the use of various nutritional supplements e. and many professional sports organization have now written language into their collective bargaining agreements that products made available by the team must be NSF certified as safe for sport.

Obviously, if the supplement is banned, the sports nutrition specialist should discourage its use. In addition, many supplements lack appropriate long-term safety data.

People who consider taking nutritional supplements should be well aware of the potential side effects so they can make an informed decision whether to use a supplement. Additionally, they should consult with a knowledgeable physician to see if any underlying medical problems exist that may contraindicate its use.

When evaluating the safety of a supplement, it is suggested to determine if any side effects have been reported in the scientific or medical literature. In particular, we suggest determining how long a particular supplement has been studied, the dosages evaluated, and whether any side effects were observed.

Unfortunately, many available supplements have not had basic safety studies completed that replicate the length of time and dosages being used. The next question to ask is whether any well-controlled data are available showing effectiveness of the proposed ergogenic aid in athletic populations or people regularly involved in exercise training.

The first place to look is the list of references cited in marketing material supporting their claims. Are the abstracts or articles cited just general references or specific studies that have evaluated the efficacy of the nutrients included in the formulation or of the actual supplement?

From there, one can critically evaluate the cited abstracts and articles by asking a series of questions:. For perspective, studies reporting improved performance in rats or an individual diagnosed with type 2 diabetes may be insightful, but research conducted on non-diabetic athletes is much more practical and relevant.

Were the studies well controlled? For ergogenic aid research, the gold standard study design is a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. This means that neither the researcher nor the subject is aware which group received the supplement or the placebo during the study and that the subjects were randomly assigned into the placebo or supplement group.

At times, supplement claims have been based on poorly designed studies i. or testimonials which make interpretation more difficult.

Well-controlled clinical trials provide stronger evidence as to the potential ergogenic value and importantly how the findings can best be used. Do the studies report statistically significant results or are claims being made on non-significant means or trends?

Appropriate statistical analysis of research results allows for an unbiased interpretation of data. Although studies reporting statistical trends may be of interest and lead researchers to conduct additional research, studies reporting statistically significant results are obviously more convincing.

With this said, it is important for people to understand that oftentimes the potential effect a dietary supplement or diet regimen may have above and beyond the effect seen from the exercise bout or an accepted dietary approach is quite small. In addition, many studies examining a biochemical or molecular biology mechanism can require invasive sampling techniques or the study population being recruited is unique very highly trained resulting in a small number of study participants.

When viewed together, the combination of these two considerations can result in statistical outcomes that do not reach statistical significance even though large mean changes were observed. In all such cases, additional research is warranted to further examine the potential ergogenic aid before conclusions can be made.

Do the results of the cited studies match the claims made about the supplement or do they accurately portray the response of the supplement against an appropriate placebo or control group? It is not unusual for marketing claims to greatly exaggerate the results found in the actual studies and do so by focusing upon just the outcomes within the supplement treatment group as opposed to how the supplement group changed in comparison to how a placebo group changed.

Similarly, it is not uncommon for ostensibly compelling results, that may indeed be statistically significant, to be amplified while other relevant findings of significant consumer interest are obscured or omitted e. a dietary supplement showing statistically significant increases in circulating testosterone yet changes in body composition or muscular performance were not superior to a placebo.

Reputable companies accurately and completely report results of studies so that consumers can make informed decisions about using a product. At times, claims are based on research that has either never been published or only published in an obscure journal.

If you see only a few other journals this is a suggestion that the journal is not a reputable journal. Additionally, one can also look up how many articles have been published by the journal in the last 6—12 months and how many of these articles are well-conducted studies.

Impact factors are determined and published by Thomson Reuters under Journal Citation Reports® a subscription service available at most university libraries.

Most journals list their impact factor on the journal home page. Historically, those articles that are read and cited the most are the most impactful scientifically. Have the research findings been replicated?

If so, have the results only been replicated at the same laboratory? The best way to know an ergogenic aid works is to see that results have been replicated in several studies preferably by several separate, distinct research groups.

The most reliable ergogenic aids are those in which multiple studies, conducted at different labs, have reported similar results of safety and efficacy. Additionally, replication of results by different, unaffiliated labs with completely different authors also removes or reduces the potentially confounding element of publication bias publication of studies showing only positive results and conflicts of interest.

A notable number of studies on ergogenic aids are conducted in collaboration with one or more research scientists or co-authors that have a real or perceived economic interest in the outcome of the study.

This could range from being a co-inventor on a patent application that is the subject of the ergogenic aid, being paid or receiving royalties from the creation of a dietary supplement formulation, providing consulting services for the company or having stock options or shares in a company that owns or markets the ergogenic aid described in the study.

An increasing number of journals require disclosures by all authors of scientific articles, and including such disclosures in published articles. This is driven by the aim of providing greater transparency and research integrity.

It is important to emphasize that disclosure of a conflict of interest does not alone discredit or dilute the merits of a research study.

The primary thrust behind public disclosures of potential conflicts of interest is first and foremost transparency to the reader and second to prevent a later revelation of some form of confounding interest that has the potential of discrediting the study in question, the findings of the study, the authors, and even the research center or institution where the study was conducted.

Dietary supplements may contain carbohydrate, protein, fat, minerals, vitamins, herbs, enzymes, metabolic intermediates i. Supplements can generally be classified as convenience supplements e. As discussed previously, evaluating the available scientific literature is an important step in determining the efficacy of any diet, diet program or dietary supplement.

In considering this, nutritional supplements can be categorized in the following manner:. Strong Evidence to Support Efficacy and Apparently Safe: Supplements that have a sound theoretical rationale with the majority of available research in relevant populations using appropriate dosing regimens demonstrating both its efficacy and safety.

Limited or Mixed Evidence to Support Efficacy: Supplements within this category are characterized as having a sound scientific rationale for its use, but the available research has failed to produce consistent outcomes supporting its efficacy.

Routinely, these supplements require more research to be completed before researchers can begin to understand their impact. Importantly, these supplements have no available evidence to suggest they lack safety or should be viewed as harmful.

Several factors are evaluated when beginning to counsel individuals who regularly complete exercise training. To accomplish this, one should make sure the athlete is eating an energy balanced, nutrient dense diet that meets their estimated daily energy needs and that they are training intelligently.

Far too many athletes or coaches focus too heavily upon supplementation or applications of supplementation and neglect these key fundamental aspects. Following this, we suggest that they generally only recommend supplements in category I i. If an athlete is interested in trying supplements in category II i.

Obviously, the ISSN does not support athletes taking supplements in category III i. We believe this approach is scientifically substantiated and offers a balanced view as opposed to simply dismissing the use of all dietary supplements.

A well-designed diet that meets energy intake needs and incorporates proper timing of nutrients is the foundation upon which a good training program can be developed [ 22 , 23 ]. Incorporating good dietary practices as part of a training program is one way to help optimize training adaptations and prevent overtraining.

The following is an overview of energy intake recommendations and major nutrient needs for active individuals. The primary component to optimize training and performance through nutrition is to ensure the athlete is consuming enough calories to offset energy expenditure [ 22 , 23 , 24 , 25 , 26 ].

People who participate in a general fitness program e. However, athletes involved in moderate levels of intense training e. For elite athletes, energy expenditure during heavy training or competition will further exceed these levels [ 27 , 28 ]. Additionally, caloric needs for large athletes i.

This point was clearly highlighted in a review by Burke who demonstrated that carbohydrate needs are largely unmet by high-level athletes [ 22 ]. Additionally it is difficult to consume enough food and maintain gastrointestinal comfort to train or race at peak levels [ 35 ].

Maintaining an energy deficient diet during training often leads to a number of physical i. and psychological i. It is still a question whether there may be specific individualized occasions when negative energy balance may enhance performance in the days prior to running performance [ 36 ].

Populations susceptible to negative energy balance include runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, gymnasts, skaters, dancers, wrestlers, boxers, and athletes attempting to lose weight too quickly [ 37 ]. Additionally, female athletes are at particular risk of under fueling due to both competitive and aesthetic demands of their sport and their surrounding culture.

Female athletes have been reported to have a high incidence of eating disorders [ 38 ]. This makes LEA a major nutritional concern for female athletes [ 39 ]. Consequently, it is important for the sports nutrition specialist working with athletes to assess athletes individually to ensure that athletes are well fed according to the goals of their sport and their health, and consume enough calories to offset the increased energy demands of training, and maintain body weight.

Further, travel and training schedules may limit food availability or the types of food athletes are accustomed to eating. This means that care should be taken to plan meal times in concert with training, as well as to make sure athletes have sufficient availability of nutrient dense foods throughout the day for snacking between meals e.

Beyond optimal energy intake, consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrate, protein, and fat is important for athletes to optimize their training and performance.

In particular and as it relates to exercise performance, the need for optimal carbohydrates before, during and after intense and high-volume bouts of training and competition is evident [ 41 ].

Excellent reviews [ 42 , 43 ] and original investigations [ 44 , 45 , 46 , 47 , 48 , 49 ] continue to highlight the known dependence on carbohydrates that exists for athletes competing to win various endurance and team sport activities. A complete discussion of the needs of carbohydrates and strategies to deliver optimal carbohydrate and replenish lost muscle and liver glycogen extend beyond the scope of this paper, but the reader is referred to several informative reviews on the topic [ 23 , 41 , 50 , 51 , 52 , 53 ].

As such, individuals engaged in a general fitness program and are not necessarily training to meet any type of performance goal can typically meet daily carbohydrate needs by consuming a normal diet i.

However, athletes involved in moderate and high-volume training need greater amounts of carbohydrate and protein discussed later in their diet to meet macronutrient needs [ 50 ].

In terms of carbohydrate needs, athletes involved in moderate amounts of intense training e. Research has also shown that athletes involved in high volume intense training e. Preferably, the majority of dietary carbohydrate should come from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, etc. while foods that empty quickly from the stomach such as refined sugars, starches and engineered sports nutrition products should be reserved for situations in which glycogen resynthesis needs to occur at accelerated rates [ 53 ].

When considering the carbohydrate needs throughout an exercise session, several key factors should be considered. Previous research has indicated athletes undergoing prolonged bouts 2—3 h of exercise training can oxidize carbohydrates at a rate of 1—1.

Several reviews advocate the ingestion of 0. It is now well established that different types of carbohydrates can be oxidized at different rates in skeletal muscle due to the involvement of different transporter proteins that result in carbohydrate uptake [ 55 , 56 , 57 , 58 , 59 ].

Interestingly, combinations of glucose and sucrose or maltodextrin and fructose have been reported to promote greater exogenous rates of carbohydrate oxidation when compared to situations when single sources of carbohydrate are ingested [ 55 , 56 , 57 , 58 , 59 , 60 , 61 , 62 , 63 ].

These studies generally indicate a ratio of 1—1. In addition to oxidation rates and carbohydrate types, the fasting status and duration of the exercise bout also function as key variables for athletes and coaches to consider.

When considering duration, associated reviews have documented that bouts of moderate to intense exercise need to reach exercise durations that extend well into 90th minute of exercise before carbohydrate is shown to consistently yield an ergogenic outcome [ 41 , 68 , 69 ].

Of interest, however, not all studies indicate that shorter 60—75 min bouts of higher intensity work may benefit from carbohydrate delivery. Currently the mechanisms surrounding these findings are, respectively, thought to be replacement of depleted carbohydrate stores during longer duration of moderate intensity while benefits seen during shorter, more intense exercise bouts are thought to operate in a central fashion.

Moreover, these reviews have also pointed to the impact of fasting status on documentation of ergogenic outcomes [ 41 , 68 , 69 ]. In this respect, when studies require study participants to commence exercise in a fasted state, ergogenic outcomes are more consistently reported, yet other authors have questioned the ecological validity of this approach for competing athletes [ 43 ].

As it stands, the need for optimal carbohydrates in the diet for those athletes seeking maximal physical performance is unquestioned. Daily consumption of appropriate amounts of carbohydrate is the first and most important step for any competing athlete.

As durations extend into 2 h, the need to deliver carbohydrate goes up, particularly when commencing exercise in a state of fasting or incomplete recovery.

Once exercise ceases, several dietary strategies can be considered to maximally replace lost muscle and liver glycogen, particularly if a limited window of recovery exists. In these situations, the first priority should lie with achieving aggressive intakes of carbohydrate while strategies such as ingesting protein with lower carbohydrate amounts, carbohydrate and caffeine co-ingestion or certain forms of carbohydrate may also help to facilitate rapid assimilation of lost glycogen.

Initially, it was recommended that athletes do not need to ingest more than the RDA for protein i. However, research spanning the past 30 years has indicated that athletes engaged in intense training may benefit from ingesting about two times the RDA of protein in their diet 1.

If an insufficient amount of protein is consumed, an athlete will develop and maintain a negative nitrogen balance, indicating protein catabolism and slow recovery.

Over time, this may lead to muscle wasting, injuries, illness, and training intolerance [ 76 , 77 , 81 ]. For people involved in a general fitness program or simply interested in optimizing their health, recent research suggests protein needs may also be above the RDA.

Phillips and colleagues [ 76 ], Witard et al. In this respect, Morton and investigators [ 83 ] performed a meta-review and meta-regression involving 49 studies and participants and concluded that a daily protein intake of 1.

In addition and in comparison to the RDA, non-exercising, older individuals 53—71 years may also benefit from a higher daily protein intake e. Recent reports suggest that older muscle may be slower to respond and less sensitive to protein ingestion, typically requiring 40 g doses to robustly stimulate muscle protein synthesis [ 84 , 85 , 86 ].

Studies in younger individuals, however, have indicated that in the absence of exercise, a 20 g dose can maximize muscle protein synthesis [ 87 , 88 ] and if consumed after a multiple set workout consisting of several exercises that target large muscle groups a 40 g dose might be needed [ 89 ].

Consequently, it is recommended that athletes involved in moderate amounts of intense training consume 1. This protein need would be equivalent to ingesting 3—15 three-ounce servings of chicken or fish per day for a 50— kg athlete [ 78 ]. Although smaller athletes typically can ingest this amount of protein, on a daily basis, in their normal diet, larger athletes often have difficulty consuming this much dietary protein.

Additionally, a number of athletic populations are known to be susceptible to protein malnutrition e. and consequently, additional counseling and education may be needed to help these athletes meet their daily protein needs. Overall, it goes without saying that care should be taken to ensure that athletes consume a sufficient amount of quality protein in their diet to maintain nitrogen balance.

Proteins differ based on their source, amino acid profile, and the methods of processing or isolating the protein undergoes [ 11 ]. These differences influence the availability of amino acids and peptides, which may possess biological activity e. For example, different types of proteins e.

Therefore, care should be taken not only to make sure the athlete consumes enough protein in their diet but also that the protein is high quality. The best dietary sources of low fat, high quality protein are light skinless chicken, fish, egg whites, very lean cuts of beef and skim milk casein and whey while protein supplements routinely contain whey, casein, milk and egg protein.

In what is still an emerging area of research, various plant sources of protein have been examined for their ability to stimulate increases in muscle protein synthesis [ 77 , 97 ] and promote exercise training adaptations [ 98 ]. While amino acid absorption from plant proteins is generally slower, leucine from rice protein has been found to be absorbed even faster than from whey [ 99 ], while digestive enzymes [ ], probiotics [ ] and HMB [ ] can be used to overcome differences in protein quality.

Preliminary findings suggest that rice [ 98 ] and pea protein [ ] may be able to stimulate similar changes in fat-free mass and strength as whey protein, although the reader should understand that many other factors dose provided, training status of participants, duration of training and supplementation, etc.

will ultimately impact these outcomes and consequently more research is needed. While many reasons and scenarios exist for why an athlete may choose to supplement their diet with protein powders or other forms of protein supplements, this practice is not considered to be an absolute requirement for increased performance and adaptations.

Due to nutritional, societal, emotional and psychological reasons, it is preferable for the majority of daily protein consumed by athletes to occur as part of a food or meal.

However, we recognize and embrace the reality that situations commonly arise where efficiently delivering a high-quality source of protein takes precedence. Jager and colleagues [ 11 ] published an updated position statement of the International Society of Sports Nutrition that is summarized by the following points:.

An acute exercise stimulus, particularly resistance exercise and protein ingestion both stimulate muscle protein synthesis MPS and are synergistic when protein consumption occurs before or after resistance exercise.

For building and maintaining muscle mass, an overall daily protein intake of 1. Higher protein intakes 2. Optimal doses for athletes to maximize MPS are mixed and are dependent upon age and recent resistance exercise stimuli. General recommendations are 0.

The optimal time period during which to ingest protein is likely a matter of individual tolerance; however, the anabolic effect of exercise is long-lasting at least 24 h , but likely diminishes with increasing time post-exercise. Rapidly digested proteins that contain high proportions of EAAs and adequate leucine, are most effective in stimulating MPS.

Different types and quality of protein can affect amino acid bioavailability following protein supplementation; complete protein sources deliver all required EAAs. The dietary recommendations of fat intake for athletes are similar to or slightly greater than dietary recommendations made to non-athletes to promote health.

Maintenance of energy balance, replenishment of intramuscular triacylglycerol stores and adequate consumption of essential fatty acids are important for athletes, and all serve as reasons for an increased intake of dietary fat [ ]. For example, higher-fat diets appear to maintain circulating testosterone concentrations better than low-fat diets [ , , ].

Additionally, higher fat intakes may provide valuable translational evidence to the documented testosterone suppression which can occur during volume-type overtraining [ ].

In situations where an athlete may be interested in reducing their body fat, dietary fat intakes ranging from 0. This recommendation stems largely from available evidence in weight loss studies involving non-athletic individuals that people who are most successful in losing weight and maintaining the weight loss are those who ingest reduced amounts of fat in their diet [ , ] although this is not always the case [ ].

Strategies to help athletes manage dietary fat intake include teaching them which foods contain various types of fat so that they can make better food choices and how to count fat grams [ 2 , 33 ].

For years, high-fat diets have been used by athletes with the majority of evidence showing no ergogenic benefit and consistent gastrointestinal challenges [ ]. In recent years, significant debate has swirled regarding the impact of increasing dietary fat. While intramuscular adaptations result that may theoretically impact performance [ , ], no consistent, favorable impact on performance has been documented [ , ].

A variant of high-fat diets, ketogenic diets, have increased in popularity. This diet prescription leads to a greater reliance on ketones as a fuel source. Currently, limited and mixed evidence remains regarding the overall efficacy of a ketogenic diet for athletes.

In favor, Cox et al. Additionally, Jabekk and colleagues [ ] reported decreases in body fat with no change in lean mass in overweight women who resistance trained for 10 weeks and followed a ketogenic diet. In light of the available evidence being limited and mixed, more human research needs to be completed before appropriate recommendations can be made towards the use of high fat diets for athletic performance.

In addition to the general nutritional guidelines described above, research has also demonstrated that timing and composition of meals consumed may play a role in optimizing performance, training adaptations, and preventing overtraining [ 2 , 25 , 40 ]. In this regard, it takes about 4 h for carbohydrate to be digested and assimilated into muscle and liver tissues as glycogen.

Consequently, pre-exercise meals should be consumed about four to 6 h before exercise [ 40 ]. This means that if an athlete trains in the afternoon, breakfast can be viewed to have great importance to top off muscle and liver glycogen levels. Research has also indicated that ingesting a light carbohydrate and protein snack 30 to 60 min prior to exercise e.

This also serves to increase availability of amino acids, decrease exercise-induced catabolism of protein, and minimize muscle damage [ , , ]. Additionally, athletes who are going through periods of energy restriction to meet weight or aesthetic demands of sports should understand that protein intake, quality and timing as well as combination with carbohydrate is particularly important to maintain lean body mass, training effects, and performance [ 25 ].

Notably, this strategy becomes even more important if the athlete is under-fueled prior to the exercise task or is fasted vs. unfasted at the start of exercise [ 68 , 69 , ]. Following intense exercise, athletes should consume carbohydrate and protein e. This eating strategy has been shown to supersaturate carbohydrate stores prior to competition and improve endurance exercise capacity [ 2 , 40 ].

Thus, the type of meal, amount of carbohydrate consumed, and timing of eating are important factors to maximize glycogen storage and in maintaining carbohydrate availability during training while also potentially decreasing the incidence of overtraining.

The ISSN has adopted a position stand on nutrient timing in [ ] that has been subsequently revised [ 13 ] and can be summarized with the following points:. The importance of this strategy is increased when poor feeding or recovery strategies were employed prior to exercise commencement.

Consequently, when carbohydrate delivery is inadequate, adding protein may help increase performance, mitigate muscle damage, promote euglycemia, and facilitate glycogen re-synthesis. Ingesting efficacious doses 10—12 g of essential amino acids EAAs either in free form or as a protein bolus in 20—40 g doses 0.

However, the size 0. Post-exercise ingestion immediately-post to 2 h post of high-quality protein sources stimulates robust increases in MPS. Similar increases in MPS have been found when high-quality proteins are ingested immediately before exercise. Vitamins are essential organic compounds that serve to regulate metabolic and neurological processes, energy synthesis, and prevent destruction of cells.

Water-soluble vitamins consist of the entire complex of B-vitamins and vitamin C. Since these vitamins are water-soluble, excessive intake of these vitamins are eliminated in urine, with few exceptions e.

vitamin B6, which can cause peripheral nerve damage when consumed in excessive amounts. Table 1 describes the RDA, proposed ergogenic benefit, and summary of research findings for fat and water-soluble vitamins.

Research has demonstrated that specific vitamins possess various health benefits e. Alternatively, if an athlete is deficient in a vitamin, supplementation or diet modifications to improve vitamin status can consistently improve health and performance [ ].

For example, Paschalis and colleagues [ ] supplemented individuals who were low in vitamin C for 30 days and reported these individuals had significantly lower VO 2 Max levels than a group of males who were high in vitamin C.

Further, after 30 days of supplementation, VO 2 Max significantly improved in the low vitamin C cohort as did baseline levels of oxidative stress of oxidative stress. Furthermore, while optimal levels of vitamin D have been linked to improved muscle health [ ] and strength [ ] in general populations, research studies conducted in athletes generally fail to report on the ergogenic impact of vitamin D in athletes [ , ].

However, equivocal evidence from Wyon et al. The remaining vitamins reviewed appear to have little ergogenic value for athletes who consume a normal, nutrient dense diet. Finally, athletes may desire to consume a vitamin or mineral for various health non-performance related reasons including niacin to elevate high density lipoprotein HDL cholesterol levels and decrease risk of heart disease niacin , vitamin E for its antioxidant potential, vitamin D for its ability to preserve musculoskeletal function, or vitamin C to promote and maintain a healthy immune system.

Minerals are essential inorganic elements necessary for a host of metabolic processes. Minerals serve as structure for tissue, important components of enzymes and hormones, and regulators of metabolic and neural control.

Notably, acute changes in sodium, potassium and magnesium throughout a continued bout of moderate to high intensity exercise are considerable.

In these situations, athletes must work to ingest foods and fluids to replace these losses, while physiological adaptations to sweat composition and fluid retention will also occur to promote a necessary balance.

Like vitamins, when mineral status is inadequate, exercise capacity may be reduced and when minerals are supplemented in deficient athletes, exercise capacity has been shown to improve [ ]. However, scientific reports consistently fail to document a performance improvement due to mineral supplementation when vitamin and mineral status is adequate [ , , ].

Table 2 describes minerals that have been purported to affect exercise capacity in athletes. For example, calcium supplementation in athletes susceptible to premature osteoporosis may help maintain bone mass [ ]. Increasing dietary availability of salt sodium chloride during the initial days of exercise training in the heat helps to maintain fluid balance and prevent dehydration.

Finally, zinc supplementation during training can support changes in immune status in response to exercise training. However, there is little evidence that boron, chromium, magnesium, or vanadium affect exercise capacity or training adaptations in healthy individuals eating a normal diet.

The most important nutritional ergogenic aid for athletes is water and limiting dehydration during exercise is one of the most effective ways to maintain exercise capacity. Before starting exercise, it is highly recommended that individuals are adequately hydrated [ ]. When one considers that average sweat rates are reported to be 0.

For this reason, it is critical that athletes adopt a mind set to prevent dehydration first by promoting optimal levels of pre-exercise hydration. Throughout the day and without any consideration of when exercise is occurring, a key goal is for an athlete to drink enough fluids to maintain their body weight.

Next, athletes can promote optimal pre-exercise hydration by ingesting mL of water or sports drinks the night before a competition, another mL upon waking and then another — mL of cool water or sports drink 20—30 min before the onset of exercise. Consequently, to maintain fluid balance and prevent dehydration, athletes need to plan on ingesting 0.

This requires frequent every 5—15 min ingestion of 12—16 fluid ounces of cold water or a sports drink during exercise [ , , , , ]. Athletes should not depend on thirst to prompt them to drink because people do not typically get thirsty until they have lost a significant amount of fluid through sweat.

Additionally, athletes should weigh themselves prior to and following exercise training to monitor changes in fluid balance and then can work to replace their lost fluid [ , , , , ].

During and after exercise, athletes should consume three cups of water for every pound lost during exercise to promote adequate rehydration [ ]. A primary goal soon after exercise should be to completely replace lost fluid and electrolytes during a training session or competition.

Additionally, sodium intake in the form of glucose-electrolyte solutions vs. only drinking water and making food choices and modifications added salt to foods should be considered during the rehydration process to further promote euhydration [ ]. Finally, inappropriate and excessive weight loss techniques e.

are considered dangerous and should be prohibited. Sport nutritionists, dietitians, and athletic trainers can play an important role in educating athletes and coaches about proper hydration methods and supervising fluid intake during training and competition.

Educating athletes and coaches about nutrition and how to structure their diet to optimize performance and recovery are key areas of involvement for sport dietitians and nutritionists. Currently, use of dietary supplements by athletes and athletic populations is widespread while their overall need and efficacy of certain ingredients remain up for debate.

Dietary supplements can play a meaningful role in helping athletes consume the proper amount of calories, macro- and micronutrients. Dietary supplements are not intended to replace a healthy diet. Supplementation with these nutrients in clinically validated amounts and at opportune times can help augment the normal diet to help optimize performance or support adaptations towards a training outcome.

Sport dietitians and nutritionists must be aware of the current data regarding nutrition, exercise, and performance and be honest about educating their clients about results of various studies whether pro or con.

Currently, misleading information is available to the public and this position stand is intended to objectively rate many of the available ingredients. Additionally, athletes, coaches and trainers need to also heed the recommendations of scientists when recommendations are made according to the available literature and what will hopefully be free of bias.

We recognize that some ingredients may exhibit little potential to stimulate training adaptations or operate in an ergogenic fashion, but may favorably impact muscle recovery or exhibit health benefits that may be helpful for some populations.

These outcomes are not the primary focus of this review and consequently, will not be discussed with the same level of detail. Consequently, meal replacements should be used in place of a meal during unique situations and are not intended to replace all meals. Care should also be taken to make sure they do not contain any banned or prohibited nutrients.

The following section provides an analysis of the scientific literature regarding nutritional supplements purported to promote skeletal muscle accretion in conjunction with the completion of a well-designed exercise-training program.

An overview of each supplement and a general interpretation of how they should be categorized is provided throughout the text. Table 3 summarizes how every supplement discussed in this article is categorized. However, within each category all supplements are ordered alphabetically. For example, increases in body mass and lean mass are desired adaptations for many American football or rugby players and may improve performance in these activities.

In contrast, decreases in body mass or fat mass may promote increases in performance such as cyclists and gymnasts whereby athletes such as wrestlers, weightlifters and boxers may need to rapidly reduce weight while maintaining muscle mass, strength and power.

HMB is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. It is well-documented that supplementing with 1. The currently established minimal effective dose of HMB is 1. To optimize HMB retention, its recommend to split the daily dose of 3 g into three equal doses of 1 g each with breakfast, lunch or pre-exercise, bedtime [ ].

From a safety perspective, dosages of 1. The effects of HMB supplementation in trained athletes are less clear with selected studies reporting non-significant gains in muscle mass [ , , ]. In this respect, it has been suggested by Wilson and colleagues [ 15 ] that program design periodized resistance training models and duration of supplementation minimum of 6 weeks likely operate as key factors.

Before and after each supplementation period, body composition and performance parameters were assessed. When HMB was provided, fat mass was significantly reduced while changes in lean mass were not significant between groups. The same research group published data of 58 highly trained males athletes who supplemented with either 3 g of calcium-HMB or placebo for 12 weeks in a randomized, double-blind, crossover fashion [ ].

In this report, fat mass was found to be significantly reduced while fat-free mass was significantly increased. Finally, Durkalec-Michalski and investigators [ ] supplemented 42 highly-trained combat sport athletes for 12 weeks with either a placebo or 3 g of calcium-HMB in a randomized, double-blind, crossover fashion.

In conclusion, a growing body of literature continues to offer support that HMB supplementation at dosages of 1. In our view, the most effective nutritional supplement available to athletes to increase high intensity exercise capacity and muscle mass during training is creatine monohydrate.

Body mass increases are typically one to two kilograms greater than controls during 4—12 weeks of training [ ].

The gains in muscle mass appear to be a result of an improved ability to perform high intensity exercise enabling an athlete to train harder and thereby promote greater training adaptations and muscle hypertrophy [ , , , ].

The only clinically significant side effect occasionally reported from creatine monohydrate supplementation has been the potential for weight gain [ , , , ]. The ISSN position stand on creatine monohydrate [ 10 ] summarizes their findings as this:.

Creatine monohydrate is the most effective ergogenic nutritional supplement currently available to athletes in terms of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and lean body mass during training. Creatine monohydrate supplementation is not only safe, but has been reported to have a number of therapeutic benefits in healthy and diseased populations ranging from infants to the elderly.

If proper precautions and supervision are provided, creatine monohydrate supplementation in children and adolescent athletes is acceptable and may provide a nutritional alternative with a favorable safety profile to potentially dangerous anabolic androgenic drugs.

At present, creatine monohydrate is the most extensively studied and clinically effective form of creatine for use in nutritional supplements in terms of muscle uptake and ability to increase high-intensity exercise capacity.

The addition of carbohydrate or carbohydrate and protein to a creatine supplement appears to increase muscular uptake of creatine, although the effect on performance measures may not be greater than using creatine monohydrate alone.

Initially, ingesting smaller amounts of creatine monohydrate e. Clinical populations have been supplemented with high levels of creatine monohydrate 0.

Further research is warranted to examine the potential medical benefits of creatine monohydrate and precursors like guanidinoacetic acid on sport, health and medicine. Research examining the impact of the essential amino acids on stimulating muscle protein synthesis is an extremely popular area.

Theoretically, this may enhance increases in fat-free mass, but to date limited evidence exists to demonstrate that supplementation with non-intact sources of EAAs e.

Moreover, other research has indicated that changes in muscle protein synthesis may not correlate with phenotypic adaptations to exercise training [ ]. An abundance of evidence is available, however, to indicate that ingestion of high-quality protein sources can heighten adaptations to resistance training [ ].

Sports drinks also contain sugars, which can damage teeth. Regardless of your level of activity, you should try not to meet your requirements by packing your entire carbohydrate intake into one meal.

Spread out your intake over breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that fit around planned exercise. For athletes and individuals who are recreationally active to a higher level such as training for a marathon , consuming additional carbohydrate may be beneficial for performance.

Athletes can benefit from having some carbohydrate both before and after exercise to ensure adequate carbohydrate at the start of training and to replenish glycogen stores post exercise.

In longer duration, high intensity exercise minutes or more , such as a football match or a marathon, consuming some carbohydrate during exercise can also improve performance, for example in the form of a sports drink.

Estimated carbohydrate needs are outlined below and depend on the intensity and duration of the exercise sessions International Olympics Committee :. For example, from this guidance, someone who weighs 70kg doing light activity would need g carbohydrate per day whereas if they were training at moderate to high intensity for 2 hours a day, they would need g carbohydrate per day.

Protein is important in sports performance as it can boost glycogen storage, reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle repair. For those who are active regularly, there may be benefit from consuming a portion of protein at each mealtime and spreading protein intake out throughout the day.

As some high protein foods can also be high in saturated fat, for example fatty meats or higher fat dairy products, it is important to choose lower fat options, such as lean meats.

Most vegans get enough protein from their diets, but it is important to consume a variety of plant proteins to ensure enough essential amino acids are included. This is known as the complementary action of proteins.

More information on vegetarian and vegan diets is available on our page on this topic. Whilst there may be a benefit in increasing protein intakes for athletes and those recreationally active to a high level, the importance of high protein diets is often overstated for the general population.

It is a common misconception that high protein intakes alone increase muscle mass and focussing too much on eating lots of protein can mean not getting enough carbohydrate, which is a more efficient source of energy for exercise.

It is important to note that high protein intakes can increase your energy calorie intake, which can lead to excess weight gain. The current protein recommendations for the general population are 0.

If you are participating in regular sport and exercise like training for a running or cycling event or lifting weights regularly, then your protein requirements may be slightly higher than the general sedentary population, to promote muscle tissue growth and repair. For strength and endurance athletes, protein requirements are increased to around 1.

The most recent recommendations for athletes from the American College of Sports Medicine ACSM also focus on protein timing, not just total intake, ensuring high quality protein is consumed throughout the day after key exercise sessions and around every 3—5 hours over multiple meals, depending on requirements.

In athletes that are in energy deficit, such as team sport players trying to lose weight gained in the off season, there may be a benefit in consuming protein amounts at the high end, or slightly higher, than the recommendations, to reduce the loss of muscle mass during weight loss.

Timing of protein consumption is important in the recovery period after training for athletes. Between 30 minutes and 2 hours after training, it is recommended to consume g of protein alongside some carbohydrate. A whey protein shake contains around 20g of protein, which you can get from half a chicken breast or a small can of tuna.

For more information on protein supplements, see the supplements section. To date, there is no clear evidence to suggest that vegetarian or vegan diets impact performance differently to a mixed diet, although it is important to recognise that whatever the dietary pattern chosen, it is important to follow a diet that is balanced to meet nutrient requirements.

More research is needed, to determine whether vegetarian or vegan diets can help athletic performance. More plant-based diets can provide a wide variety of nutrients and natural phytochemicals, plenty of fibre and tend to be low in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Fat is essential for the body in small amounts, but it is also high in calories. The type of fat consumed is also important. Studies have shown that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in the diet can reduce blood cholesterol, which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Fat-rich foods usually contain a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids but choosing foods that contain higher amounts of unsaturated fat and less saturated fat, is preferable as most of us eat too much saturated fat.

Find more information on fat on our pages on this nutrient. If I am doing endurance training, should I be following low carbohydrate, high fat diets?

Carbohydrate is important as an energy source during exercise. Having very low intakes of carbohydrate when exercising can cause low energy levels, loss of concentration, dizziness or irritability.

Because carbohydrate is important for providing energy during exercise, there is a benefit in ensuring enough is consumed. This is especially for high-intensity exercise where some studies have shown that performance is reduced when carbohydrate intakes are low. Some studies in specific exercise scenarios such as lower intensity training in endurance runners, have found beneficial effects of low carbohydrate diets on performance.

However, these results have not been consistent and so at the moment we do not have enough evidence to show that low-carbohydrate diets can benefit athletic performance. Water is essential for life and hydration is important for health, especially in athletes and those who are physically active, who will likely have higher requirements.

Drinking enough fluid is essential for maximising exercise performance and ensuring optimum recovery. Exercising raises body temperature and so the body tries to cool down by sweating. This causes the loss of water and salts through the skin. Generally, the more a person sweats, the more they will need to drink.

Average sweat rates are estimated to be between 0. Dehydration can cause tiredness and affect performance by reducing strength and aerobic capacity especially when exercising for longer periods.

So, especially when exercising at higher levels or in warmer conditions, it is important to try and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration.

In most cases, unless training at a high intensity for over an hour, water is the best choice as it hydrates without providing excess calories or the sugars and acids found in some soft drinks that can damage teeth.

For more information on healthy hydration see our pages on this topic. For those who are recreationally active to a high level, or for athletes, managing hydration around training or competition is more important.

The higher intensity and longer duration of activity means that sweat rates tend to be higher. Again, the advice for this group would be to ensure they drinks fluids before, during and after exercise.

Rehydration would usually involve trying to drink around 1. Below are some examples of other drinks, other than water that may be used by athletes, both recreational and elite. Sports drinks can be expensive compared to other drinks; however it is easy to make them yourself!

To make your own isotonic sports drink, mix ml fruit squash containing sugar rather than sweeteners , ml water and a pinch of salt. Supplements are one of the most discussed aspects of nutrition for those who are physically active.

However, whilst many athletes do supplement their diet, supplements are only a small part of a nutrition programme for training. For most people who are active, a balanced diet can provide all the energy and nutrients the body needs without the need for supplements. Sports supplements can include micronutrients, macronutrients or other substances that may have been associated with a performance benefit, such as creatine, sodium bicarbonate or nitrate.

The main reasons people take supplements are to correct or prevent nutrient deficiencies that may impair health or performance; for convenient energy and nutrient intake around an exercise session; or to achieve a direct performance benefit. Whilst adequate amounts of protein and carbohydrate are both essential in maximising performance and promoting recovery, most people should be able to get all the nutrients they need by eating a healthy, varied diet and, therefore, supplements are generally unnecessary.

For athletes, supplementing the diet may be beneficial, possibly on performance, on general health or for reducing injury and illness risk. However, there is not much research on many of the commonly used supplements, and there are only a small number of supplements where there is good evidence for a direct benefit on performance, including caffeine, creatine in the form of creatine monohydrate , nitrate and sodium bicarbonate.

Even in these cases, the benefits on performance vary greatly depending on the individual and there is only evidence for a benefit in specific scenarios. This means that any athletes considering supplementation will need to weigh the potential benefits with the possible negative impacts, such as negative effects on general health or performance, risk of accidental doping or risks of consuming toxic levels of substances such as caffeine.

The advice to consider supplementation for a performance benefit is for high performance athletes and should be carried out alongside expert advice from qualified sports nutritionists or dietitians.

It is a common myth that consuming lots of excess protein gives people bigger muscles. Quite often, people taking part in exercise focus on eating lots of protein, and consequently may not get enough carbohydrate, which is the most important source of energy for exercise.

The main role of protein in the body is for growth, repair and maintenance of body cells and tissues, such as muscle. Fifteen to 25g of high-quality protein has been shown to be enough for optimum muscle protein synthesis following any exercise or training session, for most people, and any excess protein that is ingested will be used for energy.

The recommendations for daily protein intake are set equally for both endurance training and resistance training athletes, so higher intakes are not recommended even for those exclusively trying to build muscle.

Any more protein than this will not be used for muscle building and just used as energy. Therefore, whilst among recreational gym-goers protein supplementation has become increasingly popular for muscle building, it is generally unnecessary.

However, after competition or an intense training session, high quality protein powders can be a more convenient and transportable recovery method when there is limited access to food or if an individual does not feel hungry around exercise, and may be effective for maintenance, growth and repair of muscle.

If you have a more general query, please contact us. Please note that advice provided on our website about nutrition and health is general in nature.

We do not provide any personal advice on prevention, treatment and management for patients or their family members. If you would like a response, please contact us. We do not provide any individualised advice on prevention, treatment and management for patients or their family members.

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Sports nutrition guidelines

Sports nutrition guidelines -

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By Alina Petre, MS, RD NL. Post-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat After a Workout. By Arlene Semeco, MS, RD and Celia Shatzman. Transparent Labs Review for What We Tried. This should be continued until the normal meal pattern resumes. Since most athletes develop a fluid deficit during exercise, replenishment of fluids post-exercise is also a very important consideration for optimal recovery.

It is recommended that athletes consume 1. Protein is an important part of a training diet and plays a key role in post-exercise recovery and repair. Protein needs are generally met and often exceeded by most athletes who consume sufficient energy in their diet.

The amount of protein recommended for sporting people is only slightly higher than that recommended for the general public.

For athletes interested in increasing lean mass or muscle protein synthesis, consumption of a high-quality protein source such as whey protein or milk containing around 20 to 25 g protein in close proximity to exercise for example, within the period immediately to 2 hours after exercise may be beneficial.

As a general approach to achieving optimal protein intakes, it is suggested to space out protein intake fairly evenly over the course of a day, for instance around 25 to 30 g protein every 3 to 5 hours, including as part of regular meals. There is currently a lack of evidence to show that protein supplements directly improve athletic performance.

Therefore, for most athletes, additional protein supplements are unlikely to improve sport performance. A well-planned diet will meet your vitamin and mineral needs. Supplements will only be of any benefit if your diet is inadequate or you have a diagnosed deficiency, such as an iron or calcium deficiency.

There is no evidence that extra doses of vitamins improve sporting performance. Nutritional supplements can be found in pill, tablet, capsule, powder or liquid form, and cover a broad range of products including:.

Before using supplements, you should consider what else you can do to improve your sporting performance — diet, training and lifestyle changes are all more proven and cost effective ways to improve your performance. Relatively few supplements that claim performance benefits are supported by sound scientific evidence.

Use of vitamin and mineral supplements is also potentially dangerous. Supplements should not be taken without the advice of a qualified health professional. The ethical use of sports supplements is a personal choice by athletes, and it remains controversial. If taking supplements, you are also at risk of committing an anti-doping rule violation no matter what level of sport you play.

Dehydration can impair athletic performance and, in extreme cases, may lead to collapse and even death. Drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise is very important. Fluid intake is particularly important for events lasting more than 60 minutes, of high intensity or in warm conditions.

Water is a suitable drink, but sports drinks may be required, especially in endurance events or warm climates. Sports drinks contain some sodium, which helps absorption. While insufficient hydration is a problem for many athletes, excess hydration may also be potentially dangerous.

In rare cases, athletes might consume excessive amounts of fluids that dilute the blood too much, causing a low blood concentration of sodium. This condition is called hyponatraemia, which can potentially lead to seizures, collapse, coma or even death if not treated appropriately.

Consuming fluids at a level of to ml per hour of exercise might be a suitable starting point to avoid dehydration and hyponatraemia, although intake should ideally be customised to individual athletes, considering variable factors such as climate, sweat rates and tolerance. This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by:.

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The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website.

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Skip to main content. Athletes should drink before, during, and after exercise. Don't wait until you feel thirsty, because thirst is a sign that your body has needed liquids for a while. Sports drinks are no better for you than water to keep you hydrated during sports.

But if you exercise for more than 60 to 90 minutes or in very hot weather, sports drinks may be a good option. The extra carbs and electrolytes may improve performance in these conditions. Otherwise your body will do just as well with water. Avoid drinking carbonated drinks or juice because they could give you a stomachache while you're training or competing.

Don't use energy drinks and other caffeine -containing drinks, like soda, tea, and coffee, for rehydration. You could end up drinking large amounts of caffeine, which can increase heart rate and blood pressure.

Too much caffeine can leave an athlete feeling anxious or jittery. Caffeine also can cause headaches and make it hard to sleep at night. These all can drag down your sports performance.

Your performance on game day will depend on the foods you've eaten over the past several days and weeks.

You can boost your performance even more by paying attention to the food you eat on game day. Focus on a diet rich in carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in fat.

Everyone is different, so get to know what works best for you. You may want to experiment with meal timing and how much to eat on practice days so that you're better prepared for game day. KidsHealth For Teens A Guide to Eating for Sports. en español: Guía de alimentación para deportistas.

Medically reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD. Listen Play Stop Volume mp3 Settings Close Player. Larger text size Large text size Regular text size.

Eat Extra for Excellence The good news about eating for sports is that reaching your peak performance level doesn't take a special diet or supplements. Athletes and Dieting Teen athletes need extra fuel, so it's usually a bad idea to diet.

Eat a Variety of Foods When it comes to powering your game for the long haul, it's important to eat healthy, balanced meals and snacks to get the nutrients your body needs.

Vital Vitamins and Minerals Besides getting the right amount of calories, teen athletes need a variety of nutrients from the foods they eat to keep performing at their best. Calcium and iron are two important minerals for athletes: Calcium helps build the strong bones that athletes depend on.

Calcium — a must for protecting against stress fractures — is found in dairy foods, such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Iron carries oxygen to muscles. To get the iron you need, eat lean meat, fish, and poultry; leafy green vegetables; and iron-fortified cereals. Protein Power Athletes may need more protein than less-active teens, but most get plenty through a healthy diet. Carb Charge Carbohydrates are an excellent source of fuel.

Sports nutrition guidelines, nutritiob are often suggested to follow Resistance training routines nutrition guidelines gguidelines help optimize nutritioon. The Sports nutrition guidelines States Anti-Doping Agency U. Athletes are encouraged to consume 1. Viable food sources for protein include meat, dairy products, nuts, and seeds [5]. If not adequately hydrated, an athlete may experience adverse side-effects during exercise, including decreased oxygen to the muscles, decreased cardiac output, exhaustion, and the build-up of performance-diminishing toxins [5].

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