FUNDAMENTALS OF SPORTS NUTRITION
The basis of a good sports nutrition strategy is to determine which fuels best suit the energy systems required to achieve optimal performance. The key to success involves analysing not only the nutrients required for the different types of training you may be undertaking, but also the timing of delivering these nutrients around both your weekly training regime, but also in the lead up to a race day or competition.
It is important to sufficiently fuel your body in advance of your workout and to replenish it afterwards. If you’re working hard in your training it only makes sense that you want your nutrition to compliment your efforts and maximise your training gains.
The macro nutrients in your diet fuel the supply of energy in your body and each has a different and important role to play. Carbohydrates, fats and proteins need to be balanced in the correct proportions for your needs. They are complimentary and removing a single food source from your diet will have effects on the way the body metabolises the remaining groups. Upset that balance and the consequences are far reaching.
Each macro nutrient is converted into energy (ATP) via various energy pathways dependent upon it’s unique properties. As ATP is broken down it releases the energy to fuel muscle contractions. The rate and force of contraction rely on the different types of energy pathway and are derived from one of the macro nutrient groups.
* An athlete will rely on their supply of carbohydrates (stored as glycogen) the most, as this fuels moderate to high intensity exercise.
* Those training sessions of a lower intensity and longer duration will utilise fats as their main fuel source.
* Finally, proteins are primarily used to aid repair of tissue, allowing muscle fibres to grow stronger and become more efficient.
It’s also important to take into account your micro nutrient intake (vitamins, minerals and antioxidants) as these play a role in triggering the responses of the energy pathways. For example, calcium ions are involved in the neuro-transmission process for muscle contractions and iron carries oxygen within the bloodstream.
With appropriate training, our energy systems adapt and become more efficient and allow greater exercise duration at a higher intensity. Your body is an amazing machine with capabilities almost beyond comprehension and it deserves the best fuel you can feed it.
Whether you’re a recreational exerciser or a professional athlete; a triathlete or a bodybuilder our experts at Hillcliff Personal Training can provide a nutrition strategy that will help you maximise your training gains and perform to your optimum level. We have two nutrition packages available. For further information and to find out which is the right one for you, give us a call or contact us via the site.