What is sports nutrition?
Sports nutrition is the branch of nutrition and dietetics focused on people who practice intense sports and those that require prolonged efforts over time (endurance sports).
Depending on the final objectives of the sport performed and the training, nutrition will emphasize some foods or others.
Why is it done?
The nutritional needs of an athlete are different from those required by any normal person. Exercise increases the energy and nutritional needs of the body, so the sports diet can vary from 110kJ/kg/day (26 kcal/kg/day) to 157Kj/kg/day or other variants.
What does it consist of?
Nutrition is one of the factors that mark the sports practice, together with the genetic factors of the athlete and the training he/she performs. In this sense, the foods included in sports nutrition serve three basic purposes: they provide energy, material for strengthening and repairing tissues, maintain and regulate metabolism. There is no single diet for athletes, but it will depend on the sport performed, which has specific demands and nutrition.
Thus, for example, in bodybuilding, protein foods that favor muscle atrophy or increase muscle mass will be more important. On the other hand, in aerobic sports (cycling, for example), foods that favor prolonged energetic effort, such as carbohydrates, will be essential.
Preparation for sports nutrition
There is no specific preparation before starting sports nutrition, but it is important to follow the indications of the sports diet before practicing the specific sport.