Proper nutrition and supplementation are the primary factors in achieving good conscious sports results. They also have an impact on the player’s health. Eating disorders, or an inappropriate menu often affect not only the ability to exercise, but also the mental state of the player.
There are many nutritional strategies aimed at achieving better results. Preparing a nutritional plan and following its guidelines is to provide enough energy for muscle work, a more effective adaptation to exercise, muscle protection against catabolism , accelerating post-exercise recovery, and immediate preparation for the competition to increase muscle glycogen supply.
The control of power supply allows you to maintain constant body weight, or – if required – allows a reduction in body weight and reduce the risk of injury to the athlete. Diet, both in the direct preparation period, as well as during the training cycle, should be prepared individually according to the needs and preferences of the athlete.
In the sports environment, diet should not be associated with food restrictions or so called dietetic products, but with a properly balanced nutritional plan that takes into account the indicated proportions of all food groups.
Each sports discipline has defined energy and nutritional needs , taking into account the energy demand due to the nature of the discipline.
It depends on the nature, intensity and duration of exercise. The most commonly observed deficiencies of vitamins and minerals among athletes, is the insufficient supply of calcium, iron and vitamin B. A properly planned athlete nutrition plan, allows to supplement the need for vitamins and minerals, and provides an optimal preparation for strenuous exercise.
An athlete’s diet must ensure an adequate supply of energy for the reconstruction of energy resources, particularly muscle glycogen. The most important source of energy for muscle work are carbohydrates. Their appropriate saturation allows them the continuation of effort for a long time. A diet rich in carbohydrates also prevents the occurrence of chronic fatigue among athletes. This is particularly important during severe and prolonged exercise.
However, the most important aspect of sports nutrition, often overlooked by coaches and the players themselves, is hydration. Even a small degree of dehydration can negatively affect your ability to exercise, cause muscle spasms, and in extreme cases can cause impaired consciousness, abnormal renal function, and may even cause death.
The loss of fluids during physical exercise reduces the physical ability of competitors, both in terms of muscle strength and endurance. Studies have shown a significant effect of dehydration on endocrine subjects during exercise, both connected with endurance and forcefulness. Dehydrated athletes had proved an increase in response to exercise stress hormones, involved in catabolic processes. Monitoring the state of dehydration should be carried out individually. To determine the degree of dehydration and hydration of the player, it is recommended to measure the body weight before exercise and after its completion.
In the world of professional sports, diet is the foundation of the pyramid of success. Awareness of dietary behaviors, and their implications for the health and functional capacity, is the foundation for proper functioning. Therefore, we encourage you to use the knowledge and experience of sports nutritionists.