Taking part in sports or exercise is a difficult balancing act for the average amateur athlete. These commitments must fit into a daily schedule which also includes work, sleep, and quality time with family and friends. Nutrition standards must be maintained in the midst of these daily events and are particularly crucial if athletes want to make the most of exercise.
Errors aren’t just made when it comes to the type of food and drink consumed. It’s also about refuelling at the right times before and after a workout, and overlooking the hype surrounding some sports nutrition fads. It’s vital that athletes have access to qualified professionals with a deep understanding of sports nutrition requirements. Here are four errors that are regularly encountered after sport and nutrition training.
1. Eating at the Wrong Times or not Eating at All
There are, quite often, two prevailing schools of thought among ill-informed athletes who’ve just completed an exercise session. One person may refuse to eat for fear of undoing all their good work, while the other over-indulges. Students in sport and nutrition training know that both extremes should be avoided.
The body needs its energy reserves replenished after a workout, but athletes should avoid doubling up on meals by, for example, eating a heavy dinner along with a protein shake and recovery snack immediately after exercise.
The body also needs to be in prime condition before exercise. Athletes are often encouraged to eat a light snack, high in carbohydrates, around 90 minutes to two hours before a workout.
2. Consuming the Wrong Balance of Protein and Fat
Fat carries negative connotations in everyday life, but it is a vital part of athletic nutrition. It’s recommended that 30 per cent of daily energy intake should come from fats, but many athletes will avoid it because they assume it builds weight. Fat keeps you fuller for longer, however, and boosts the metabolism which burns calories quicker.
Protein has become a buzzword in sports nutrition in recent years, but overreliance on this nutrient can also cause problems. Fat and carbohydrates shouldn’t be overlooked in favour of a high-protein diet as this uneven combination leads to weaker body recovery after a workout.
3. Professionals With a Certificate in Nutrition Know to Beware of Sports Drinks
Walk into any shop and you’ll likely see a range of multi-coloured sports drinks. These drinks should only be consumed in moderation and are better suited to some forms of exercise than others. Water is usually the best option for rehydration after short workouts in a cool environment. Sports drinks become beneficial when athletes have been sweating heavily in hot conditions. They restore sodium levels as well as offer an energy boost with its sugar content. Athletes should also drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise.
4. Athletes Should Maintain Positive Mineral Intake
Professionals with a certificate in nutrition are always keen to stress that there is more to a healthy athletic diet than fat, carbohydrates, and protein. An iron shortage is associated with tiredness and could also lead to anaemia. Vitamin C and iron work well together in the human body, so athletes should make sure to boost these vitamin levels by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables during the day. The magnesium contained in almonds, sesame seeds, and black beans boosts oxygen delivery, while calcium levels should also be maintained to strengthen bones.
Offer helpful advice to athletes by enrolling in nutritionist training in Ontario.
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