“Many people say I'm the best women's soccer player in the world. I don't think so. And because of that, someday I just might be.” ― Mia Hamm
Sports are an activity that involves too much physical effort and skills in which one team or person competes against another team or person for the sake of fun. Sports include different types of games like cricket, hockey, football, badminton and many others.
It is a process of having food which is needed for health, development and growth. The main nutrients are fats, proteins, carbohydrates and there are two types of nutrients micronutrients and macronutrients.
Sports nutrition is a study of diet and nutrition to improve the performance and health of sportsman. Nutrition is important for an athlete to perform well in the ground and proper amount of fluids and food are given to the athletes to maintain their health.
Macronutrients are necessary for the sportsman’s performance and are discussed below:
Carbohydrates are the major part of our food and it is necessary for sportsman and it helps them to perform actions with high energy in the ground. Foods which contains carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables and milk and bread. Carbohydrates have three types which are named as monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides. These are the source of energy for sportsman and makes them active.
Fats perform an important role in our body. These are available in two basic types saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids are from plants sources and the unsaturated are from animals’ source. These help in sportsman’s healthy development and are a source of energy for them. These also protect our body organs and membranes. Fats are present in nuts, cheese, eggs, fatty fish etc.
Proteins are made up of amino acids and it is a macronutrient necessary for muscular mass. Sources of proteins are fish, meat, milk, yoghurt, nuts etc. Proteins are a source of energy as well and sportsmen use it for the recovery of muscle breakdown. It repairs and rebuilds the muscle which is broken. It is building muscular mass.
Micronutrients are also necessary to fulfill our needs of body. These are the minerals and vitamins. Some important micronutrients are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and sodium. In sportsman life, these micronutrients are had their specific importance. Iron deficiency causes impairment muscle function and Vitamin D deficiency causes decreased in muscle strength. To make sure they compensate their fluid and salt loss due to excessive sweating they use drinks that are high on electrolytes.
Supplements in sports nutrition
Different type of supplements is given to sportsmen for better performance and health of sportsman.
- Food components
There are some sports drinks, protein supplements, energy drinks, electrolytes supplements etc. that are make specifically according to the needs of sportsmen.
- Performance supplements
There are certain supplements that are used to increase energy and ensure performance enhancement such as nitrate, caffeine, creatine etc.
- Nutritional Components
Iron, vitamins, calcium, minerals and fatty acids etc. are very important for the body therefore they are also provided through supplements to ensure that sportsmen get complete balanced nutrition for a healthy body function even if food intake is maintained in small quantities.
Eating for Better Performance
Sportsmen should eat on time and according to schedule for the better performance and to be active and healthy. They can eat according to a diet plan which compromise of the proper amount of food nutrients that are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Sportsmen use food for energy source also and this well maintained diet plan helps them to perform well in the ground and then achieve goals. Sportsmen can eat for having and gaining energy. They eat the food which gives them strength and power to overcome the challenges and without energy athlete becomes dull and shows poor performance so that is why a well planned food intake is used as a major energy source also.