Why is Sports Nutrition Important?

Do you consider yourself an active person? Could you say you work towards a healthy lifestyle? Maybe being active started to be a part of your daily life and it is natural that you start to think about changing your diet and discovering sports nutrition.

What is sports nutrition?

Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, especially popular in strength and endurance sports. The story about sports nutrition started in the US in the 1940s as an answer to the needs of bodybuilders to obtain the nutrition they needed but in a convenient format. Even earlier, scientists knew that the food and nutrients you take could affect an athlete\’s performance.

With the growth of the awareness of the healthy lifestyle and importance of regular exercise the demand for this type of product rose. Today sports nutrition is not reserved only for professional athletes but for anyone that is physically active and wants to perform better or recover a little quicker. These new supplements were created to make it easier for users to consume the energy they need. Let’s not forget, sports nutrition products should supplement your active lifestyle and should be in conjunction with a nutritious diet.

Broader meaning of Sports Nutrition by Encyclopedia definition: Sports nutrition is a broad interdisciplinary field that involves dietitians, biochemists, exercise physiologists, cell and molecular biologists, and occasionally psychotherapists. It has both a basic science aspect that includes such concerns as understanding the body\’s use of nutrients during athletic competition and the need for nutritional supplements among athletes; and an application aspect, which is concerned with the use of proper nutrition and dietary supplements to enhance an athlete’s performance. The psychological or psychiatric dimension of sports nutrition is concerned with eating and other mental disorders related to nutrition among athletes.

Source: Encyclopedia

How is sports nutrition different than regular nutrition?

Yes, there is a difference between regular and sports nutrition. Athletes need different amounts of nutrients due to extensive workouts that strain their body and require more energy. To be able to perform optimally, the intake of the nutrients has to fit the needs of our bodies. Sometimes, during the workouts (or pre and post workout), athletes need additional energy and eating a regular food can become an obstacle in performance. Just imagine eating a sandwich, chicken or salad during a marathon race just because you need some extra energy!? Today, sports nutrition combines natural food with alternatives such as for example the carbohydrate gels that give you enough easily digestible energy concentrated in small packages.

The amount of the calorie intake of an athlete varies depending on the athlete’s sex, age, height, weight, body composition, stage of growth, level of fitness, and the intensity, frequency, and duration of physical exercise. That’s why choosing a proper sports nutrition has to fit need of that specific person (you for example!).

An important part of nutrition is water

When talking about sports nutrition we usually forget that water and hydration is one of the most important aspects of sports nutrition.

During exercise our body sweats in order to cool itself and to maintain the optimal body temperature. While sweating, we do not lose only water but also sodium and other important minerals.

Dehydration happens when you are losing more fluid than you take in. The greater the loss of body fluid, the longer it takes to rehydrate the body. Without enough fluids your body can’t function properly. The basic signs of dehydration include thirst, irritability, headache, weakness, dizziness, cramps, nausea, heat sensations, decreased performance, lack of concentration… This is where sports nutrition steps in giving you electrolytes and carbohydrates in the form of sports drinks.

How much fluid we lose during exercise depends on many factors: intensity of the sport, type of the equipment, environmental factors, general health and our body reaction on activity (you notice that some sweat more than others).

Have in mind that maintaining a proper level of fluid in the body should be your top priority during exercise. Find a sports drink that suits your needs.

Categories of Sports Nutrition

According to European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance – ESSNA , sports nutrition can be divided in seven categories:

  • protein that helps building and repairing tissues, it also aids in weight management, lean body mass and supports a healthy immune system.
  • carbohydrates are preferred source of extra energy and with the proper intake they helps you increase your exercise performance
  • fats are an essential component of all of the cells in the body and they provide the majority of energy to those who exercise at low-to-moderate intensity.
  • electrolytes are salts that are components of body fluids and when we sweat we lose them. To help our body function properly and to prevent dehydration we have to take care of the intake of the fluids during the workouts.
  • amino acids are used in sports nutrition products for recovery, repair and muscle growth.
  • Creatine is used to increase muscle strength, enhance recovery and improve sprint performance. It is an amino acid-like molecule which is produced by the body and can be found in some food.
  • caffeine can improve concentration, alertness and enhance performance, helping you train harder and longer. Our bodies don’t have the same response to caffeine so it is very important to take it with attention.

Why have we developed BiteMe Nutrition?

And while some of you will search for products that will help you with performance, we are sure that for others performance improvement is not the key motivator. Right? While we seek for the specific food and nutrition products that can support our lifestyles, our key motivators are different.

Some of us see sports nutrition as an integrated part of our lives and we don’t want to complicate it. We will do the research before purchasing, but we want that it all fits naturally in our healthy and active lifestyle. What we choose should not only be healthy, help us reach our goals but it also has to taste good, real good.
Having that in mind, all key motivators of athletes and active persons, we have developed BiteMe Nutrition. BiteMe products are not just healthy, full of nutrients, but also taste great!

Recognizing And Preventing Dehydration In Athletes