Published By: Puja Sinha

The Do's and Don'ts of Sports Nutrition

The secret to implementing a diet plan that successfully boosts athletic performance without compromising health

Sports nutrition is an absolute necessity for professionals or athletes in training not merely for physical health but a complete emotional and mental well-being. Making informed decisions about hydration and nutrition levels become indispensable. A diet plan with a proportionate amount of protein, fats, carbs, and fibre is essential to maximise performance and physical resilience.

Do Not Take Recovery Meal for Granted

Recovery nutrition is an integral part of training and must be consumed 30-45 minutes post-workout. Besides recharging you physically, this meal is essential to maintain good mental health, a strong immune system, cognitive functions, digestion and sleep hygiene. Post-workout sessions mandate a meal rich in protein, carbs and fat as each component plays a crucial role in sustaining you. This meal helps with muscle repair and replenishes glycogen.

Liquid nutrition works wonders too and could be easy on the stomach. However, make sure to stash veggies and omega fats later as these would stabilise blood sugar levels for improved agility.

Include Carbs in Diet

Since carbs furnish energy and work on endurance levels, integrate them in sufficient amounts. It is equally important to debunk various myths that proclaim carbs as a source of fats, lethargy, devoid of fibre and unhealthy. Being a master fuel, carbs remain a key source of energy, especially after heavy training sessions. Integral ingredients—such as chocolate milk, oatmeal, rice, potatoes, quinoa, certain fruits, and whole grain bread, should be accommodated in daily diet.

Limit the In-take of Sports Drinks 

Contrary to popular beliefs, sports drinks could be detrimental to health and when you become too much dependent on them, you end up gaining weight and become vulnerable to Type 2 Diabetes, gout, heart disease and obesity. Even after intense exercise hours, sports drinks are no better than a drink replete with sugar, sweeteners, preservatives and caffeine.

Review if Protein Bars are Good for You

Protein bars contain an anomalous amount of sugar and tons of unhealthy sweeteners-- including fructose corn syrup, saturated fat and highly processed ingredients. Although the bars might sound like a pleasant and convenient on-the-go protein option, long-term health impacts, aggravated by the fact that most companies keep the ingredients undisclosed, are substantial.

Most of the protein bars whose selling point is sly marketing strategies are all about a terrible amount of artificial sweeteners, GMP soy and preservatives. Since they are processed, wholesomeness and freshness are also nil.