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There can be a lot of confusion about the best sports nutrition practices to establish for serious athletes. It can be tough to determine what supplements you need, how to best fuel up for workouts, and the best recovery support for optimal post-workout gains. We’re going to work on demystifying that.
It’s important to highlight that these practices aren’t necessary for every athlete. What we’re discussing mostly pertains to people who like to break a sweat for about 90 minutes fairly frequently. This can vary given a person’s constitution, health concerns, age, weight, and more, but generally speaking, exercising for more than 90 minutes means you are using enough of your body’s reserves that it is important to take steps to replenish and recover those reserves.
Following these sports nutrition practices will ensure that you get everything you want to get out of your workout, every time.
While carbs have gotten a bad rap lately, it’s important for athletes to consume them frequently. This is because they are your main fuel. Carbs are converted into glycogen, which is immediate energy for your muscles. Exercising for over 90 minutes can deplete those glycogen stores, so it’s important to replenish them. Know What Your Body Needs This sounds self-explanatory, but it’s especially important to have an understanding of how much protein you really need. Protein is great for lasting energy and muscle building, but a lot of people overdo it. That being said, an athlete needs up to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight to rebuild and maintain muscle structure for best sports nutrition practices. (A non-athlete, on the other hand, needs about 1.2 to 1.4 grams per kilogram.)
Eat protein, though, of course. Just watch how much you’re consuming. Your body needs it, and its needs are greater than those of non-athletes. It’s also a good idea to get most of your protein from food sources, like meat, fish and beans, than just from protein powders and other supplements. Supplements are great, but that’s what they should be: supplementing your regular diet. Not replacing it.
Intense exercise dehydrates your body. This will kill your performance and your recovery both. It’s a good idea to drink a considerable amount of water everyday, and make sure that during a heavy workout or an event like a race or a competition you’re drinking plenty of electrolytes to supplement what your body is losing as well.
Generally, try to follow the 80/20 rule: eat high-quality food with good nutritional value 80% of the time. The other 20% of the time, feel free to indulge in treats.
Supplements are wonderfully helpful for athletes: they can help us build, maintain, recover, stimulate, and grow, among other things. In terms of packing on lean muscle, ensuring a healthy recovery after a prolonged workout, race or competition, building endurance, and so much more, supplements can be worth their weight in gold. Knowing when and how to use them, however, is half the battle. Make sure you’re not overdoing it with supplements or using them as replacements for food. Food is optimal for its bioavailability for general nutrition; supplements are wonderfully helpful for those times of exertion, endurance and recovery.
At Body Goods, we want to ensure your body feels good with the supplements you’re using for peak performance and the best sports nutrition practices. We take care in selecting the products we stock and the inventory we offer so that you’re getting the greatest value in terms of quality and efficacy. Contact us today if you have any questions and feel free to order now!