Many times we get frustrated because despite giving our best in training, when it comes down to it, we don’t get the results we were looking for. The answer to the problem does not have to lie in training and its planning or our performance, but we find it in other aspects that we can control but to which we do not always pay attention: rest and food, two pillars as important as training. Well and regularly when looking for sports results. Food is essential for the body to respond.
The importance of sports nutrition
More and more popular or amateur athletes are controlling what they eat. In the case of elite athletes, nutrition is in the hands of specialists but in that of fans it is something that costs more to control. However, correct nutrition supposes the contribution of all the necessary nutrients for our body to function correctly , so that it can complete all the training, assimilate it and perform at its best, offering the best benefits and the results we were looking for.
It is essential to know what to eat and when to eat it, since we do not need the same diet before, during and after sports. It is especially important during long events, such as triathlons, marathons and half marathons or cycling trips, since a poor diet during exercise is usually accompanied by a drop in performance after a certain point. In addition to food, you have to hydrate, both with water and with special sports drinks.
Sports nutrition is also a capital element in the prevention of injuries, since the intake of energy and the necessary nutrients for physical exercise reduces the risk of suffering cramps, contractures or even muscle breaks that will have us stopped for a while. On the other hand, if we follow a low-quality diet, our performance will suffer, and additional problems such as acidity or heavy digestion may appear that will negatively affect the performance of any athlete both in training and in competition.
Directly related to the prevention of injuries, we see that a nutrition adapted to the sport that is practiced offers us a better recovery from the effort after training or competing. Another reason to pay attention to food is the ease of maintaining the ideal weight, especially in long competitions, which take place over several weeks, or in those sports such as judo, karate or weightlifting where athletes are framed in categories according to your body weight.
Finally, it is convenient to talk about the mental factor, which is often a drag for athletes of all types and levels. A good diet can help to optimize the athlete’s mental performance and mood during competition, reinforcing their mood, something that will bring them closer to obtaining the desired result. We can also find the opposite situation: if the athlete does not eat well, their mood may suffer from this lack of nutrients and they will not achieve the results or objectives that have been proposed.
Supplements and sports nutrition
There are not a few athletes, amateurs and elite, who choose sports supplementation as a supplement to their diet. It is convenient to highlight this role of complement, never a substitute, since these supplements can help us to reinforce the intake of certain nutrients that for one reason or another we cannot ingest in our usual diet. However, an abuse of nutritional supplements, or their use in substitution of food, can be counterproductive and end up damaging the performance of the athlete instead of enhancing it as it was their objective.