5 Primary Goals of Sports Nutrition
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Is sports nutrition different from day-to-day nutrition? Do you really need to consider your diet differently when you're training?
To the first question, yes
...... and no!
To the second, it will depend on the intensity of your training and your desired goals.
You really can't out train a bad diet. To be effective, a personalised sports nutrition plan must be built on the solid fundamentals of eating for health.
If you can get your basic diet right, a personalised approach to performance nutrition will build on that foundation. By assessing personal requirements, training schedules, an athlete's nutrition can be optimised to enhance performance and recovery.
Too often, sports supplements can be the first port of call for an athlete. It's very easy to buy into the marketing hype surrounding these products yet a supplement can never adequately compensate for a poor diet. They are best used as the final consideration of any sports nutrition plan, introduced to finesse that plan and get you that extra few percentage points of improved performance.
So, what are the five key goals of a workable sports nutrition plan?
1️⃣ Variety is key – Eat a varied and well-balanced diet that supplies the right amount of energy and all the essential nutrients. 2️⃣ Strive for five – Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day (fresh, frozen, dried, canned all count). 3️⃣ Think fluid – Ensure appropriate hydration by drinking throughout the day as well as before, during and after training or events. 4️⃣ Fuel right – Base the carbohydrate intake on the amount and type of exercise being undertaken. 5️⃣ Refuel – Speed up recovery by refuelling with the right blend of carbohydrate and protein as soon as possible after exercise.
You'll not be surprised that the first three points apply equally to the non-athletes amongst us, and the later two, whilst less obvious are far from irrelevant.
You may also be interested in my Sports Nutrition page.