When it comes to sport and exercise, nutrition is often the component many athletes and individuals overlook. Often, many people neglect following a nutritional plan, instead focusing exclusively on the exercise portion.
Whether you’re training for a marathon, just trying to lose a little bit of weight, or trying to get bigger in the gym, then nutrition is your best friend. So, to shed more light on this somewhat complicated subject, this blog post will discuss just how important nutrition is.
Nutrition is your body’s fuel
To begin with, nutrition is your body’s fuel. Much like you would put fuel into a vehicle, what you put in your body determines how you will feel and function. A classic example of this is carb-loading for a running race, such as the marathon. In the day’s build-up to the event, runners eat plenty of carbs such as pasta and rice, as this is the main fuel source that will get them to the finish line. Adversely, failure to eat enough carbs (or other quality foods), may result in you hitting the wall. This is when you run out of energy and cannot run anymore – it’s common among runners.
So, while you may not be running a marathon, hopefully, the concept of hitting the wall and eating the right foods demonstrates the importance of nutrition in sports.
Vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes
Second, for optimal sporting and exercise performance, you need to consume the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes. These can be found in various foods and drinks. For example, Omega 3 is a healthy fat that can mainly be obtained by fish. This fat is crucial for various bodily processes, however, are mainly concerned with overall heart health and well-being.
There are also certain vitamins such as Vitamin D3 which play a role in bone health and muscle repair. As an athlete, or someone who regularly participates in sports, the ability to repair and recover your muscles is crucial. Consuming enough vitamins and minerals, either strictly through a balanced diet or additional supplements ensures the best possible sporting performance and recovery.
You are what you eat…
Finally, although a classic saying, it is certainly true: you are what you eat. If you constantly eat junk food, then you’re likely not going to feel too great. Ensure to eat a balanced diet consisting of many different foods, including healthy fats, vegetables, and locally sourced meat (if you eat meat).