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The Importance of Sports Nutrition

The Importance of Sports NutritionBeing a professional athlete comes with a lot of responsibility. You are required to perform at your best each and every time and you are also required to remain healthy while doing it. Most people think of professional athletes training and pumping iron at the gym in order to stay on top of their game but thatís just half of the battle. Sports nutrition plays a huge role in their success and even if youíre not a pro and you regularly participate in sports, youíll want to know how to properly structure your daily diet.

 

Sports nutrition is important because it helps bodies that are constantly active stay in shape, burn fat, build muscle and can even condition the body enough to prevent a sports-related injury. In order to be physically competitive and healthy, you need to provide your body with the right foods and natural resources. If all you eat is junk, your body will turn against you and keep you from performing well physically. Lacking proper nutrition often results in feeling sluggish, suffering from poor concentration, performance and recovery, as well as making yourself more prone to illness and fatigue.

 

The major components that make up proper sports nutrition include: water, fats, fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins (B12, C and E) and minerals (calcium, zinc and iron). Water should be your main beverage. This natural resource is ideal for hydrating your entire body. While sports and energy drinks provide you with a boost, water has long-lasting benefits and should be the first thing you reach for. As far as planning your meals, make sure that you include a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean meats, eggs, fish, poultry, nuts, cereals, bread, dairy products and milk that is either low fat or skim. Additionally, taking a good quality multivitamin will also supplement your body with the right levels of vitamins and minerals that you may be lacking in your daily diet.

 

Not only does sports nutrition involve eating the right foods, it also has to do with how you eat. If you want to perform at your best, it helps to have a metabolism that is fast and burns fat around the clock. In order to give your metabolism a boost you need to feed your body more often. Frequent meals give your body a constant supply of vitamins and minerals, among other things, that it needs to function optimally. Eating every 2-3 hours, or 5-7 small meals a day, is the best way to speed up your metabolism naturally. This may sound like a lot of food but the key is to reduce your portions. Instead of eating 3 hearty meals a day, youíll be cutting back your portions and eating healthy snacks in between breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

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