Kobe Bryant Injury, Zack Greinke's Broken Collarbone and Kevin Wareâ€™s Broken Leg Devastating
Athletes at every level of competition from children to college level and all the way to professional sports suffer frustrating injuries that either interrupt or end a career.
It's not only professional athletes that spend many hours training their bodies, including their muscles, to excel at their sport. As a mother of 4 children who all played sports, and in being exposed to the world of student athletics, I can say that I have personally witnessed kids of every age level spending serious time playing and practicing in order to perform well plus have seen the benefits of nutrition for sports.
Nutrition for athletes is important because no matter how many hours you spend in the gym or on the field, if you have a poor diet your body is going to struggle to stay healthy under the amount of stress you put on it. Many athletes work with a nutritionist who gives them a food and/or all-natural food supplement plan to help increase body strength and overall performance.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine provides information on nutrition and athletic performance and lists guidelines for calories, carbohydrates, fluids, iron, vitamins and other minerals and protein. It states, "The diet recommended for an athlete is not very different from the diet recommended for any healthy person. However the amount of each food group you need will depend on the type of sport, the amount of training and the time you spend in the activity or exercise."
Eating foods that are high in fat, high in sugar, processed or do not contain nutrition the body can use to stay healthy, can result in bone depletion, loss of muscle, overweight or obesity, and do not fuel the body properly to deliver energy or stamina nor provide it the nutrition to stay strong, healthy and injury-free.
Carbohydrates are important to athletes because they deliver the body's main source of energy. Competitors want to store energy to last for hours during practices and competition. Whole grain breads and pasta, vegetables and fruit are good carb sources. Protein is essential for athletes to build and repair muscle and also for energy. Lean protein choices are healthy and will help your body avoid storing protein as fat.
Hydration should be well planned and executed before, during and after physical activity because it will prevent problems such as dehydration, fatigue and even injury. How many times have you seen athletes suffer with cramps that are related to dehydration. It is painful to watch and much more painful to experience first-hand.
Vitamins and other all-natural food supplements help athletes fill in the nutrition gaps they don't get from their diet or that their body is in higher demand to have. High levels of exercise can deplete the body of nutrients and it's important to restock them. Important nutrients to supplement can include a multi-vitamin, calcium, b-complex vitamins, omega-3 essential fatty acids, lean protein shakes, and healthy sports hydration drinks (without high sugar or caffeine).
Stopsportsinjuries.org is a website with information for younger athletes so that they can prepare their bodies for the present and future demands of athletics. Topics discussed are eating before exercise, eating during exercise, eating for recovery, and hydration.
The importance of nutrition cannot be underestimated because the energy, strength and endurance needed to perform at optimum level are daily requirements and recovery is essential as well.
An Optimal Dietary Intake Guide is available on Usada.org to give recommendations for sports competitors at all levels. "The human body must be supplied continuously with energy to perform its many complex functions. As an athlete's training and competition level increases, the body's energy demands also increase," is stated on the website.
The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website discusses the importance that athletes have proper training, don't overdo and that they
have their bodies in good condition in order to help avoid injury. Physical activity provides tremendous health benefits for your body, but you can't expect your body to perform well or stay injury free without planning for it. An athlete that eats a balanced diet of lean protein sources, healthy carbohydrates and avoids junk food, processed foods, high sugar and fat foods that have little or no nutrition value will insure his body is ready for the stress that will be demanded of it during high competition sports. Nutrition, along with the essential training and practice that is necessary for success, will help every athlete stay energized, strong, competitive and ultimately increase the chances of staying injury free.
To learn more about sports nutrition from the #1 Natural Nutrition brand in America that does exclusive and patented research and development on sports nutrition products, visit: Nutrition for Athletes.
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