Nutrition & Athletic Performance
Optimal nutrition provides enhanced athletic performance as well as aids in recovery from exercise.
The following are facts and recommendations from The American College of Sports Medicine’s position statement on Nutrition and Athletic Performance.
Carbohydrates are essential in replenishing energy glycogen stores within the muscle. Low carbohydrate intake can result in increased fatigue, and increased injury and illness, ultimately leading to decreased athletic performance.
Fats are not the enemy! In fact, fats provide important energy, essential fatty acids, and fat-soluble vitamin absorption. Intake should be adequate to maintain weight during athletic performance (20% to 25% of your total caloric intake).
Eating protein helps the body to build and repair muscle tissue that is damaged during exercise.
Low protein intake may result in loss of muscle, bone density, and total strength, also decreasing performance.
Performance has been shown to decrease when the body is dehydrated.
Athletes should drink enough fluid to balance their weight loss after exercise.
- 16-24 oz for every lb of weight lost during activity.
- 2 hrs before activity drink 14-22 oz of fluid.
- During exercise 6-12 oz every 15-20 minutes.
Overall, the body must consume enough food and fluid to produce enough energy for the muscles! Lacking adequate nutrition may lead to decreased performance, regardless of how much and what type of training you complete!