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Transcript of Sports Nutrition
How is nutrition for sport different to healthy eating?
- Meeting nutritional guidelines
- Maintaining a healthy weight for your sport
- Improving your immunity
- Maintain energy levels
- Meeting Hydration
- Adequate recovery and rest
All of this ensures maximum performance
Meeting the Australian Dietary Guidelines
1. To achieve & maintain a healthy weight, be physically active & choose amounts of
nutritious foods and drinks to meet your energy needs.
3. Limit intake of foods containing saturated fats, added salt, added sugars, and alcohol
There are 5 Dietary Guidelines released Feb 2013 for Australians. The first 3 of them are most pertinent for athletes and competition sports.
Guideline 2. Choose a wide variety of nutritious foods from these 5 food groups every day (refer to wheel diagram)
2. Choose a wide variety of nutritious foods from these five food groups every day:
Plenty of vegetables of different types & colours, and legumes/beans
Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties, such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, couscous, oats, quinoa and barley
Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, and legumes/beans
Milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or their alternatives, mostly reduced fats
And drink plenty of water.
Guideline 1. Healthy weight ...
Adults (18yo +)- Body Mass Index (BMI).
Healthy weight is BMI of 18.5 - 24.9
Children and Adolescents (2-20yo) - Percentile Chart
Healthy weight is between 5th percentile to less than 85 percentile
Many athletes, however, are above the healthy BMI range, due to their higher muscle mass. A good example are weight lifters, body builders and rugby players.
It is a good idea that children have their height and weight regularly measured to ensure that they are growing well. The height and weight of a healthy child should be within 2 percentiles.
... be physically active
Each sport uses different muscle groups and vary in endurance and intensity. Take note of your chosen sport and think about what muscle groups you aren't using - you need to work on these muscles too.
... And choose amounts of nutritious foods and drinks to meet your energy needs
This part of the guideline is easy as you've chosen to be active.
Swimming uses all your muscles groups but it's
. To ensure good bone density, you'll need to do some 'land' physical activity too, e.g. squats, jumping, push ups, running, skipping rope, climbing stairs.
Categories of intensity are suggestion only. Your individual level will depend on your past physical activity experiences, injuries, skill in the sport and limiting health concerns (e.g. asthma, arthritis).
Guideline 3. Limit saturated fats, added salt, added sugars and alcohol
Dessert style custards
Sweet pies & crumbles
Some tacos, nachos, enchiladas
Palm oil, Coconut oil
Sweetened soft drinks & cordials
Sweetened waters & iced teas
All types of alcohol
Butter, cream, ghee
Commercially fried foods
Crisps & extruded snacks
Fried hot chips
Meat pie or pastie
2 minute noodles
Healthy portioned meals that are high in CHO
Aim for your lunch and dinner to look like this. BREAKFAST ideally is higher in fibre & wholegrains, while SNACKS should be extra carbohydrate serves and protein (if needed) to provide the extra energy throughout the day.
Grains, cereals - mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre, plus Fruit and Starchy Vegetables (potato, corn, legumes, broadbeans).
Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts/seeds, legumes/beans and Milk, Yoghurt, Cheese
all vegetables & legumes/beans except Starchy Vegetables
How much you'll need will depend on your:
- Age (children, adolescents and elderly people have higher needs of
particular nutrients like calcium and iron)
- physical activity level
- muscle gain
- weight loss
- limb loss (e.g. paraplegia)
- pregnant / breastfeeding
It will also depend on your chosen sport. Some sports have body composition or body weight requirements. It is a good idea to also know your body composition goal.
An Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD) can calculate your individual dietary requirements, to ensure you get enough for physical activity and/or growth.
Most athletes need
6 meals a day
1. Determine your weight.
If you're not of a healthy weight, implement some dietary changes to what you're currently eating. A food diary can help too. Seek specific professional advice from an Accredited Practising Dietitian if you do not see improvements in 2-4 weeks.
2. By sticking to the core food groups and eating a healthy diet you'll provide yourself with the nutritional tools to:
It takes around 20 minutes until the water you've drunk gets absorbed into your blood (longer for other fluid types)
Water is the best fluid because it's one of the fastest to get absorbed & our body is made up of around 60-70% water
For every 1-2% loss in hydration, there is a 5% or more decrease in your sport performance. This usually starts after around 1 hour of physical activity, earlier in warmer weather.
Therefore, if you plan on being active for 30-60 mins, it's ideal to hydrate yourself just before you exercise. If you plan on being active for longer, then you'll need to rehydrate every hour, knowing that it takes time for the fluid to reach your blood.
Most people need a minimum of 25-30ml fluid per kilogram body weight, or around 8 glasses per day.
To calculate your fluid loss - weigh yourself before start, and again when you finish. Usually there's a weight loss. This amount is fluid loss, not fat loss.
e.g. 70kg start wt - 68.6kg finish wt = 1.4kg = 1.4L fluid loss (2% dehydration)
- fight off infections and recover quicker (improved immunity)
- building blocks for adequate muscle and skeletal growth
- key nutrients for increasing your mind's alertness and your body's strengh, power and endurance (improved performance)
- adequate sleep (at least 8 hours a night) - your body repairs itself while you sleep.
3. Consider additional nutritional supplements
A daily mutivitamin and multimineral supplement is an effective way of ensuring your daily nutritional needs are met and it has been shown through scientific research that a quality daily multivitamin and multimineral supplement can improve sport performance and recovery.
4. Stay Hydrated
We recommend Nutrition Care Kids Plus and Optimal Essentials NRG for kids and adolescents. For Adults we recommend Nutrition Care SF88 daily's. Additional supplements we recommend for specific needs - e.g. increasing muscle mass, muscle spasms, athletes with diabetes/FODMAPs, injury recovery, insomnia etc.
Calculate your daily fluid needs and do random pre- and post- workout weighs to determine your losses. Don't wait for thirst to drive your hydration - thirst is a LATE indication and signals you're already dehydrated.
5. If in doubt - get professional advice
Get an Accredited Practising Dietitian to calculate your individual needs for maximum performance taking into account your chosen sport/s, your body composition goals, family life, time restraints, food preferences and more.
Book an appointment
(health rebates apply)
Ph: 8346 3495 - West
Ph: 8250 8111 - North
Adequate recovery and rest
Adults need at least 6 hours sleep to function each day.
When we don't get enough sleep, it affects our mental alertness and performance in every aspect of daily living: e.g. thinking, driving, speaking ... so image how it must affect your sport performance.
Our body does most of its repair work when we are asleep.
Yet for optimal bodily functions, the research tells us that between 7-9 hours sleep each night is the key.
Exceptions for athletes
Foods that are high in sugar (high in glycemic index (GI) are going to be useful for athletes who want to increase their performance or who are doing endurance sports (longer than 120 mins) - because they provide quickly absorbed fuel & help promote optimal glycogen stores. They are often conveniently packaged and quick to consume during exercise or at half-time in a game.
The disadvantage of too much sugary foods is they can lead to tooth enamel loss, especially if your mouth isn't rinsed with water after ingestion, and if your teeth are not brushed properly at least twice a day.
Putting it all together: healthy eating for athletes
Daily ingestion of high carbohydrate meals (~65% CHO/day) is recommended to maintain muscle glycogen.
In the 5-7 days leading up to a competition, increase the CHO load to ~70% CHO, as a means of maximizing muscle and liver glycogen stores and in order to sustain blood glucose during exercise.
Examples of high CHO meals are:
- pasta dishes
- rice & noodle dishes
- sandwiches, rolls and wraps
- fruit, milk and yoghurt
- potato or corn dishes
- high fibre cereals
Aim to choose high GI carbohydrates in the 3-4 hours before exercise or a competition. Aim to choose low GI varieties of carbohydrate foods on days of rest and at other meals that are not within 3-4 hours pre-workout.