Essay about Sports Nutrition: Improving Performance

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Serious athletes push their limits to become stronger and faster. A key feature of physical activity is that it increases the rate of energy use, causing athletes to have a greater need for energy nutrients (carbohydrate, protein, and fat) (Bernardot, 2006). The practice of sports nutrition has evolved over the years and has become increasingly complex. At one time, the focus was on achieving a high protein intake, especially animal protein. This idea is attractive since it is easy to believe that a high intake of protein will support the building and repair of muscle proteins. In the latter part of the last century, the focus shifted. It was recognized that an adequate intake of protein is essential for all athletes; however, the role of carbohydrate and water became the focus of sports nutrition strategies (Maughan, 2011). Serious athletes recognize that adoption of a dietary strategy that meets their nutritional goals will maximize the possibility of competitive success. The athletes who correctly match energy and nutrient needs to their training schedules are ultimately the ones who succeed.
Athletes typically have a higher protein requirement because of a greater lean mass per unit of weight (i.e., a lower body-fat percentage), a greater need for tissue repair, and the small amount of protein burned as a source of fuel during physical activity. This increases the protein requirement for athletes to approximately double the amount for nonathletes. An athlete’s protein requirement is approximately 1.5 grams per kilogram, with a typical requirement rangeof between 1.2 and 1.7 grams per kilogram (Bernardot, 2006). Although protein is critically important to health and most certainly plays a role in sustaining and enlarging muscl...

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...ced Sports Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics,
2006. Print.
Kenefick, Robert W, and Samuel N Cheuvront. "Hydration For Recreational Sport And Physical
Activity." Nutrition Reviews 70.(2012): S137-S142. EBSCO MegaFILE. Web. 11 Nov.
Manore, Melinda, and Janice Thompson. Sport Nutrition for Health and Performance. Champaign,
IL: Human Kinetics, 2000. Print.
Maughan, Ron J., and Louise Burke. "Sports Nutrition: More Than Just Calories - Triggers for
Adaptation." Google Books. Nestle Nutrition Institution, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2013.
Shirreffs, S. M. "Hydration In Sport And Exercise: Water, Sports Drinks And Other Drinks." Nutrition
Bulletin 34.4 (2009): 374-379.EBSCO MegaFILE. Web. 21 Nov. 2013.
Wilmore, Jack H. Athletic Training and Physical Fitness: Physiological Principles and Practices
of the Conditioning Process. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1976. Print.

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