You feel stuck because you want to enter for an audition to become a super model. You know that by every standard, you would not qualify. No biceps, no muscles, and no ripped body – you don’t stand a chance.
Stuck in this situation, you are wondering if your dream to become one great model would ever come through.
What if that is not your dream? What if you are someone who simply loves to make the effort in trying to stay fit?
Or you could be a female desirous of a healthy lifestyle through exercises and a great diet. Fret no longer as this guide would let you know how to achieve this.
What is Sports Nutrition?
Just as a car runs best with a full tank of gas, your body needs the right kind of fuel from foods. A balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, and water will give your body all it needs for peak performance.
Sports nutrition is the practical science of hydrating and fueling before, during, and after exercise.
Sports nutrition is also science that requires a solid understanding of the nutritional factors effecting performance, recovery and health.
It guides the knowledge of the nutritional value of food and fluids, and the necessary skills to implement appropriate nutritional strategies into your daily training and competition.
If executed properly, sports nutrition can help you to promote optimal training and performance. Done incorrectly or ignored, it can derail training and hamper your performance.
Whether you are a bodybuilder, a professional athlete or simply exercising to improve your health, sports nutrition plays a key role in optimizing the beneficial effects of physical activity and workout.
Making better decisions with your nutrition and hydration can result in improved performance, recovery and injury prevention.
Out there in the supplement market, there are so many manufacturers competing to produce the best products that would help anyone who is serious about getting into shape, attain optimum fitness goals.
We’ll take a look at some of these companies and some of their bestselling products ever to keep you ripped, bulky, while losing fat at the same time.
Through research and dedication to providing only the best supplements to support you during your workout routine, these companies have products for men and women alike . And they really work!
1 : Crazybulk
CrazyBulk is a bodybuilding supplement company that produces quality, safe alternative to steroids.
They do their best to eliminate all the side effects of steroids in their supplements making it safer and legal. Some of their best selling products include:
D-Bal is a bodybuilding supplement that is designed to provide all the positive effects of a steroid, otherwise known as Dianabol,
While D-Bal is not a steroid but a legal steroid alternative, it causes no side-effects. By increasing nitrogen retention, D-Bal creates the ultimate anabolic state required for mega muscle growth, giving you rapid gains in size and strength.
The benefits are highlighted below:
- Safe & Legal Dianabol Alternative
- Fast Muscle Gains
- Enhanced Nitrogen Retention
- Increased Strength And Stamina
- Increased Focus And Drive
- No Prescriptions required
- Rapid Results Within 30 Days
- Every 3rd Item Free
- Free Worldwide Delivery
How to Use D-Bal:
Serving Size: 3 capsules per day
Recommended Use: Take three (3) capsules with water 30-45 min AFTER workout. Read complete review here.
Trenorol is a powerful bodybuilding supplement that is versatile in its use. It can be used for bulking, or cutting and delivers fast results.
Trenorol is popular for providing immense muscle gains, awesome strength and power, amazing physical conditioning, fast healing and everything else in between workouts.
- Safe & Legal Trenbolone Alternative
- Increase Muscle Mass
- Shred Fat Without Losing Mass
- Increase Strength & Stamina
- Fantastic Physical Conditioning
- Enhanced Vascularity
- No Prescriptions Required
- Rapid Results Within 30 Days
- Free Worldwide Delivery
How to Use Trenorol:
Serving Size: 3 capsules per day
Recommended Use: Take three (3) capsules with water approximately 45 minutes before your workout . For best results, use for a minimum of 2 months. Read complete review here.
CrazyBulk bulking stack comprises of different products that designed to work on your overall performance, while ensuring that your fitness goals are achieved.
The Bulking stack from CrazyBulk guarantees effective results within 30 days, giving you giant muscles like you’ve never seen before. So, if you’re ready to look like a hulk, you’ve got the right choice!
Apart from that, the bulking stack provides superior strength and rapid recovery time whenever you workout.
It works by combining a mixture of these products from CrazyBulk as well. The products that make up the stack are listed as:
D-Bal: D-Bal enables your muscle tissue to retain more nitrogen; one of the essential building blocks of protein. By increasing nitrogen retention, D-Bal creates the ultimate anabolic state required for mega muscle growth, giving you rapid gains in muscle size and strength.
DecaDuro: DecaDuro is a quality workout supplement designed to improve your performance during your workouts, leading to enhanced strength and muscle gains.
Testo-Max: Testo-Max pumps up your testosterone levels naturally. It increases luteinizing hormone production which raises your testosterone levels, leading to awesome gains in strength, muscle mass, energy and performance.
Trenorol: Trenorol increases your red blood cell production, and provides extra oxygen to your muscles for awesome strength and power during your workouts.
It enables your muscle tissue to retain more nitrogen, one of the building blocks of protein, thereby causing you to gain huge muscle fast.
Take a look at some benefits below.
- Safe and Legal Steroid Alternative
- Massive Bulking
- High-definition Muscle Mass
- Superior Strength
- No Prescriptions required
- Rapid Results Within 30 Days
- Free Worldwide Delivery
How to Use
Use with a suitable diet and exercise program. For best results we recommend an eight week cycle (x2 Bulking Stack). Click to read full report here.
2 : Anabolics.com
Anabolics.com is one of the key supplement industry leaders known for churning out quality muscle building supplements time and time again.
Proven to make supplements that work, they have since grown famous among bodybuilders and athletes alike.
They offer a variety of products among which are stacks which range from growth hormone stack to mass stack to cutting stack to extreme speed stack as well as summer stack.
Generous as they are, they offer you value for your money. When you buy two of this product, you get one more absolutely free!
They also provide secure and fast shipping for many of their products. They also supply to international countries too.
- D-Anabol 25
D-Anabol 25 is one of the most powerful, best-selling bodybuilding supplements there is. If you want to get the best results in terms of muscle definition, muscle size, power, strength and lean physique. This is the supplement for you.
Here is an overview of the benefits for you:
- Providing Hard and Nourishing Muscle Pumps
- Generating Sold, High Quality Muscle Tissue
- Employing a Fast-Acting Mass Formula
- Improving Nitrogen Retention for Muscle Repair and Growth
- Boosting Major Lifts and Enhancing Overall Strength
How to use this Product:
D-Anabol 25 contains 90 capsules and is designed to be a 30 day cycle. Take 1 capsule 3 times daily with 8 ounces of water. Doses should be spaced evenly throughout the day. Read full review here.
- Pituitary Growth Hormone
Pituitary Growth Hormone is the most efficient and potent product ever created, dusting every other competition far behind.
Pituitary Growth Hormone has been scientifically developed and formulated with precision to help increase IGF-1 in the body and implement some of the benefits of HGH without side effects to the body .
There’s a warning however. If you have been tested positive effects for sports enhancement drugs with this product, then check your testing organization’s policies regarding the use of this supplement.
The benefits are listed below
When IGF-1 levels are increased, this affects nearly every single function of the body and results in the following enhancements of:
- Muscle Growth
- Muscle Recovery
- Joint Health
- Body Fat Loss
- Endurance/ Energy/ Stamina
- Sexual Function
- Better Sleep
- Blood Flow
- Cellular Recovery/ Healing
- Brain Function – (Memory, Focus)
- Other health benefits
Directions for Use:This product contains 60 tablets and is designed to be a 30 day cycle. Take 2 tablets once daily with 8 ounces of water. Read full reviews here.
If overall muscle growth, strength and size are your core fitness goals, then Test-600x is the best you can get.
Test-600x is without a doubt the most powerful and versatile muscle building product that has a reputation of being extremely fast acting and effective in helping you achieve immense in improvements in your masculinity, strength and size.
Again, when you buy two of this product, you get one free.
Still not convinced yet? Here are some benefits listed for you.
- Promote Strength, Size
- Increase Lean Muscle Mass
- Improve Attitude and Mood
- Helps you sleep better
- Enhance Sexual Performance
- Reduce Muscle Wasting (Anti-Catabolic)
Directions for Use: This product contains 60 tablets and is designed to be a 30 day cycle. Take 1 tablet 2 times daily with 8 ounces of water. Doses should be spaced evenly throughout the day. Read full reviews here.
Read our detailed report about Anabolic supplements here…
3 : Bauer Nutrition
Bauer Nutrition is a very popular bodybuilding supplement company famous for its innovative products. Some of them being:
- Body Fuel High Grade Whey Protein 80
Body Fuel High Grade Whey Protein 80 offers an extremely pure and high quality whey protein isolate with rapid protein release, ideal for supporting your lean muscle, definition and recovery goals.
The unique formula is also a fantastic source of essential amino acids, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and glutamine.
The benefits are simply amazing. They are listed below.
- Fantastic amino acid profile
- Over 80% protein per serving
- Transport nutrients to and from our cells
- Regulate hormone secretion
- Aids recovery after your workout
- Fuels lean muscle and metabolism
- Meal Replacement Sports Bundle
The Meal Replacement Sports Bundle from Bauer Nutrition is a stack of different products such as Primeburn, 612 Protein and CLA. This is a powerful combo that delivers quicker weight loss and fat burning results.
Each product in this bundle is designed to prime your body for fat burn, nourish muscle growth, increase energy and improve your body composition and results. This creates an ideal balance for your body that primes you for weight loss that comes off and stays off.
The Bauer Meal Replacement Sports Bundle contains:
Primeburn – perfect if you want to experience quicker, faster weight loss within a few weeks.
612 Protein – contains high quality protein that helps you maintain quality, lean muscle mass.
CLA –CLA also prevents fat cells from getting bigger, helping you maintain lean muscle while supporting your healthy weight loss efforts.
To get the most of your workout, you can combine the best Pre-Workout Sports Bundle such as Capsiplex, Amino Blast 1500 and CLA for the best results in your overall physique.
Popular among gym goers, athletes, and bodybuilders alike, it has been proven to deliver exceptional results.
The Bauer Pre-Workout Sports Bundle contains three great supplements which include:
Capsiplex – This helps to increase the body’s energy expenditure, increases metabolic rates, and improves digestion, increasing the natural calorie burn that follows exercise.
Amino Blast 1500 – Amino Blast provides 18 nutrients, which are capable of giving you quicker muscle repair and growth, better recovery times, and enhanced stamina.
CLA – CLA also prevents fat cells from getting bigger, helping you maintain lean muscle while supporting your healthy weight loss efforts quickly and effectively.
Here is a run-down of the benefits below:
- Burn more calories
- Reduce body fat
- Boost amino acids for improved recovery times
- Fuel more intense workouts
- Increase energy levels
- Enhance metabolic rate
4 : Evolution Slimming
From the stables of Evolution Slimming, a sport nutrition company , comes a variety of great sport nutrition supplements out they that have proven effective among athletes and body builders.
Evolution Slimming’s EvoSport Diet Whey Protein products are one great supplement out there that has a great taste and are designed to enhance muscle growth and support weight loss.
The Evosport Diet whey Protein supplement comes with different six flavors. These flavors include: Strawberry, Banana, Chocolate, Vanilla, Raspberry and Black cherry flavors.
It contains no added sugar, and with less than 4g of carbohydrates per serving, you are well on your way to enjoying a muscle building breakthrough.
You can combine EvoSport Diet Whey Protein with low-carb and other high protein diets. This would give you a hardcore muscle, which would enhance your overall physique as well support weight loss.
- EvoSport Nitric Oxide Pump
This is one of the best supplements out there designed to sustain and help you maximize your workout, making you look bigger, stronger thereby increasing your vascularity.
EvoSport Nitric Oxide Pump supplements in a tablet form that contains caffeine, citrullline malate and creatine.
They help improve your overall performance and keep you going for an enduring workout routine.
- EvoSport 100% Whey Protein
EvoSport 100% Whey Protein is pure whey protein and contains BCAAs and L-Glutamine. It is a perfect choice for those looking to gain lean physique while gaining muscle.
It contains no added sugar and less than 5g of carbohydrates per serving.
As a recommended dosage for consumption, you could mix with water or semi-skilled milk within 30 minutes of training and possibly consume further serving 2 hours after training to maximize your protein intake during the anabolic window.
It can be taken with other performance enhancement supplements such a Tribulus, Bulbine and Nitric Oxide Pump for the most effective workout result ever.
Free shipping is also available!
The three (3) principles behind sports nutrition
Sports nutrition focuses on what you need to be fueled and hydrated during exercise, and to promote rapid recovery after exercise.
But what are you eating the rest of the time, when you’re not exercising? Cutting-edge sports nutrition is founded on healthy eating.
Apply these principles correctly and you can consistently maximize the gains from your training and compete at your best.
- Stay hydrated:
During exercise, you lose fluid and electrolytes as you sweat, the key electrolyte is sodium.
If you don’t replace both fluid and sodium during exercise, you can become dehydrated. The single largest contributor to fatigue during exercise is dehydration caused by fluid and sodium losses.
Inadequate fluid and sodium make your heart work harder and make exercise much more difficult.
Dehydration also impairs your concentration and the ability to make tactical decisions. It is common to lose this much fluid, or more, during a workout or competition.
When you consume too much of fluid during exercise, it leads to over-hydration or hyponatremia, which impairs your performance and causes serious health consequences.
That means you must avoid gaining weight during exercise due to over consuming fluid. And don’t lose any more than 2% of your body weight due to fluid loss.
- Provide fuel for your muscles:
Carbohydrates are the primary muscle fuel for most types of exercise, 60–90 minutes of endurance training or a few hours in the weight room can seriously deplete carbohydrate muscle fuel stores.
Starting exercise with full carbohydrate stores can delay the onset of fatigue and help you train or compete more effectively.
There are 2 forms of carbohydrate in your body; Glucose, which circulates in the blood stream Glycogen, which is bundles of glucose stored in the liver and muscles.
When you run out of muscle glycogen stores, you rely on your small reserves of liver glycogen to maintain blood glucose levels.
After liver glycogen stores are used up, blood sugar levels drop and you are forced to either slow way down or stop.
In some sports, this is called “hitting the wall” or “bonking.
- Promote optimal recovery after exercise:
Recovery is when you realize the gains from all of your training. Recovery includes; Reloading carbohydrate fuel stores, Repairing and building new muscle tissue and Rehydrating.
Recovery enables you to be ready for your next workout or competition.
The recovery process doesn’t start after exercise until you provide your body with the nutritional components it needs: Carbohydrates, Amino acids, Fluids, Replacing key electrolytes lost in sweat.
Workouts and competitions deplete your glycogen stores. Muscle tissue is damaged as you train and compete, and requires repair.
Your muscles are also being stimulated to adapt to your training workload. In order to promote rapid recovery, as soon as possible after training or competing (within 30–60 minutes).
Consume: Carbohydrates for glycogen restoration, Amino acids for repairing and building new muscle tissue, Fluids and sodium for rehydration.
Popular Sports Supplements
Supplements are generally used by athletes, bodybuilders and sports men and women to boost their strength, performance and recovery.
Some common active ingredients used in making sports supplements include the following:
There are many excellent sources of protein, which are great for enhancing performance during exercises.
- Whey Protein
Whey protein is considered a complete protein that contains all 9 essential amino acids and contains very low lactose content. It is one of the two proteins found in milk, with the other being Casein Protein .
It is fast and easy to digest and have a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are highly concentrated in muscle tissue, and are used to fuel working muscles and stimulate protein synthesis.
Whey protein is very effective for helping you achieve your daily protein goals.
There are whey protein supplements that people use, alongside resistance exercise, to help improve muscle, relieve allergy symptoms, reduce appetite, protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean tissue mass.
- Protein Powder
Protein powder is a dietary supplement that is made from some of the sources of protein such as, whey, eggs, soy and rice. It is derived by processing the concentrated sources of protein into powdered form.
Research has shown that ingesting protein powder every day also can boost immune system health, facilitate the healing of wounds after surgery or injury and promote healthy skin.
- Protein Shakes
Protein powders when mixed with milk, water or other fluids often results in what is known as protein shakes, with the best protein powder so far being Whey protein.
However, protein shakes are available as pre-mixed or ready-to-drink products. And this provides a quick, convenient meal substitute.
Little wonder, bodybuilders talk about it with so much delight having discovered it is a fast and convenient way to gain muscle and lose weight.
A protein shake can be a hundred percent protein concentrate or a carbohydrate supplement that has little protein and fat. They are mostly available as readymade drinks or as protein powders.
Read our complete guide about protein shakes
- Egg White Protein
This is a high quality protein. The white part of the egg, known as albumen contains over 40 proteins.
Although, yolks also have some protein, both contain all the essential amino acids. Egg white protein makes an excellent alternative since they provide almost similar benefits
- Soy Protein
Soy protein contains all the essential amino acids including twice the arginine and glutamine of milk-based proteins.
It is ideal for vegetarians and has an immense positive impact on cardiovascular health and also helps to enhance the function of the immune system.
- Amino Acids
Amino acids are essential for bodybuilding since they support protein synthesis and strengthen the muscle.
Leucine also acts more like a hormone in that it activates muscle protein synthesis directly and aids reduction of muscle soreness, thus aiding faster recovery.
Glutamine has a vast potential to enhance your immune system, glycogen levels and increase energy.
Several clinical studies indicate that glutamine supplementation by catabolic patients improve nitrogen balance and recovery. Read our complete guide about glutamine supplements
Taurine is an amino acid that is included in many pre-workout formulas and is important for enhancing metabolic function.
- Performance Enhancers
This helps to improve performance, strength and decrease muscle breakdown.
Creatine is a high-energy compound which helps to store and provide energy. It is produced within the body, occurs naturally in fish and meat and can also be taken in supplement form.
It is a dietary supplement used by athletes and sports men and women to increase muscle strength and vigour.
It is intended to help you train for longer and also to boost performance during frequent high-intensity exercise. Read complete guide here.
- Beta- Alanine
This is very useful when undergoing intense, anaerobic exercises or any other rigorous physical activity. It helps to reduce acid build-up in the body as well as fatigue.
HMB has been shown to decrease muscle damage and anti-catabolic effects that could lead to increase in lean body mass.
- Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is a substance that is made and released by the cells that line your blood vessels. When released, NO causes a potent dilation of blood vessels, which translates into increased blood flow.
This is also one of the greatest bodybuilding supplements in the market known to increase strength, libido, enhance performance, endurance and stamina.
What more can a bodybuilder looking to gain a hardcore physique ask for? Read complete nitric oxide guide here.
Steroids, generally is defined by the 1990 Anabolic Steroid Control Act, as “any hard drug or hormonal substance chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone . . . that promotes muscle growth.”
They are used to increase testosterone, protein synthesis, muscle strength, enhance performance and provide a ripped, muscular physique while providing strength as well.
The risks associated could cause the following in males generally:
Along the line, they were discovered to have serious side effects on the human body and that made the FDA to move swiftly against its use. That was how it became illegal. Some of these side effects of steroids were:
- Decrease in testicular function
- Breast development
- Liver dysfunction
- Mood and behavioral changes
- Increased risk of heart disease
Then research grew and supplement companies went all the way out to discover the best supplements that could serve as an alternative to illegal anabolic steroids, without any side effects!
So, they are 100% safe and legal!
The proof is that until now, these supplements, which gives all the numerous benefits of real steroids (without those harsh effects) have not yet been banned by the federal authorities such as the FDA.
Otherwise, they would all wind up like the other steroids products- totally shutdown! Read complete guide about premium legal anabolic here.
- Fat Burners
If you want to burn more fat and lose weight faster, one of these ingredients might be right for you.
- Green Tea Extract
Green tea is immensely beneficial when it comes to burning fat and increasing metabolic rates of the body
- Raspberry Ketones
Raspberry ketones are excellent in breaking down, enhanced thermogenesis, and inhibited absorption of dietary fat.
Together these effects contributed to a profound reduction in whole body fat as well as fat in visceral adipose tissue and the liver.
Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant, usually contained in most pre-workout formulas and is largely responsible for making you feel alert and making intense exercise feel easier. It can also aid in reducing fat rate in the body.
The presence of omega three is very important when it comes to sports nutrition or bodybuilding.
- Fish oil
Omega-3 fats have also been shown to augment blood flow to muscles during exercise.
Moreover, omega-3s in combination with exercise was recently shown to maximize fat loss and decrease muscle soreness and swelling after damaging exercise.
If you are at high risk of heart disease, stroke or inflammatory condition, then it is better to seek proper guidance.
Sports Nutrition for Body Builders
Bodybuilding cannot be achieved through any one aspect alone. The right amount and selection of training, diet and supplementation, recovery, mindset, and genetics, will determine your ability to achieve a desired physique.
It is important to understand that the foods you eat are what will be supplying you with the energy to go hard at the gym and the right foods will help increase your muscle building potential.
For muscle to perform at its best, the right amount and types of nutrients must be consumed at the appropriate times.
- The right balance of macronutrients, (protein, carbohydrates and fats)
- And micronutrients, (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) is essential.
As a quick summary though, it is important you make use of the training window, a period of time where consumption of certain foods and supplements can prove to help with extra gains in muscular size, strength and power.
For example a delay of supplementation of more than two hours can significantly reduce protein synthesis and muscle glycogen replenishment.
Consumption of a carbohydrate/protein supplement in liquid form after training is effective in enhancing your body’s anabolic processes. Pre-training supplementation is also a factor to consider .
The balance of protein, carbs and fats will depend on the type of sport that you do.
Every athlete is different and their nutritional requirements will be based upon the type of sport they do, their age, gender, weight and metabolism.
If you participate in weight training or sports that emphasize strength and power then you will need to increase your protein intake.
Importance or Benefits
The importance of sports nutrition cannot be over-emphasized. Whether you are an athlete or someone who simply takes exercises as a regular routine, consuming the right amount of food and drink is very important for everyone.
The benefits of a good nutrition are enormous, leading to enhanced performance and healthy lifestyle.
Fats, protein and carbohydrates play some vital roles in enhancing our performance as well as maintaining a healthy body.
Adequate intake of carbohydrates is essential for preventing fatigue which makes it very good for developing muscles.
Fats provide fatty acid that can be used as a source of energy, especially if you’re exercising longer. Protein is very useful, especially when taking resistance training as it helps in building new muscle tissue.
At the most basic level, nutrition is important for you because it provides a source of energy required to perform various activities. The foods you eat have impacts on your strength, training, performance and recovery.
Not only is the type of food important for sports nutrition but the times you eat throughout the day also has an impact on your performance levels and body ability to recover after exercising.
Consuming the right balance of food and drink is important. Athletes, for example, may need more calories than the average person.
So if you’re an athlete, or someone who simply you want to start exercising on a regular basis, you understand how good nutrition is important for keeping you in shape.
Now, the benefits
The benefits of sports nutrition are quite much, just to say the least. However, there are some proven benefits associated with the use of sport nutrition benefits. These include:
- Enhancing Sports performances and Energy
Fats, protein and carbohydrates provide your body with fuel to maintain energy. Carbohydrates are the primary fuel used by working muscles and adequate intake is essential for your body to prevent muscle fatigue.
While monitoring your fat intake, you should not remove it from your diet completely. Fats provide fatty acids that can be used as a source of energy – especially if your exercise sessions last longer than one hour.
Fats also provide the building blocks for hormones and formation of cell walls. Protein can be used as a source of energy and is critical for building new muscle tissue.
If you are taking part in resistance training, your body will require additional protein.
- Weight Management
To maintain a healthy weight , eating well is very crucial. If you want to lose weight for sports, strictly reduce your protein, fat or calorie intake can not only have a negative impact on your performance, but it can severely harm your body.
The types of food that you should include in your diet for optimum sports nutrition include: vegetables, whole grains, fruits, sources of lean protein and low-fat dairy produce and healthy fats.
It is very crucial to stay hydrated when you are taking part in sports. Inadequate fluid intake leads to dehydration and this can affect your performance and could also pose serious threat to your health as well.
Dehydration happens more commonly when you are exercising under hot and humid conditions. Water is the best therapy for rehydration. However, there are sports drinks that you can use if you are exercising longer.
It makes perfect sense to see that you are giving your best in order to achieve your goals.
With all the hard work and time spent at the gym trying to stay fit and gain hardcore muscles, you need definitely need some sports supplement to enable you to train longer and harder
- Delays Fatigue
Whenever you hit the gym, the foremost thing on your mind is to ensure that you train hard to attain your maximum results. Taking sport nutrition supplement is a great way to delay the onset of fatigue.
If there’s one thing any bodybuilder or athlete would want the most, it’s something to help them feel better after an intense workout.
Most times, you have strained muscles, or injuries during a training session, taking sports nutrition supplements promotes optimal recovery and adaptation to your workouts.
This one killer benefit if you ask me. Have you seen those athletes, who train so hard just to be at the Olympics competition?
There could be no better way to describe how much strength they would need to stay on track, until they cross the finish line.
- Enhances concentration
Supplements are generally designed to give you optimum performance whenever you workout. Add to that, they also enhance concentration and help to keep you focused throughout your workout session.
The Myth about Sports Supplements
Sports supplements are simply a high concentration of certain natural Proteins (Egg white, whey protein from cheese) or Carbohydrates (fructose from fruits or malt dextrin from corn) already used as basic ingredients in the many types of the daily food we eat.
You simply add it to some Vitamins & Minerals that you would normally purchase at your local pharmacy. And that’s sports nutrition supplement.
A lot of people think sports supplement has to do with hormones, steroids or chemicals…
…but that is not the truth as it would not be sold in regular supermarkets, in many parts of the world with very strict health regulations like those in Germany or the United States.
Add to that, most of the sport nutrition products are manufactured in FDA approved facilities.
The implication of this is that these manufacturers such as Crazybulk, Anabolic and HgH.com stores would have to follow standard procedures in order to be sure they produce only top quality and effective supplements…
…because they understand, that failure to do so would threaten the existence of their business.
Again, if sports nutrition were to be a scam, there won’t be too many nutritionists and fitness experts discussing its power and benefits to those who workout regularly.
So, here’s what you need to know to debunk this Myth
Now, you have read so much about some supplements that claim to be effective for one thing or another. And now, you’re confused…who do you trust?
This is the honest truth…
You can avoid these confusions by simply following these simple rules.
Read extensively about some supplements out there.
You can join forums and join or follow the discussions trending, from where you can gain clarity, insight and alleviate you of your confusion.
Read customer reviews about the products to know which one is best for you.
If you find one that seems to meet your needs, and you are in doubt about its ingredients, then it’s time to consult your healthcare professional for proper advice. This would even help you a lot if you have a pre-existing medical condition.
And perhaps, this is one of the reasons so many people complain about some supplements having some side effects.
Quite frankly, some of them do have side effects but until your doctor proves you are fit to take any sport supplement, then you shouldn’t try it. Rather, you can go on whole meals that are rich in protein, carbs and low fat foods.
Tips to note on staying healthy during a sporting activity
When engaging in sports for the first time, you may feel hungrier than usual. This is normal, because your body is expending much more energy than it is used to.
Here are some nutrition tips to help keep you healthy while you participate in sports.
- Eat fat. About 20 to 25 percent of energy comes from fats, so to keep energy levels high. Your body needs you to consume fat.
- Make sure to eat before, during, and after your sport. The helps maintain blood glucose levels, which in turn will help enhance your sports performance
- Keep hydrated! When playing a sport, your body loses a lot of fluid, which can cause dehydration. This is dangerous – and potentially fatal – so drink plenty of water.
- Eat a balanced diet. An athlete’s diet should include plenty of complex carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fats.
- Limit salt and simple sugar.
- Don’t fast!
Types of Diet and how You should take them
What you eat before, during and after you exercise can affect your overall performance.
Therefore, taking the right diet will support your training program, increase your chances of faster recovery, and reduce your risk of getting injured.
While trying to maintain a healthy weight, and stay fit for any exercise, the following are the types of food that you should include in your diet for optimum sports nutrition.
- Whole grains
- Sources of lean protein and low-fat dairy produce
- Healthy fats.
But there are also some sport nutrition drinks that are formulated with op-grade products and designed to give you optimum performance during your exercise routine.
Sports Nutrition Drinks
Staying well hydrated during exercise and training is extremely important. Drinking water is a good way of keeping yourself hydrated during exercise routines.
Energy drinks are also very great, particularly for those who undertake endurance events such as long distance running.
Many energy drinks contain electrolytes such as sodium, which help to stimulate thirst and encourage drinking, as well as enhancing the body’s ability to hold water.
In addition, the carbohydrates contained in many energy drinks can provide individuals with extra energy which may be needed in the latter stages of training.
Now, when can you take these sport diets?
There are times in between your workouts when you feel hungry and you could be tempted to eat just about anything in order to satisfy that craving.
Here, are a quick summary of how you can take your sport diets in between workouts.
<> Before Exercise
What you eat before exercising goes a long way in determining your overall performance. Three to four hours before you exercise, you should eat meals that contains:
- Plenty of carbohydrate – this will increase both your blood glucose and your glycogen levels.
- A moderate amount of protein – this will aid recovery after exercise.
- Only a low amount of fat and fibre – this can take a long time to digest and may give you stomach problems.
You should try experimenting with the timings to know when to eat a meal in order to understand the system that works best for you.
If you are considering, taking some snacks before your exercise, here are some ideas you can feel free to consider:
- Chicken sandwich
- Pasta with tomato-based sauce and vegetables
- Baked beans on toast
- Porridge made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
- Fruit (such as a banana)
- Smoothie made with skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
- Cereal or energy bar
- Small carton of fruit yogurt
<> After Exercise
It’s really important to eat something soon after you exercise to replenish your stores of glycogen. And restoring the balance after the event is even crucial too. Water is perfect therapy for rehydration anytime.
You should include starchy foods such as bread, rice, pasta or sweet potatoes in your meal. And don’t forget to add some protein too because it can help repair your muscle tissue.
Here are some ideas for snacks after you’ve been exercising.
- Malt loaf
- One sports bar (that contains carbohydrate and protein)
- A handful of dried fruit
- Fruit and yoghurt smoothie
- Low fat chocolate milk
…And for Women
Women’s participation in sport is on the increase. There are now more opportunities for women to participate or compete in a variety of sports, and with this brings improved health, self-esteem and self-efficacy.
Despite the many benefits of sport and exercise, there are certain aspects that can be detrimental to your health.
Research has shown that women are more at risk of developing negative health outcomes as a consequence of poor nutrition surrounding sporting activity.
This can include eating disorders, menstrual disturbances or low bone density. It is important that you understand the specific nutritional needs to make you to strong and ready for any activities.
Special Consideration for Female Athletes
Firstly you need to understand why optimal nutrition is so important for you. In a simple way, it all revolves around the balance between health and performance.
A strong connection has been found between your energy availability, menstrual function and bone health.
Consuming the right amount of calories is a huge step ensuring you towards a healthy life but it’s often over looked in order to lose weight.
However, when you are not eating well for a long period of time, it has impacts on your health. This may lead to possible disruption to the menstrual function such as amenorrhea, or low bone mineral density which can lead to bones breaking much more easily.
But why does this affect female?
Female athletes, specifically those competing in endurance sports where a lean figure is desirable, are more likely to change their diets to try and achieve certain weight goals.
Sadly the prevalence of eating disorders is higher in women, usually due to the pressure placed on them to lose weight to improve performance.
Not eating enough on a day-to day basis or not eating after hard training sessions can lead to this low energy availability that can affect your health.
For women, low energy availability impacts on hormone secretion from the pituitary gland, which directly impacts regulation of ovulation and the ability to absorb minerals to keep their bones healthy.
Nutritional needs/Macronutrients for Female Athletes
To optimize your health and performance it is important to consume all 3 macronutrients – Carbohydrate, Protein and Fat.
When you eliminate food groups, they have negative effects on immune function, recovery and also increase risk of injury.
If certain healthy weight goals need to be achieved it is better you do it through the combination of smaller portions and the timing of your food consumption, as opposed to eliminating whole food groups.
This is the primary macronutrient for energy metabolism. Although for you, carbohydrate seem to come with a bit of a bad rap, it is actually crucial if you want to get the most out of your training and racing.
Carbohydrates are essential in providing your body with the muscle glycogen needed to sustain exercise, and allow you to train harder and therefore elicit better training adaptations than training in a depleted state.
Remember, carbohydrates not only fuel your muscles but also your brains, staying alert can be pivotal in some sports to help avoid injury.
Research has also shown that you don’t actually need as much protein as men due to lower oxidation rates during exercise.
Saying that, protein is still essential to promote recovery and muscle adaptation and still remains an important part of the female athletes’ diet.
Research supports strong differences between genders when it comes to using fat as an energy source. You have a greater capacity to use and transport fats than men during endurance exercise.
It is the combination of high oxidation rates and higher fat stores that actually makes you very suited to long distance events.
With this in mind it is essential that you should not consume less than 20% of their total energy requirements from fat.
Having 25-30% from healthy sources such as nuts, oil, fish and meat would be optimal.
There is even evidence that supports you, having a slightly higher fat content in their recovery meals to replenish the energy stores they have used.
Not forgetting health, fat is also essential for a whole host of fat soluble vitamins your body needs for immune function and recovery.
Vitamins and Minerals for Female Athletes
It is important that you get all the necessary daily intake of vitamins and minerals to aid health and particularly immune function.
There is nothing more frustrating than missing key training sessions because of an annoying cough or blocked nose.
There are few key vitamins and minerals that are worth drawing your attention to;
This is one of the most common deficiencies amongst female athletes, anaemia. Iron is key to oxygen carrying and energy production.
Iron deficiencies can lead to impaired muscle function and a reduction in performance.
You are most at risk due to the menstrual cycle, especially those who are vegetarian. The easiest way to obtain iron is through the consumption of red meat.
- B Vitamins
Similar to iron, lack of B Vitamins such as B12 and folate can cause anaemia, which makes you to suffer from severe fatigue, it also affect the size of red blood cells in your body.
Good sources of B Vitamins are animal derived foods such as milk and red meat.
If you reduce your total energy intake, you are more at risk of calcium deficiencies. Calcium is a key mineral essential for growth and the development and maintenance of bones.
You are particularly at risk of low bone density, as mentioned in the Female Athlete Triad. However, you need to consider that Calcium needs Vitamin D for it to be absorbed; Vitamin D is most readily obtained from sunlight.
Having 3-4 servings of dairy products per day such as a glass of milk, yogurt, or a small block of cheese is a great way to ensure you obtain enough calcium in your diet.
Sports Nutrition and the Teenager
To maintain a strong and healthy athletic performance, you need more than just a couple of hours training, practice, and exercises.
Your body needs all the support in the form of proper nutrition, hydration, and rest in order to keep you performing and responding at peak levels.
Teenage athletes have unique nutrition needs because since they are in the prime and workout more, they require extra calories to fuel both their sports performance and their growth.
And extreme calorie restriction can lead to growth problems and other serious health risks for both girls and guys, including increased risk for fractures and other injuries.
So, it’s basically all about working the right foods into your fitness plan in the right amounts.
The following are natural ways by which you can maintain a healthy nutrition while you go on with your regular exercises.
Use breakfast to jump-start a healthy day. An ideal daily breakfast consists of cereals and bread, fruit or fruit juice and a dairy product (a yoghurt or glass of milk).
Lunch and dinner should provide protein, carbohydrate, some fat, as well as vegetables or salad. Protein-rich foods include lean meat, chicken, dairy products, eggs, fish and beans.
Teenagers who continually exercise need to eat little and often to help keep their energy levels up.
You could have regular snacks in between as it is important as main meals in ensuring a good energy and nutrient intake.
Milk-based drinks, yoghurt, fruit, breakfast cereals, muesli bars and fruit buns are all nutritious snack alternatives for you to choose from.
You should never stay dehydrated during an exercise as it is dangerous to do so. Water and sports drinks are the best choices before, during and after sports. Sports drinks have the added benefit of providing carbohydrate and sodium for optimum rehydration.
What now… Does a teenage athlete need supplements?
Supplements are made to compensate the effects of our workout and exercises. Most supplements out there are advance formulated to fuel your energy during an intense training.
These products come in many forms such as, drinks, protein powders, shakes, bars, liquid meal replacements, creatine, caffeine, herbal preparations and more.
If you are just involved in some random sports, you should be more interested in maintaining a good diet.
But if you’re thinking of going on high-intensity workout or strength training, then supplements are great for you to give you all that are needed to help you attain your fitness goals as well as improve muscle recovery during a strenuous exercise routine.
Also, sports supplements have not been tested on teenagers or children, so there is no evidence to show they are safe for your growing body and are not recommended for anyone under 18 years of age.
While this is said, there are some young athletes who use some supplements without any side effects except some mild reactions to some ingredients that are used in making these ingredients.
So, it’s best to consult your healthcare professional to know if you are eligible to take any sports supplements.
So, what’s the best way to improve Teenage Performance through Nutrition?
It is important to know how important it is for teenagers to maintain a healthy diet and ensure adequate nutrition in order to enhance performance during sporting activities.
If as a young athlete, you are well-nourished, you will be able to play better, for longer, and stay mentally alert.
Studies have shown that people who eat enough food to meet their energy requirements, especially protein, often get more productive whether at play or during an exercise routine.
Some of the best ways to improve your performance as an athlete includes:
- Ensure you eat enough to meet your growth and energy needs
- Drinking enough fluids has a proven way to keep you hydrated and replace any lost fluids
- Plan your training and recovery properly
- Improve your own technique, talent and skills through training
- Make sure your input and outputs are matched
Sports Nutrition for Athletes
An appropriate energy intake is the cornerstone of your diet since it supports optimal body function, determines the capacity for intake of macronutrient and micronutrients, and assists in manipulating Body composition.
Your energy intake from food, fluids and supplements can be derived from weighed/measured food records (typically 3 to 7 days), a multipack 24 hour recall or from food frequency questionnaires such as:
- Energy Requirements for athletes
Your energy requirements depend on the periodized training and competition cycle, and will vary from day to day throughout the yearly training plan relative to changes in training volume and intensity.
Factors that increase your energy needs above normal baseline levels include exposure to cold or heat, fear, stress, high altitude exposure, some physical injuries, specific drugs or medications (e.g., caffeine, nicotine), increases in fat free mass (FFM) and, possibly, the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.
Aside from reductions in training, energy requirements are lowered by aging, decreases in FFM and, possibly, the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle.
- Energy Balance for Athletes
Energy balance occurs when total Energy Intake (EI) equals Total Energy Expenditure (TEE), which in turn consists of the summation of basal metabolic rate (BMR), the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) and the Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)
- Energy Availability for athletes
Energy availability (EA) is a concept of recent currency in sports nutrition, which equates your energy intake with requirements for optimal health and function rather than energy balance.
Energy availability is the amount of energy available in your body to perform all other functions after the cost of exercise is subtracted.
The concept of energy ability emerged from the study of the female athlete triad (Triad), which started as a recognition of the inter-relatedness of clinical issues with disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and low bone mineral density in female athletes.
It then, evolved into a broader understanding of the concerns associated with any movement, along the spectra away from optimal energy availability, menstrual status, and bone health.
Factors to consider when developing sports nutrition plan for Athletes?
One of the exciting aspects of the field of sports nutrition is individualizing eating plans for you.
Each athlete is different—there is not a “one-size-fits-all” type of meal plan, training diet, or competition hydration schedule.
Several factors must be considered when calculating nutrient needs and developing a meal plan for you, including the individual’s health history, the bioenergetics of the athlete’s sport, total weekly training and competition time, living arrangements, access to food, and travel schedules.
- Considering an athlete’s health history
First and foremost, you must be healthy in order to train and compete with potentials. Proper nutrition plays a vital role in preventing deficiency, and degenerative diseases.
For example, an athlete with diabetes must carefully balance his or her intake of carbohydrates with daily doses of insulin to prevent hyper or hypo-glycemia.
An athlete’s health history must be considered first and then subsequently, recommendations can intertwine with sport-specific suggestions.
- Considering the sport’s bioenergetics and logistics
Consideration of the cellular machinery and metabolic pathways responsible for making the energy you needed to participate in a specific sport, is critical for the development of an individualized eating plan.
For example, the calorie, macronutrient, and micronutrient needs of a football player (intermittent exertion over the course of several hours) will be different from the needs of a rower (continuous effort for typically less than 10–20 minutes.
In addition to the bioenergetics of a sport, nutrition plans for you must also consider the logistics of training sessions and competitions.
Some sports are very conducive for drinking and eating during activity (biking), whereas other sports make fluid and energy consumption close to impossible (open water swimming).
- Considering an athlete’s total weekly training and competition time
You might struggle to meet their daily needs due to the time constraints of meal planning and preparation, as well as short periods of time between workouts, work, school, and other life commitments.
The timing of meals and snacks must be strategically scheduled to provide enough time for food to digest before your training sessions, and to prevent too much time from elapsing after training.
Fluid requirements vary considerably among athletes, the energy and nutrients consumed before, during, and after exercise are part of an over-all daily sports nutrition plan that can literally make or break your performance.
The more time you spend on training each week, the more strategic planning needs to occur to create an appropriate, individualized regimen
- Consider an athlete’s living arrangements, access to food, and travel schedule
A perfectly calculated nutrition plan is worthless if you cannot execute the plan due to a lack of control over the foods available to you on daily basis, Access to food can also be a factor before, during, or after competitions.
Many athletes are required to eat with the team at their training table before a game, thereby limiting their food choices to what is provided by the team.
Proper nutrition while traveling is a challenge for you and non-athletes. Travel forces individuals to change their routine, sometimes wreaking havoc on your good intentions and typical nutrition habits.
You must be educated on how to make healthy choices and appropriate substitutions while on the road.
Nutrition and the Injured Athlete
Injuries are often an unavoidable aspect of participation in physical activity. Nutrition may not be able to prevent your injuries that are related to overuse or improper training.
Poor nutrition can lead to conditions that increase the risk of injury. Exercise related fatigue, which is characterized by an inability to continue exercise at the desired pace or intensity, is just one example.
Injuries, during a sporting activity could lead to a number of disadvantages such as: inability to keep training for fitness or cessation from participating in participation in sport and decreased physical activity.
Limb immobility may be necessary with some injuries, contributing to reduced activity and training.
Following an injury, an inflammatory response is initiated and while excess inflammation may be harmful, given the importance of the inflammatory process for wound healing, attempting to drastically reduce inflammation may not be ideal for optimal recovery
The overriding nutritional recommendation for injured exercisers should be to consume a well-balanced diet based on whole, minimally processed foods or ingredients made from whole foods.
The diet composition should be carefully assessed and changes considered as the injury heals and activity patterns change.
Nutritional causes of fatigue in athletes include inadequate total energy intake, glycogen depletion, dehydration and poor iron status. Here are the specifics on how to eat for optimal recovery and healing while preventing weight gain:
- Focus on energy balance.
Calories are necessary for the healing process and consuming too few will likely slow the healing process. To prevent your weight gain while training, total daily caloric must be decrease.
- Focus on a variety of whole foods.
You are accustomed to consuming additional calories through convenience foods and drinks such as sports drinks, bars, shakes or gels.
These sources of fuel are better left for times of intense training and higher energy needs.
Instead, focus on foundation of whole foods that includes lean proteins, fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and healthy fats such as nuts and seeds.
- Avoid foods with high amounts of simple sugars or dietary fats.
These foods tend to be less nutrient-dense as compared to whole food choices.
Sports supplements side effects
There are really no potential side effects when taken according to instructions on the label and based on your needs.
However, it is advisable that you consult your doctor for proper guidance on how to use such and also try as much as possible to avoid overuse.
As an athlete or bodybuilder or someone who simply engages in regular exercises. There are no better ways to enhance your performance, physically or mentally without the main ingredients:
A balanced diet, proper exercises and legal sports supplements to keep you active all through your workout or exercise routines.
The balance of protein, carbs and fats will depend on the type of sport that you do.
Every athlete is different, therefore their nutritional requirements will be considered based on the type of sport they do, their age, gender, weight and metabolism.
If you participate in weight training or sports that emphasize strength and power then you will need to increase your protein intake naturally by eating foods that are high in protein.
Some of which includes: Fish, chicken and lean red meat are all good sources of protein as are eggs, nuts and pulses
And after all these have been put in place, you’ll definitely need some sport nutrition supplements to help you maximize your workout to its fullest potential, giving you that athletic build in form of a toned, ripped, and well-defined body.