Sports Nutrition

A naturopath specialising in sports nutrition understands the nutritional value of food,   fluids and supplements and has the necessary skills to help you improve your athletic performance in training and competition.


sports-nutrition.jpgWhether you exercise to have fun, keep fit, be a part of a sporting team or are training to reach the peak level of your sport, good nutrition plays an essential part in helping you perform at your best.

Making healthy choices about the type, quantity and timing of food you eat can all play a part in helping you achieve your full athletic potential. Your dietary and nutritional needs will vary depending on the type of training and schedule you follow. Sports nutrition is a science that requires a solid understanding of how nutritional factors can affect your performance, recovery and overall health.

A healthy diet will provide adequate nutrition and energy for training and recovery. Heavy training however increases the need for nutrients, particularly carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals. To meet these requirements an athlete must consume a diet that:

  • provides adequate calories
  • includes a wide variety of nutrient rich foods
  • includes sufficient protein rich foods
  • includes sufficient carbohydrate rich foods

Many athletes are faced with the challenge of consuming a larger amount of calories to support their increased energy requirements. Other athletes need to restrict their energy intake in order to maintain a low body mass and body fat levels.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrate is considered the most important source of energy for athletes. No matter what sport you play, carbohydrates provide the energy that keeps you going. Carbohydrate stored as glycogen is an easily accessible source of energy for exercise. How long this energy supply lasts will depend on the length and intensity of exercise performed and can range from 30 to 90 minutes or more. To avoid running out of energy during exercise you must replenish your stores regularly. Low stores of carbohydrate can cause fatigue and may impair athletic performance.

Protein

Athletes need sufficient protein for muscle growth and repair. Protein helps support healthy connective tissue, cell membranes and muscle cells. Athletes may significantly benefit from consuming adequate protein every day.
Consuming adequate protein intake can:

  • Minimise exercise induced muscle breakdown.
  • Maintain and repair existing muscle mass.
  • Boost resistance to infection.
  • Boost athletic performance.
  • Reduce or prevent other signs and symptoms of protein deficiency such as; lowered immune function, unexplained fatigue and reduced athletic performance.

Nutritional Support

There are many nutritional supplements that may also help increase your athletic performance and support recovery. For example magnesium in combination with other key electrolytes and carbohydrates mixed in water can provide optimal hydration. The added carbohydrates help replace lost energy and improve performance. Sodium promotes active water consumption and magnesium may prevent muscle cramps and weakness. Research has shown that magnesium deficiency may reduce physical performance, exercise capacity and contribute to muscle cramps and weakness.

Magnesium supplementation can help:

  • maximum cellular activity
  • promote muscle recovery
  • muscle function
  • improve endurance

A naturopath specialising in sports nutrition understands the nutritional value of food, fluids and supplements and has the necessary skills to help you improve your athletic performance in training and competition.