Nutrition in sports

In sports, it is crucial to ensure physical performance, maximum concentration, and rapid regeneration. 

Nutrition in sports

In sports, it is crucial to ensure physical performance, maximum concentration, and rapid regeneration. Our fuel and building blocks for this come from our food – a combination of healthy food and smart sports nutrition provide us with what we need to achieve our goals.

The foundation of our health is formed by sports and regeneration, as well as a balanced diet. We can fill gaps with sensible supplements to our diet. High-quality sports nutrition and sports drinks that appropriately nourish our bodies assist us in sports.

The most important nutrients in sports:

  • Water
  • Protein
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Vitamins, minerals, and trace elements

1.     What is healthy sports nutrition?

2.     Do we need multi-vitamins and mineral products?

3.    What sweating has to do with nutrition

4.     What do I need for regeneration?

5.     Doping hazard: How do I protect myself from contaminated sports nutrition?

1. What is healthy sports nutrition?

Eating healthy means that we focus on natural food, appropriate for humans in accordance with nutritional science – fresh food that is as natural as possible should determine your meals, i.e. vegetables, fruit, legumes, and animal products, such as eggs and a moderate amount of meat and fish.

This is your sustainable choice for fresh food:

  • Find out what fresh food you can obtain locally or in your immediate surroundings.
  • Consciously buy food, particularly sources of protein, from your area and avoid too many imported, processed foods
  • Read the labels and inform yourself about the contents and ingredients

Furthermore, premium sports products as isotonic drinks, protein shakes, regeneration shakes or sport gels can support you - if they are designed right and do not contain unnecessary or even unhealthy ingredients.

2. Do we need multi-vitamins and mineral products?

In a best-case scenario, our bodies would be supplied completely with a balanced, nutrient-rich diet. However, there are essential factors that even a very careful diet can hardly completely cover and require the daily consumption of vitamins and minerals:

  • Our modern lifestyle requires a substantially larger amount of essential nutrients that we do not get enough of with our modern diet due to stress, too much sugar, and mechanically processed foods.
  • Heavy physical strains, double burden due to work and sports
  • Time factor in sports: Digestion during / between training sessions and competitions
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables only have a small percentage of essential nutrients due to the soil quality and are sometimes harvested before they are ripe. This does not apply if the cold chain is ensured, the products come from organic farming and the distance from the farmer to the store shelf is short. Through these actions, the vitamin content in vegetables and fruit has improved in many areas in the last 40 years.
  • Too often, there is not enough time to take care of a home-made, varied diet that covers all the necessary nutrients.

3. What sweating has to do with sports nutrition

Sweating is not simply an unpleasant side matter, but rather is a key function of our body. Knowing how we ideally support our body with sweating is therefore an important building block for achieving our athletic goals.

Sweating keeps us healthy

In fact, approximately 10 percent of the water that our body loses daily is sweat. There are a number of good reasons why we should let our bodies sweat:

  • Sweating protects our body from overheating. If our body temperature becomes too high, we begin to sweat in order to regulate our temperature, i.e. to cool us down. This is how we prevent heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dizziness, and weakness.
  • Sweating keeps our skin clean and healthy. Our skin has countless pores that collect dirt and toxins. To remove both of these harmful components from our system, we have to sweat. Sweating consists of approximately 95% water, thus sweat actually has no odor. Our skin is our largest organ. When we sweat, we are keeping it active, healthy, and clean.

Sweating right

Sweating is therefore vital and healthy. Hence, drinking enough water every day is also essential. One aspect is to maintain our fluid balance, and preventing deficits in our energy and electrolyte balance is another. During training or in hot temperatures, our fluid, energy, and electrolyte supply must be increased accordingly.

When we sweat, we have to continuously refill the elements lost in the process. Our body should be supplied with water, carbohydrates, and mineral salts, ideally with an isotonic drink.

4. This Is What You Need for Regeneration

Steps for a good regeneration between athletic activities are diverse – sauna, massage, and Kneipp baths are common and proven methods. However, nutrition plays the key role in regeneration. Here, we have to refill the empty reservoirs and repair the strained protein structures (muscle cells, tendons, and ligaments) as well as facilitate performance building / our performance curve. If well-tolerated nutrients are supplied in times of strain in the form of high-quality sports food (homemade or from a reputable supplier), fewer deficits arise as a result. The energy used during sports should be restored with high-quality carbohydrates; in the case of a reduced carbohydrate diet (low-carb, keto), we can achieve this through fats or a combination of fats and carbohydrates.

Protein (albumin) of a high bioavailabilityis mandatory for the regeneration of muscle fibers, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. Amino acids are produced from the proteins split by our stomach. From the additionally supplied essential amino acids, our body reconstructs the protein structures required for regeneration.

Ideally, these nutrients are ingested in a liquid form immediately after sport. Due to the liquid absorption, they get into our bloodstream quicker than through solid food. The advantage of accelerated absorption is that intact muscle cells are not used as a source of protein for regeneration, which benefits performance and muscle building.

5. Anti-Doping Assurance

Professional athletes and free-time athletes as well must protect themselves with one hundred percent certainty from contaminations due to doping substances.

These are the hazards:

  • Most conventional sports and dietary supplements are not produced by suppliers, i.e. the brand on the label. These brands are so-called white labelsor private labels. The supplier is not a manufacturer in these cases and thus has no direct contact with the raw material suppliers. Therefore, quality control is not in his hands. These products cannot guarantee anti-doping assurance.
  • Be aware of products with raw materials of animal origin. These ingredients may be contaminated with hormones, medications, and other doping substances.

The followings parameters offer you security:

  • Organic certifications of these ingredients
  • Transparent declaration of the origin of ingredients
  • Trustworthy manufacturers assume responsibility for the purity of their products.
  • Pay attention to the origin of anti-doping certificates