Sports Nutrition FAQs


Why is Sports Nutrition Important?

Athletes need to focus in on sports nutrition including what kind of supplements to take if they are to be competitive and on top of their game.  They not only need to know the required ratios of organic nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and fats but also when to take them.   This is especially true of extreme sports in which strength and endurance activities may require above average consumption of nutrients.

Why Does Sports Nutrition Seem Subjective at Times?

It may seem subjective sometimes.  One reason for this may be that athletes from different sports have different metabolisms.  An elite strength athlete such an Olympic weight lifter may eat 3-4 thousand calories a day.  An Olympic long distance swimmer may eat 10-12 thousand calories a day (that is not a misprint). Olympic divers, gymnasts, and high jumpers need to be light, lean, and strong and so consume less heavy foods.  It depends on what physical demands a sport puts on your body.  Macronutrients gotten  from Wholesome foods are what you need.  You can’t go wrong with protein from red meat, chicken and fish, whole grain carbohydrates and plenty of colorful vegetables and a smidgeon of fruits.

 What’s the Next Big Thing in Sports Nutrition Supplements?

Decades ago, for example,  powdered egg whites were the protein supplement to take before whey protein powder became popular and was mass produced.  In the late 1990s, creatine monohydrate became quite popular in the Olympics.   In the past decade or so we’ve seen branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) in powdered form that are supposed to help the body better synthesize the proteins in food.  There are energy gels that endurance athletes shoot down their throats during long runs and bicycle rides.  Energy gels are made mostly of simple carbohydrates like sports drinks without the liquid part.  Nutrient timing has been bandied around a bit for some time.  This is the practice of loading up on carbohydrates and protein before athletic events or workouts and then loading up again afterwards with (especially) carbohydrates to replace glycogen stores in the muscles.

Beware of sports studies done under the name of science.  The P.H.D.’s involved are many times paid by supplement companies to make trials appear subjective.  Instead, they skew the data to hype up sales.  Good wholesome (organic, unprocessed, complete) food is the best thing for you most of the time.

What is a Good Sports Nutrition Pill to Take if I Want to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle?

There is no magic pill.  It’s more about common sense in which you eat good wholesome food and just train hard.  If you are a gymnast, your energy levels and the inches around your waist will signal to you what to do.  If you are not eating enough, you will feel tired.  If you are not tired and you are putting on weight (fat) then you need to eat less.

Some  coaches or personal trainers will tell you it is impossible to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time.  You either bulk up or cut down.  Be aware that usually when you lose fat/weight you also lose some strength along with valuable muscle mass.

Which is the Best ALL IN ONE Sports Supplement while Weight Training?

Probably whey protein that also contains creatine monohydrate in it is your best bet.  This will put your blood chemistry into a positive nitrogen balance which is a suitable environment to acquire and maintain lean body weight.  Another must-have for sports nutrition would be some kind of omega-3 supplementation.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to decrease inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity.

As Far as Sports Nutrition Goes, What Amounts of Carbs and Protein are Considered “High”?

There are no hard and fast rules.  Some say less than 100 grams of protein is sufficient along with 150-200 grams of carbohydrates.  That would probably be adequate for an office worker who walks a couple miles a day on their lunch break.  Again, it depends on the demands you are placing on your body.  Strength athletes have been known to consume up to 300 grams of protein a day to maintain and build up lean body weight.  For weight training and weight gain, over 200 grams of carbohydrates might be needed.

What Kind of Career Options Will I Have with a Degree in Sports Nutrition?

You will have many opportunities to work as a sports nutritionist in areas in which highly competitive people are either maintaining dynamic and robust lifestyles or are trying to build up to more healthy and active levels.  This may include working for corporation wellness programs, gyms, and college or pro teams.  You would in essence function as a sports dietician.  It might also be useful to obtain a personal trainer certification along the way.  Try to stay in shape after you get that degree in sports nutrition.  There is nothing sadder than a middle aged out of shape person who has some kind of health or fitness degree.

I Don’t Have Time to Cook or Eat Full Blown meals.  Can’t I Just Skip Food and Take Supplements All Day Long?

Try it and see and let us know how that works for you after the doc puts you on an intravenous drip.  No, seriously, you need daily feedings of wholesome and complete nutrients.

I’m on a High Protein Low Carb Diet.  Which Sports Can I Excel In?

This is a tricky subject.  Low carbohydrate diets in high performance athletics are still relatively new.  Your body needs some type of energy source which can be only from either carbohydrates (turned to sugar and then stored in your muscles and liver as glycogen) or (good) fats.  A low carb diet may work in endurance sports as long as you have more fat and less protein (as opposed to high fat and high protein), plenty of vegetables and occasional servings of fruit.  In strength sports, however, in which explosiveness is required such as sprinting, it would be hard to find an athlete who doesn’t eat carbohydrates.  More research is needed here.  Sadly, much of the research concerning sports nutrition is paid by supplement companies.

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