PERFORMANCE  NUTRITION

Performance in sport, is directly dependant on a solid foundation of sound nutritional principles. Ignorance of this fact will leave the athlete/sports competitor at a clear disadvantage in the contest in which he finds himself/herself. Ignorance of this fact will leave the athlete/sports competitor at a clear disadvantage in the contest in which he finds himself/herself.

This is a brief overview of the knowledge required in to aspire to championship status.

Let us presume that there is sufficient talent and all training aspects including psychological criteria are in order. With this in mind:

What is the basis to a great performance?
Where do we get energy from?
From there nutrients we take in.( the types of food we eat).

With this as our primary consideration, it is important to realise that not only do different foods yield fluctuating levels of energy, but there are three energy systems that are used by the body.

All of these systems need to charge to the maximum prior to performing.

The systems are:

  • The phosphagen system or atp-pc system – maximum effort-lasting from 1-30 seconds maximum. This system is anaerobic and the primary energy source is creatine phosphate. Solution for loading safely is creatine monohydrate.
  • The lactate system – high intensity effort (just below max effort) – lasting 30 seconds to 3 minutes maximum. This system is anaerobic and the primary source of energy is glycogen.  Solution for loading is high clean low fat carb intake.
  • The aerobic system – low intensity long duration with minimum effort. This system is aerobic as its name implies, with its energy source being carbohydrates and fats.

When charging up the sportsman’s “fuel tanks” or energy systems careful consideration must be given to what type of energy is required to the sport concerned.

When charging up the sportsman’s “fuel tanks” or energy systems careful consideration must be given to what type of energy is required to the sport concerned.

Eg. Rugby is a high intensity fast moving game requiring maximum effort over a 80 minute period.

Thus, careful attention has to the phophagen and lactate system – the failure to do this will leave the players wanting in the second half.( how many times do we see that- to often).

The balance for meal plans should be something like this:

  • Protein 30% of calories
  • Carbohydrates 60% of calories
  • Fats 10%

In addition to this it is recommended that an electrolyte replacement drink be used due to our hot humid conditions.

Water:

This is the most vital nutrient often over looked and the result is a below par performance, fatigue and a defeated athlete.
Here is an idea – dehydration by a mere 1% can result in up to a 7% drop in performance.

A 4% percent dehydration rate will result in a whopping 30% crash in performance.
Muscle is up to 70% water and therefore no water – performance.

Hydrated sufficiently.

The last electrolyte drink must be 3 hours before game and, thereafter, use clean water.
Avoid sucrose laden drinks during game as this can cause the fluid to be retained in the belly rather than being distributed throughout the body in sufficient time.

Sodium laced drinks can cause muscled osmosis during the game leading to a decreased ability for the muscles to perform.
Eat 5-6 well balanced meals daily. Two meals can be replaced by protein-carbo drinks.(10a.m and 3p.m meal is a good substitution).

Alcohol:

Use limitedly or not at all. Alcohol is a mild duiretic and depletes electrolytes as well as certain vitamins, particularly the B vitamins.
Therefore, if you must drink, then supplement with extra b vitamins. Don’t waste your time trying to perform on low octane fuels and eat clean nutritious meals.

Best protein sources:

Lean beef, fish, chicken , turkey, ostrich, egg whites.

Best carb sources:

Pasta, brown rice, potato, sweet potato. Add to this a good cross section of vegies and fruits.

Fats tend to creep in but be sure to get in sufficient amounts of essential fatty acids.

Supplement in order to avoid running around with over-sized lunch boxes and ease the burden with “ready to drink meals”.

Failure to use creatine monohyrate is not an option as this is critical to loading the phosphagen system.

Remember, you are what you eat.

Eat to win!!!!!

 

     

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