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Myths About Sports Nutrition

by Outlook Health
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Whatever sports activity one gets enrolled in, good nutrition is the foundation of his/her performance. If sportspersons are not having a nutritious diet on a routine basis, there are chances of them feeling less energetic, not properly fuelled, and under-recovered- all increasing the risk of more serious health issues. [1]

In today’s time, information on sports nutrition may be constantly reaching one at different angles through TV shows, websites, social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok; podcasts, as well as coaches and friends which makes it difficult for an individual to figure out the reality. [1, 3]

Here are some of the most common sports nutrition myths debunked by trusted nutrition experts that only deliver scientifically proven advice/suggestions.

Myth 1: A Large Protein Serving Can Improve the Recovery of Muscles After Sports Training or Competition.
Fact: Protein intake in excess amounts isn’t good for health. Researchers have found that about 10-20g of high-quality protein after a strenuous workout can help stimulate the synthesis of muscle protein while greater than 20g could provide minimal or no further stimulus for muscle protein synthesis. If an excess of dietary protein is taken, that extra protein would be utilized by the body as fuel instead of muscle building. [2]

Myth 2: Caffeine is Bad for Sportspersons.
Fact:
Research suggests that a person can take up to 400 milligrams of coffee in a day without experiencing negative side effects. It has been found that athletes or sportsperson who have caffeinated drinks performs better. Caffeine has been shown to enhance their concentration, reduce their perceived effort, make them faster, and improve their muscle recovery. It is observed that it takes about 10 minutes for caffeine to enter into one’s bloodstream and peak around 45-75 minutes after its intake, so the next time anyone goes for exercise can time their consumption of caffeine. [1, 3]

Myth 3: Consumption of Sports Drinks will Boost Performance in Sports Fields.
Fact:
Energy/Sports drinks are the most marketed products nowadays, but their intake is not always necessary especially if one is going for shorter workouts. These contain fluid and electrolytes to hydrate the body and even carbohydrates to provide energy.

Full glycogen stores in one’s body are known to support 3-4 hours of moderate-intensity workout. If sports training is being done at a faster pace, these glycogen stores can drain out quickly. This means, those who have opted for 60-90 minutes of endurance events, they must top up their glycogen stores by having energy bars, chews, gels, or drinks. Normally, it is recommended to consume only 30-60g of carbohydrates per hour for sports activities lasting for up to 3 hours and then increase intake to 60-90g of carbs per hour for events scheduled over 3 hours. The chosen energy drink must be 100% natural. [1, 2]

Myth 4: Having a Fat-Rich Diet will make a Sportsperson put on Weight and Poorly Perform.
Fact:
Fats has got an unfairly bad reputation for being linked to weight gain. But, healthy fats are necessary to be included in a healthy diet plan as it promotes the health of the skin, hair, joints, and more. Furthermore, fats are the key for athletes or sportspersons to achieve endurance. Therefore, it is recommended to have essential good fats in your diet that are abundantly found in nuts, seeds, oily fish, oils, and avocados. These assist the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin D and Vitamin E which plays a role in endurance. [1]

Myth 5: A Slimmer Body is Equivalent to one Being Faster.
Fact:
Many athletes who seek to be on a par with an ‘elite’ body type can end up impairing their performance in the process. A lighter body cannot always make athletes run faster. If they keep their nutrient intake in deficit and push their body too far to a point where they start losing their muscle mass over their body fat, they would face a decline in their power and speed. That’s why it is always said to keep the body properly fuelled for exercise or sports training. [1]

Myth 6: Creatine is a Harmful Supplement that Behaves like a Steroid.
Fact:
Intake of creatine supplements is perfectly safe for the body. Creatine is a compound that is normally made in the liver and kidneys and is utilized by the muscles to provide them power for better workouts. Therefore, creatine must be taken as supplements as the body needs to refuel it throughout the day for performing high-intensity sports like swimming, cycling, running, etc. This help improves muscular strength and body composition, boosts speed, and improves muscle recovery. The creatine supplement intake must be along with optimal amount of protein and carbohydrates to increase the creatine uptake by the muscles. These must be taken as per recommended dose with an adequate amount of water. [3]

Myth 7: For Muscle Recovery, Milk Protein is not much effective as Whey Protein.
Fact:
Milk protein contains a mixture of casein and whey proteins. Research has shown that milk protein can be effective in boosting the production of new muscle proteins when ingested after exercise or any workout. Both milk and whey proteins are high-quality protein sources loaded with essential amino acids that the body needs for muscle recovery. [2]

Myth 8: Simple Carbohydrate Intake does not Play a Role in Recovery.
Fact: Carbohydrates (especially simple ones) are the preferred energy currency for the body. Simple sugars can be easily broken down by the body to provide energy for quick utilization by the body. These can be easily absorbed by the body and transported to the muscles for quick energy release. Therefore, it can be ideal in situations like immediately after sports activity when blood sugar levels are low and glycogen stores get depleted. [1]

Myth 9: Dietary Supplements are not Best Support Dieting and Exercise.
Fact:
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References

  1. https://veloforte.com/blogs/fuel-better/sports-nutrition-myths
  2. https://www.ghsa.net/sites/default/files/documents/sports-medicine/Baseball_Sports_Nutrition_Myths_Facts.pdf
  3. https://greenletes.com/10-sports-nutrition-myths-to-stop-believing/
  4. https://www.cla2000.com/
  5. https://www.maxgains.com/
  6. https://www.garciniacambogiaplus.shop/
  7. https://www.slendarol.us/
  8. https://www.energycomplex.us/

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