To get the most out of any sports or physical activity, it is imperative that you have a basic understanding of sports nutrition and how nutritional products or supplements work. The body needs to be adequately fueled both before and during any training regimen or race for better performance and peak physical form.
Pre-Event Sports Nutrition
Carbohydrates are a major energy source for exercise. Carbs help in refuelling the muscles quickly. According to sports nutritionists, an effective pre-workout meal plan should include complex slow-release carbohydrates. The meal should be taken approximately 3-4 hours before undertaking activities such as running, cycling, or swimming.
Proper hydration before exercising or any training sessions is crucial. We recommend you drink an isotonic drink mix before exercising which will ensure that your bloodstream has all the correct balance of salts. Having the optimum level of essential salts in your system will ensure you perform at your best.
During-Event Sports Nutrition
Your system has a limited capacity of storing carbohydrates, so it is necessary that you maintain your energy stores at an optimum level. Otherwise, you risk losing your energy and peak performance during intensive exercises. When your glycogen levels are low, the muscles will burn the fat for energy. When this takes place, your energy level will drop with fatigue setting in.
The solution? You can quickly top your energy level by taking energy drinks, bars, and gels during exercise. These products quickly deliver carbohydrates to your muscles helping you maintain as well as improve your performance levels during any sporting event or cycling session.
Post-Event Sports Nutrition
Your body needs to re-hydrate, repair and refuel after intense physical activity. This is where the science of sports nutrition come in. Here various nutritional recovery drinks and bars provide a blend of nutrients such as carbohydrates for topping glycogen stores, glutamine, and protein for muscle repair, and electrolytes to improve hydration.
Benefits of Nutritional Products in Sports Nutrition
Energy bars, food, drinks, and gels do have some level of advantages over natural foods. For starters, it is convenient. The nutrition in energy foods are optimised and can be eaten anytime. There is no need for preparation or refrigeration. Furthermore, the bars, gels, and bottles are compact and portable. You can carry some in your saddle bag, gym bag, or even on your jersey pockets. Energy foods are easily digestible, and nutrients are also absorbed fast in the bloodstream delivering your instant results.
Sports Nutrition Products
1. Energy Bars and Gels
Energy foods like energy bars and gels mainly deliver carbohydrates to the body helping you maintaining your performance and energy levels during strenuous physical training or activity.
Carbohydrate gels release sugar into the bloodstream increasing your glycogen stores quickly, while energy bars release carbohydrates slowly to keep your energy for longer. For good performance, a mix of both energy bars and gels yields good results.
2. Carbohydrate Drinks
Carbohydrate drinks have a similar nutrient composition to energy gels, but the drinks include a combination of fast-release carbohydrates that quickly refuel the muscles. It has all the essential salts lost during perspiration to prevent dehydration.
3. Electrolyte Drink Tablets
There are situations where it is not convenient to drink carbohydrate drinks or gels. This is where electrolyte drink tablets come in. The tablets are water soluble. Again, like carbohydrate drinks, the tablets contain all the essential salts to prevent dehydration and cramping.
4. Recovery Drinks
Recovery drinks contain a mix of protein and carbohydrates that aid in muscle recovery during a race or training session. The drinks also aid re-hydration and help keep the muscles in peak condition.