Optimal Nutrition/Supplement Practices for Development and Recovery
Maximal adaptations from training will not occur without a commitment to good nutritional practices. Athletes who want to achieve their performance potential can only do so by making good decisions regarding nutrition. For more information continue reading to see more information on this important aspect of training.
Protein – Support muscle growth, prevents muscle breakdown, and tissue maintenance. Protein must be of high quality to meet the body’s needs. High-quality proteins are of animal origin (eggs, meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products). Athletes strength training should consume 1.5 to 2 grams per kilogram of body weight this will ensure adequate protein intake.
Whey Protein – Whey is a high quality protein that is rapidly digested in the body. Whey contains the highest levels of essential amino acid of all supplemental proteins. Whey is preferred over other types of supplemental protein (Casein, Soy). Positive effects of whey protein are increased lean muscle mass, strength, protein synthesis, and enhanced recovery following training.
Bovine Colostrum - Colostrum is the premilk fluid produced by the mammary gland in cattle breast during the first 2 to 4 days after birth. Bovine colostrum is rich in nutrients, antibodies, and growth factors. In some studies bovine colostrum has been shown to increase immune system, recovery time, aerobic work capacity, and increased anaerobic power.
Carbohydrate – Key energy source during exercise. Proper intake of carbohydrate before, during, and post exercise can optimize recovery and performance. Aerobic endurance athletes who are involved in continuous movement for longer than one hour should consume around 8 to 10 g/kg of body weight. Athletes participating in strength and power sports are recommended to take 5 to 6 g/kg of body weight.
Fats – Dietary fat plays a large role in athletic performance, body composition, and disease prevention. Athletes should consume 30 -34% of daily caloric intake from fat. 20% of the total fat calories should come from monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fat sources and 10% from saturated fat sources.
Vitamins – There is a reduction in physical performance in athletes with chronic vitamin deficiencies. However, there is no evidence that vitamins enhancer performance in an athlete who is not vitamin deficient.
Minerals – The important role minerals in a variety of metabolic functions such as bone health, oxygen-carrying capacity, fluid and electrolyte balance are well recognized in the scientific community. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, potassium, and chloride are considered the major minerals.
Water – Largest component of the human body, ranging from 45% to 70% of a person’s body weight. Muscle tissue is approximately 75% water, and fat tissue is about 20% water. Dehydration not only decreases performance, but also causes serious complications if ignored. Average fluid replacement for adults is around 2 to 2.7 quarts a day. It is important to realize that this requirement is to replace fluid from urine loss, insensible loss from skin and lungs, and loss from feces. Athletes sweating for long durations may need to consume an extra one to two gallons of water a day.
Amino Acid – Rate of muscle protein synthesis is directly related to the amount of amino acid present in intercellular space. Increased levels of amino acids in the body have a positive effect on increased muscle mass, and decrease rate of muscle breakdown caused by intense training. Ingestion of free form amino acids results in the greatest increase in muscle protein synthesis.
Creatine - Creatine supplementation increases intramuscular creatine concentrations and phosphocreatine concentrations which have a positive effect on high intensity exercise capacity and athletic performance. Multiple studies have shown creatine to be very effective at increasing muscle mass and strength levels.
Omega 3,6,9 – Omega fatty acids are necessary for the formation of healthy cell membranes, the proper development and functioning of the brain and nervous system, increased blood flow, and aids in the production of hormones. Common sources of omega fatty acids are fish and shellfish.
Caffeine - Can improve exercise endurance capacity and increase alertness. Caffeine is also effective in enhancing lipolysis, fat oxidation, and reduction of glycogen breakdown.
Beta-Alanine – Beta-Alanine supplementation over time increases muscle carnosine levels, improving hydrogen ion buffering capabilities. This enhanced hydrogen buffering capabilities allows the athlete to complete a higher volume of aerobic and anaerobic training before the onset of fatigue and a decrease in power output.
Hydroxy Methylbutyrate - Hydroxy Methylbutyrate supplementation may have an anticatibolic (muscle breakdown) effect on the body which can lead to increases in fat free body mass when combined with resistance exercise.