Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet in relation to improving one’s athletic performance. The field focuses on the type, as well as the quantity of fluids and food taken by an athlete. Nutrition is important for athletes because it provides a source of energy required to perform the activity. An athlete’s diet should be similar to that recommended for the general public, with energy intake divided into; more than 55% from carbohydrates, around 12 to 15% from protein, and less than 30% from fat. Athletes who actively exercise for more than 60 to 90 minutes every day may need to increase the amount of energy they get from carbohydrates by between 65 and 70%.
In a nutshell, sports nutrition differs from regular nutrition because athletes require different amounts of nutrients compared to non-athletes. There is no substitute or supplement for a well-balanced diet. Athletes have high energy requirements, which can be met with the right sports nutrition. Thus, there is an increasing demand for sports nutrition around the world. Proper nutrition involves a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These foods supply energy to the body and maintain the best performance. Carbohydrates are easily absorbed by the body and are stored in the liver and muscle tissues. They are also crucial for endurance and energy during short-duration activities.
Therefore, it is crucial to consume enough carbohydrates before and during physical activity. In addition to providing energy, these nutrients also improve the immune system. The first and the most important meals for a sports nutrition program are the ones eaten before exercise. These meals should contain high amounts of carbohydrates and low to moderate levels of protein. The carbohydrate content is critical because it provides energy to the entire body while protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. The meal following exercise should include a high protein meal as well as a high-fat, moderate-protein snack or bar. A post-workout meal should also contain protein.
Many sports nutritionists are specialized in one sport, but it is important to note that sports nutrition can be applied to virtually any physical activity. Some professional sports nutritionists work with team sports, weight training, and endurance activities. Others focus on working with individual athletes. Sports nutritionist will discuss current eating habits and goals to develop a customized meal plan for the athlete, so that athlete can begin their training. Choose energy-packed foods such as fresh fruits, vegetable or bean soups, hard-boiled eggs, tortilla wraps with veggies and lean meat, whole grain crackers with low-fat cheese, mini-whole wheat bagels with peanut butter, non-sugary cereals, pita bread with hummus, and grilled chicken.
Latest report available at Coherent Market Insights indicates that global sports nutrition market is projected to surpass US$ 75.0 billion by the end of 2027, in terms of revenue, growing at CAGR of 9.0% during the forecast period (2020 to 2027).
Sports nutrition products are specialized nutrition products designed to boost performance and increase recovery speeds during and after sports activities. Sports drinks and protein powders are the most commonly used forms of sports nutrition products, whereas products containing carbohydrates, electrolytes, minerals, and other types of nutrients provide energy and nutrition to the body. Moreover, a variety of sports nutrition products are also used by athletes to gain the best possible output and to properly supplement their nutritional needs. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for sports nutrition products around the world.