Role of Nutrition in the all- round development of the athletes

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Kids today are overfed but undernourished because they are getting more than enough calories from all the processed, junk, and fried foods that they eat. Such types of food lack nutrients, which then increases their chances of becoming obese, and this in turn increases their risk of type-2 diabetes, Hypertension, and other health issues in their later years. Nutrition improves the child’s both indoor and outdoor performance as it elevates the concentration, mood, and productivity of the child. That’s why nutrition education is equally vital as formal education.

Nutrition is the science of food that goes hand in hand with exercise and fitness. An individual should eat a proper combination of meals alongside exercise and stay fit. It appears prudent for all to understand the basics of food, nutrition, and diet to support physical health sports and to lead a healthy lifestyle.

The amount of time spent exercising, its intensity, the stage of training, and the mental well-being all affect an athlete’s dietary needs. The amount and composition of a meal can influence sports performance. Nutrition strategies for athletes can be developed by analyzing several parameters, viz., body weight and composition, periodization of training, dietary assessment, biochemical parameters, and physical fitness. For athletes, individualized food regimens can be created, taking into account the various stages of training and competition.

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The International Olympic Committee states, “The amount, composition, and timing of food intake can profoundly affect sports performance. Good nutritional practice will help athletes train hard, Recover quickly and adapt more effectively with less risk of illness and injury.”

The ability of athletes to perform well in sports can be made or broken by nutrition. The nutrient needs of an athlete depend on the duration, intensity, training protocol, physiology, metabolism, and body composition needs of the sport.

Sports nutrition is a multifaceted approach that covers,

  • Macro and Micronutrient adjustments to suit the game and individual
  • Provide adequate energy to train better
  • Maintain or achieve body composition goals
  • Injury Prevention
  • Adequate hydration
  • Recovery Nutrition
  • Nutrient Timing

For athletes, sunlight is just as crucial as proper nutrition. Better sleep is one of the most recommended requirements. Vitamin D that we get from sunlight is important for bone health, skeletal muscle growth, immune and cardiopulmonary function, which influences athletic performance. Sunlight is essential for maintaining the circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock. Sleep patterns and energy levels are governed by this internal clock throughout the day. People can fall asleep quickly if they get enough sunlight during the day. They also have a propensity to sleep through the night, which leaves them feeling more rested in the morning. This is a result of the fact that those who get enough sunlight have more restful, deeper sleep.

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Naturally, you have more energy during the day when you sleep more soundly. This is especially important when athletes are involved. They put up enormous amounts of energy every day into training, performing, and practicing. An athlete’s energy levels would decline, and their performance would suffer if they do not get enough sleep or sunlight. In order to perform at their absolute best, athletes must gather as much energy as they can. A highly energized athlete is more charismatic, more alert and effective, and more likely to bounce back from a poor performance.

Pooja Srivastava- Nutritionist,
Orchids The International School

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