Understand the Nutritional Requirements of Selected Sport Performers

Topics: Nutrition, Carbohydrate, Metabolism Pages: 5 (1081 words) Published: November 6, 2008



You are working as a trainee Sports Nutrionist at your local sports club, a healthy, well balanced diet is important in the success of any athlete. The foods and fluids consumed before, during and after exercise provide the energy and nutrients the body needs to perform at its best. I have been asked to put together a detailed information pack to demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of Sports Nutrition to give to clients.


Good nutrition plays a key factor in a sporting person performance. If a sporting person fails to consume the necessary foods and fluids they will not be able to perform to their maximal ability. It is a nutritional requirement that a sporting person is aware of the foods they need to choose from because there is such a huge variety and they need to learn which ones are appropriate for which sports.

There are three different main types of groups that food can be broken down into this includes: Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins. These can also be referred to as macronutrients. This basically means that we need to eat each of these food groups in large quantities. Even between these food groups you will also find one or both of Vitamins and Minerals. These can also be referred to as micronutrients. This basically means that we only need them in small quantities.

The key components of a balanced and healthy diet are to make sure that you have the right intake of each food. It is essential that we should consume mainly (50-60 per cent) carbohydrates in our diet. The sole purpose of carbohydrate is to give us enough energy in order for our bodies to be able move and take part in sports. This means that carbohydrate is usually the main energy source for the body. The two main types of carbohydrates are sugars and starches. Sugars are also referred to as simple carbohydrates because they are broken down easily and quickly in the body. Simple carbohydrates taste sweet and range from foods such as fruits, sweets and biscuits. When sugars are consumed the body gets a burst of energy. Starches are also known as complex carbohydrates because unlike simple carbohydrates they take longer to break down. Starches also give a prolonged supply of energy to the body. Fats or Lipids are a rich source of energy, key components of cell membranes and signalling molecules, and as myelin they insulate neurons (nerve cells). The two main types of fats are saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats can also be referred to as the ‘bad fats’ this is because if too many are consumed it raises cholesterol levels and thereby increases blood pressure. Saturated fats are usually animal products such as meat, cheese, cream and chocolate. Unsaturated fats can also be referred to as the ‘good fats’ this is because they can actually help reduce cholesterol levels which then has the effect of decreasing blood pressure. Unsaturated fats are usually plant sources such as olive oil and nuts. Proteins are involved in growth, repair and general maintenance of the body and can be found in foods such as meat, poultry, fish and eggs. Water is crucial to life. Metabolic reactions occur in an aqueous environment and water acts as a solvent for other molecules to dissolve in. Vitamins are important in a range of biochemical reactions and can be divided into two main groups that are fat-soluble and water-soluble. Minerals are important in maintaining ionic balances and many biochemical reactions.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient enough to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all healthy individuals (98 percent)

Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body uses per day to perform its basic, everyday, life sustaining functions such as digesting food, keeping the heart beating,...
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