I have been seeing many sports clients and many of them are using various nutritional supplements, and many of them have very poor eating habits.
Tanya Alberts – Sports Dietician

We need to feed the body proper nutrition to have sustainable energy. A negative energy balance and muscle catabolism are consequences of physiological stress that often accompanies protein calorie malnutrition, strenuous physical exercise, physical trauma, burn injury, surgical trauma, malnutrition, maldigestion, malabsorption, hyperthyroidism, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, anorexia, cachexia, short bowel syndrome, and sepsis.

It is also known that maintaining a positive metabolic energy balance can help to alleviate such problems and also has a sparing back to basics nutritioneffect on muscle catabolism that occurs during strenuous physical exertion causing fatigue.

In an attempt to improve their performance athletes spend many hours training to increase their fitness level. Increased training = increased fitness, but there is also a very fine balance between training, recovery and sports nutrition.

2% dehydration can affect an athletes performance. If the athlete does not have proper nutrition, it can cause more harm than good to the body as the body will be releasing excessive amounts of cortisol due the stress mode it will go into once the athlete competes. This is dangerous for your organs if the body is regularly exposed to excessive amounts of corisol regularly.

To avoid this above-mentioned scenario and prevent muscle waiting, it is essential that appropriate amounts of nutrients be available to replace those which are utilised. For example, during periods of physiological stress, the body may burn large amounts of energy and may also be depleted of body fluids and minerals.

Therefore, if an athlete is serious about improving their performance, endurance and facilitate muscle anabolism it is necessary then he or she will need to consume a balanced diet with the correct macronutrient such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats, all in the correct ratios and micronutrients and fluids.

If an athlete crash diets and trains harder to weigh less as some do as they believe you will perform better if you weigh less, it can leave you depleted and your fellow competitors will leave you behind. And you can increase your incidence of infections when you do train hard. Other clinical sign and symptoms that could appear: anxiety, stress, recurrent chest and throat infections, abdominal discomfort, headaches, cravings and fatigue.

Currently, many types of supplements and anabolic formulas are marketed which are generally made up of different carbohydrates, including corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, fructose, and maltodextrin; proteins, including casein and other proteins from milk and soybean; and lipids, including corn, soy, safflower, and canola oils and medium chain triglycerides. Additionally, many of these prior art formulas contain relatively insignificant quantities of magnesium and are generally high in sodium chloride content. Though these formulas are generally suitable as nutritional supplements, they possess certain inherent deficiencies which detract from their overall utility.

Make sure when choosing a sports supplement like a shake, make sure it is a complete meal with all the macronutrients you require. The bonus will be if the product is low GI (Glycaemic index) as this will provide sustainable energy. Your energy drink needs to be low GI but contains a component of moderate GI to help improve your performance while competing.

If you are unsure, as there are many products on the market, ask your local dietician to assist you with a proper meal plan for on and off training days and a proper meal supplement and energy drink to help improve your performance and provide sustainable energy.