Nutrition: A Key to Success in Sports
Conditioning, strength, and speed have been the focal points of athletic training for years; however, the research on nutritional elements indicates their importance to an athlete’s optimal performance. Knowing the proper food to eat before, during, and after a physical activity can help an athlete in achieving his desired performance.
Certain foods can make a difference in sport competitions the most important nutrient categories are starches, minerals, sugars, and electrolytes. Starches and minerals fit into the area of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are polysaccharides; because of the multiple bonds polysaccharides are able to store energy for later use. Simple sugars make up the other group of carbohydrates. The bonding structures of simple sugars are much less advanced than those of complex carbohydrates this allows for the burning of simple sugars in an athlete’s body. Electrolytes are a category of their own because they are helpful to an athlete all of the time, whether energy storage or energy burning is needed.
Minerals are a group of compounds that allow for endurance in an athletic competition. Potassium is a common mineral associated with muscle cramping a lack of potassium is the cause of muscle cramping during a sporting event. Minerals must be taken in at least six hours before the time of activity. Due to the complexity of minerals, they are not easily transported to the muscle cites most in need of replenishment.
Complexity of compounds is the reason they must be absorbed long before the physical activity. Starch a main area of complex carbohydrates has several bonds. Starches are tightly bound carbon molecules and have several attaching elements this bonding complexity is the reason starches are capable of retaining large amounts of energy. These compounds should be taken into an athlete’s body prior to intense physical activity because an energy storage supply is necessary...