Nutrition in sport - Nutrition

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Nutrition in sport

Energy needed to play sports: how much? Energy needed to play sports: which one? Macronutrient metabolism during sports Digestion of food Nutrition as a function of different types of effort Digestion and absorption during sports Weight and body composition Supplements and supplements (except saline ones)
  • Energy needed to play sports: how much?
  • Energy needed to play sports: which one?
  • Macronutrient metabolism during sports
  • Digestion of food
  • Nutrition as a function of different types of effort
  • Digestion and absorption during sport
  • Weight and body composition
  • Supplements and supplements (except saline ones)

There is no universally valid diet because everyone has their own needs, tastes, culture and characteristics; it is therefore up to the dietician to plan the diet considering all the variables relating to the subject to which he is dedicated. However, it is possible to elaborate some general principles, based on common scientific data, which allow us to draw general indications and food for thought valid for all those who play sports.

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Energy needed to play sports: how much?

There are many tables that indicate how many calories are spent on practicing a given activity, but they can only provide general indications because there are important variables that make them poorly reliable. A generally valid principle may be to eat more on sports days and less when you are resting, with the exception of praying days.

The variables can be divided into two main categories: those chosen by the individual and those of a technical nature; thermoregulation (climate, clothing, hydration), intensity of exercise, duration and actual work carried out as well as the degree of training must also be considered; body weight is also very relevant for certain sports. All these aspects intersect and interfere with each other very differently even for the same subject.

One of the fundamental variables for defining the actual energy expenditure during a given physical activity is thermoregulation: the body must be at an almost constant temperature to perform at its best, muscle work warms up and you have to cool down. Preserving body temperature is very important: at rest many of our energies are spent to maintain ideals 37 ° C. When our temperature rises, efficiency decreases: with the same training, performance is certainly reduced if we measure it at 30 ° C compared to 15 ° C. Exercising involves warming up; if you do not cool down effectively the perception of fatigue is very high, with the result of a great effort with little actual work. If you want to minimize this problem, you should always dress poorly (racing athletes have shorts and a shirt even with very low temperatures). It is therefore wrong to play sports trying to increase sweating: you lose a little more water but do a modest job, thus consuming less calories. For example, 20 minutes on an exercise bike, at maximum capacity, will involve a real work done and a much lower energy expenditure compared to using the bicycle outdoors. To better promote the function of cooling, hydration plays a fundamental role: each fraction of the degree of temperature in addition corresponds to an increase in perceived fatigue. Hydrating well is therefore essential in all types of physical activity.

Another important variable is intensity. It goes without saying that a more intense exercise involves a greater energy expenditure, but it is equally logical that the duration of this type of activity will be short, precisely by virtue of the intensity. On the other hand, the mild rhythm favors the continuation of physical exercise but involves a modest expense. As often happens, compromise is the best choice but is obtained considering both the type of activity and the level of training: a person who knows a certain motor gesture well, at the same intensity, will consume less to practice it than to those who are not the same skilled in that business. An example may be useful: a cyclist, even if well trained, will feel an immediate and great sense of fatigue if he swims for example. It is not a question of poor aerobic capacity (which, on the other hand, should be excellent in a cyclist) but of performing an unusual gesture; this effort has a fair correspondence to the high energy expenditure but, as it requires frequent rests, it does not lead to a large consumption of energy. In practice, the question arises from the point of view of specific training in the same type of exercise. A person who runs constantly on foot will have a low calorie expenditure if he completes 5 km at 10 km / hour; at the same speed, those who are not used to running will do much more effort and therefore consume more. Adapted muscles and metabolism lead to better uses of energy substrates. Body weight also counts a lot. Those who are lighter consume less, but also have less stored energy reserves. Also in this case, therefore, it is not all so obvious and a compromise must be reached that takes into account the characteristics of the subject and the type of sport practiced. Other variables are age and gender, but the latter have a more modest weight.

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