In this assignment I will be talking about different diet plans of three contrasting athletes, from this I will analyse the differences between them with relation to their needs in sport. I will be looking at diets pre – competition, during competition and post competition and comparing all. The second part I will be talking about fluid intake, supplementation, and ergogenic aids within the three contrasting athletes.
The first athlete I am going to talk about is an endurance runner. Definition of an endurance runner would be to withstand stress and hardship. Endurance running is seen to be classed as events such as marathon running, 3000m are a few. Athletes to get the most out of energy from foods should fuel their bodies 2 -3 hours before a training session or competing.
Eating solid food before an endurance event doesn’t sit well in an athlete’s stomach therefore an athlete should eat a small meal 4 -5 hours before event, then eat a small snack a few hours before, for that energy late on. Foods like breads, cereals, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables, should be consumed 4- 5 hours before a workout so that it doesn’t sit in their stomach the reason for this is, that most of those foods are carbohydrates, which therefore means that they are high in glycogen. Glycogen as stated in previous assignments produces glucose when the cells need it for energy, such as exercise.
As well as having good sources of carbohydrates it is important to have good levels of protein in an endurance athlete’s diet. This is because many athletes take too much care about the carbohydrate intake, therefore this cause’s protein deficiency. Elite endurance athletes do need considerable amounts of protein, far above the normal adult RDA, because maintenance, repair, and growth of lean muscle mass all depend on it, as well as optimum immune system function. Low dietary protein lengthens recovery time, causes muscle weakness, and suppresses the immune system. (Born, S 2005). Even though protein is important athletes should fill 2/3 of their plates with high- carbohydrate options.
Endurance athletes should also pay close attention to the meal the night before the event and eat what works for them. This is a good time to load up on easy to digest carbohydrate sources like pasta, rice, bread, potatoes, fruits, and juices with the meal. Athletes should make sure to replace the sodium lost in sweat, this is because sodium contains salt levels, and losing salt causes muscle cramps, this is because when we exercise we sweat, if the exercise is strenuous, and in the sweat contains salt, cramps can be stopped if these levels reach normal again. Athletes can do this by regularly salting their food and eating some salty snacks like pretzels, crackers and soups. In general, endurance athletes should not adhere to a low-sodium diet. 2-3 hours before an event an athlete should eat, bars, gels and goo. These sorts of foods contain high levels of sugar, and will therefore give you that energy without filling up an athlete’s stomach.
From Figure 4. 1 in the above table represents foods that should be consumed during exercise and after exercise. During exercise it recommends to consume 8 ounces of Gatorade(r) for every 10 ’20 minutes during the workout. According to the official Gatorade web site there are four main ways in which Gatorade helps improve athletic performance and keeps our bodies functioning normally even under conditions of extreme physical exertion. First of all several of it ingredients stimulate rapid fluid absorption.
This is important because during strenuous athletic activity in order to avoid dehydration. According to Gatorade, research has shown that the 6% carbohydrate level and presence of salt found in their beverage is optimal for rapid fluid absorption. They also claim that as the carbohydrate level gets higher than 7% absorption is slowed and therefore fruit juices and some sports drinks aren’t recommended during exercise. Secondly it assures rapid rehydration which allows us to maintain physiological function and prevents dehydration.
This rapid rehydration occurs for several reasons. First of all, according to Gatorade, the sodium in their drink helps maintain body fluids unlike other fluids such as water and caffinated beverages that can promote water loss through increased urination. As they state,’research has shown that rehydration following exercise is more complete with Gatorade than with beverages such as water or diet cola. ‘ Also, the sodium found in Gatorade as well as the taste of the beverage supposedly encourages continued consumption of liquids. (Caldwell, J, Date unknown)
Thirdly the carbohydrates in Gatorade provide energy to working muscles. The carbohydrates found in Gatorade are in the form of two sugars sucrose and glucose-fructose. These sugars provide the energy that makes Gatorade consumption during exercise better then plain water consumption. Carbohydrate consumption allows us to work longer and harder and feel better than when we just drink water. Finally it encourages you to drink more fluid. All the assertions made by Gatorade make sense but the question still remains about the overall effectiveness of Gatorade and other sports drinks.
The presence of sodium and glucose n the Gatorade is suppose to stimulate fluid consumption in the body. It can encourage people to drink until they are completely rehydrated. Thirst isn’t a good measure of dehydration because by the time we’re thirsty we are already dehydrated. ‘When we drink Gatorade the salt enhances flavour and balances with the citric acid to maintain a proper pH level, which induces more fluid intake. The small amount of sodium found in Gatorade encourages people to drink beyond the point at which mouth thirst is satisfied. (Caldwell, J, Date Unknown) Not only does the sodium play a factor in increased voluntary fluid intake but so does flavour and sweetness. After a workout, the primary focus of your meal should be glycogen replacement. As we now it is essential fuel source for exercise especially in endurance events.
Athletic performance is dependent on the amount of stored glycogen in the body. When your body runs low on muscle glycogen you reach a point where you can’t possibly continue exercising. In marathon running, this is called “hitting the wall. Though an average person has approximately 1500 calories of stored glycogen, endurance training can lead to an enhanced ability for glycogen storage in muscles. This will allow you to train harder and longer. You can capitalize on this enhanced ability for glycogen storage by adding more carbohydrates to your post-workout meal. These glycogen stores should be replaced 30minutes after exercise This is when your body is most efficient at getting using carbohydrates to produce glycogen for your muscles.
Exercise physiologists have examined the importance of refuelling after exercise by taking trained athletes and having them cycle on two separate occasions ingesting a 25% carbohydrate solution either immediately after exercise or two hours later. Three muscle biopsies were performed. One was executed immediately after exercise. The second one was done two hours after exercise, and the third was performed four hours post-workout. They found that the rate of glycogen re-synthesis was 45% slower in the group that waited two hours to replenish their carbohydrate stores.
If you lead an active lifestyle on a daily basis, immediate carbohydrate consumption after exercise can enhance performance. (Author, Date Unknown). In general, most endurance athletes should eat a diet that is composed of 55 to 65 percent carbohydrates. Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, fruits, energy bars and vegetables are excellent choices for your post workout meal. Potassium rich foods such as bananas and oranges will help replace lost electrolytes. This is important, because low electrolytes have been linked to muscle cramping. Consuming protein along with carbohydrates can stimulate glycogen replacement.
Active individuals should consume 10 to 15 percent of their calories from protein. You can get protein from beans, Chicken, legumes and soy products. The second athlete im going to do is an athlete that uses explosive power that will utilise the fast twitch muscle fibres, as previously stated in other assignments these are the rapid quick fire fibres that will contract very fast but will burn out, after a number of seconds. The slow twitch muscle are used by the endurance athletes these are the slow contracting muscles however unlike the fast twitch muscle fibres, they do not burn out nearly as fast.
Examples of explosive events would include, 100m 200m shot put, Discuss etc. Like an endurance runner a sprint runner should fuel themselves, 2- 3 hours with a high-carbohydrate meal or snack, the closer an athlete gets to competition, the smaller the pre-competition meal or snack should be. Pre-competition meal would include something like high-energy foods like bagels, cereals, pasta, vegetables and fruits are a good idea 2 – 3 hours before hand. As seen in figure 4. 2.
The reason, it doesn’t have to be 4-5 hours is that these explosive events can be over in a matter off moments therefore the meal will not sit in their stomach unlike an endurance race which can last for hours. Athletes should fill 2/3 of their plates with high-carbohydrate foods and the rest with lean protein like chicken or turkey. They should also take along snacks to eat between competitions.
For example in a wrestling tournament, an athlete may compete throughout the day. Having quick, easy to digest foods available can help provide energy to the muscles and avoid hunger. It is also important to replace the sodium lost in sweat especially for heavy crampers, therefore it is important for both endurance athletes and sprinters to have sodium in their diet, however the endurance athletes are going to sweat more therefore they will require a higher level of sodium in their diet.. Athletes can do this by regularly salting their food and eating some salty snacks like pretzels, crackers and soups. (Kundrat, S, 2002).
In explosive events such as a wrestling tournament or an athletics event in either 100m or 200m, there are many gaps for the next round in sprinting or for the next fight therefore athletes must plan ahead to build and maintain energy (glycogen) stores.
In figure 4.2 we can see a how day planned out with competition in between, we have already mentioned about the post work out meal, during competition however there are only, snacks in between, these events, the idea for these is like the post workout meal, to replenish any stores lost like glycogen stores, but also for the protein to repair muscle tissue damage but mainly to keep hydrated, to maintain blood glucose levels and to feel comfortable, avoiding hunger but not risking the discomfort of a full stomach.
Post exercise meal is not as important as a marathon runner, because there is not as much stress put under the body, however explosive athletes still need a good meal after the long day off competing, like marathon runners, sprinters still require meals that include high levels of carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, and also need levels of protein to repair damaged muscle and tissue. The quantities and of an endurance runner and very different because, they will not have much calories during the race other than sports drink, therefore they need to reach there RDI, for that day.
The last person I am going to look at is a body builder, as a body builder you train your body to bigger and stronger; therefore they need to fuel their bodies with the right foods and fluids. Before a workout, Athletes should go into a workout well nourished and well hydrated. Without proper energy available in the bloodstream and muscles, it’s difficult to hit goals that are set in the weight room. It is important to Plan a pre-workout snack or meal. They should choose foods that are easy to digest, because otherwise the food will sit too heavy on the stomach it should include high-energy foods, as well as lean sources of protein, that will build muscle and repair it. However the diet should still be two-thirds high-carbohydrate options for quick energy to lift the weights and get the best out of the body. Below in figure 4.3 shows what should be eaten at breakfast (pre – exercise)
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