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Water, Creatine And Protein: The Key Sports Supplements

Dec 6, 2007
Diet is the single most important aspect of any training schedule. If you don't eat enough of the right things your ability to train will be reduced and the effectiveness of your training will be diminished. The body needs a good supply of energy from the core food groups; carbohydrate, fat, protein and sugars.

In an athletes diet these nutrients should be consumed in the following quantities. 40% of the diet should be made up of carbohydrates such as bread, cereals, pasta and potatoes. A further 40% should be fruit and vegetables with the remaining 20% of an Athletes diet comprising of 10% Meat, fish and alternative sources of protein and 10% from the fat food groups such as milk and dairy products. Many Athletes believe that their diet can be enhanced with sports supplements. The following is an introduction to the supplements that are available on the market but as with any change to your diet it is important that you consult a registered dietician or a doctor before you implement drastic changes.

Water

Although not technically a supplement the most important thing you can increase your intake of is water. Hydration is the most important aspect of training. It is said that for each percent of body weight that you lose through dehydration your performance levels drop by two percent. The body cannot store large amounts of liquid in one go. Nevertheless it needs to have a consistent supply of fluid so it is important to drink little and often. Three of four sips of liquid every 10 minutes is the best way to maintain optimal levels of hydration when you are training.

Rehydrating the body after exercise is also very important. This is the best time to utilise sugary sports drinks as these types of drinks also include the sugars and salts that your body loses through perspiration. The body finds it difficult to take in too much of these types of drinks so for the maximum benefit sip the drink slowly at a rate of around 4 sips every ten minutes.

Creatine

Possibly the most popular supplement taken by bodybuilders, rugby players and athletes is Creatine. Creatine is a natural acid that helps supply energy to the muscles. The levels of Creatine in the body are depleted with greater use and it takes a long time for the body to naturally replenish them. The theory is that by keeping the stores topped up through dietary supplements the muscles will be able to work harder for longer.

Sceptics have voiced concerns over whether Creatine supplements improve performance but there has been a great deal of research that proves it does. The discrepancies between athletes that are satisfied and those that are dubious probably stems from the varied effects Creatine has on the people that use it. Creatine does not work well for everyone. The problem with Creatine is that the body finds it difficult to digest large amounts of the active ingredients. Many people take high amounts of carbohydrate supplements to help the body absorb it. It can cause muscle cramps and nausea. To avoid these side effects you should maintain a high level of fluid intake.

Protein

Protein is an important part of an Athletes diet particularly for those that are keen on building body mass such as bodybuilders. The most popular are protein powders such as whey. Whey is useful as it is pre-digested which makes it easy for the body to absorb. For that reason it can be considered better that egg or soya based protein products. Usually it is best dissolved in water and consumed in the morning or after training or with milk just before bed.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been a bodybuilder for all of his life. He has a vast amount of experience in the bodybuilding industry and he writes prolifically to help people choose the right sports supplements.
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