What Keeps The Athletes Strong?
Elite athletes are human beings just like the rest of us. They need oxygen, rest and motivation just like you and me. They also need nutritional supplements that provide essential nutrition to keep them going.
Elite athletes probably expend more energy, have more endurance and stamina, and sweat more than non-athletes. So, they need slightly different amounts of certain nutrients than the average person.
Since muscle mass is important to athletes, and muscle is made of protein, it is obvious that athletes are concerned about their protein intake. But, protein alone will not necessarily build and maintain muscle strength.
Most of you know that exercise, especially resistance exercises, are required to build muscle mass. But, it’s not the exercises themselves that build muscle mass. Exercise actually damages muscle fibers, causing what are called micro-tears.
It’s the rest interval between exercise sessions that allows the body to repair and strength the muscle fibers. This rest period between exercise sessions is when the nutrients you consume help the muscles get stronger.
What makes muscles grow? – Jeffrey Siegel
So, sports nutrition has four important goals:
- Promote endurance and stamina so the athlete can produce maximal effort during training or performance
- Provide nutrients that allow the muscles to rebuild and strengthen during rest periods
- Provide essential nutrients that that everyone needs for optimal health
- Replace nutrients lost through sweat
One of the most popular supplements for increased endurance and stamina is creatine. Creatine helps recycle adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in muscle cells. ATP is used to supply energy to muscles and restoring high ATP levels helps athletes perform better longer. While creatine is produced in the body naturally, supplementing with added creatine can help improve performance.
How does Creatine work?
During the times of rest between exertions, the body needs to recover and rebuild. Here is where a small about of extra protein can help. Adding an extra bit of complete protein can help provide all the amino acids required for the body to repair and strengthen muscles stressed by exercise. Complete protein can be found in foods such as meat, fish, dairy, eggs, quinoa, buckwheat, soybeans, chia seeds, and spirulina.
Everyone needs all 90 essential nutrients for optimal health. This includes 60 essential minerals, 16 vitamins, 12 essential amino acids as well as essential fatty acids. These are not available in the natural foods consumed by the vast majority of people. So, supplementation is essential.
Finally, sweat consists of fluid from the bloodstream. Sweat contains all the minerals in the blood. So, you lose minerals while sweating. Unfortunately, most sports drinks sold to re-hydrate you only contain a few minerals. To maintain optimal health you need to restore all the minerals that will be lost through sweat.
If you eat healthy foods and take good supplements your athletic performance will be strong and vigorous.