Sports supplements. – Why don’t you use them?

5 little nuggets of wisdom from an expert to change your views about sports supplements

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If you practise sport at any level and it is an important part in your life, sports supplements can greatly help to improve your daily diet.

But you may ask: even if I already follow a naturally healthy and balanced diet? Why?

In fact, the general guidelines for an athlete’s diet are not so different from those that everyone should follow, whether active or not. Enjoy a varied and balanced diet without cutting out one food and then overcompensating with another and always opt for high-quality, seasonal and local ingredients over pre-packaged foods.

However, due to our hectic modern way of life and wide availability of unhealthy and processed foods in shops and supermarkets, eating properly can be quite a challenge nowadays for us all. So just imagine how hard it is for athletes, people who have a greater daily requirement for specific nutrients.

Together with an expert nutritionist we have come up with 5 nuggets of wisdom explaining the major benefits of using sport supplements

  1. Sports Supplements are nutrients, not performance-enhancing drugs.

By adding sports supplements to your daily diet, you introduce substances into your body that are capable of:

        – providing energy (carbohydrates and fats) that is essential for performing any sporting activity;

supporting the build-up of structural elements (protein and minerals) that are essential for the growth and maintenance of the body;

        providing micro elements (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) that are essential for the biochemical reactions that keep us alive.

Supplements merely provide the body with nutrients, just like any other kind of food. The main difference lies in the concentration and composition of the nutrient, which a supplement supplies in greater concentration and at a higher quality. Contrary to popular belief, this does not make them performance-enhancing drugs, but rather supplements designed to support the specific needs of athletes.

2.           Sports supplements contain a higher concentration of nutrients than ordinary foods.

Maintaining a proper energy balance means consuming a quantity of food that is proportional to the exercise you perform and the energy you expend. For athletes the daily recommended calorie intake varies from 2000 to 5000 calories per day according to gender, age and the intensity and duration of the exercise performed. But it can even rise to 9000 calories per day, broken down according to a precise meal plan.

In this exceptional case a person would need to consume enormous quantities of food, including at least 1kg of meat per day. Getting your daily 9000 calories from ordinary foods is neither practical nor beneficial for your wellbeing.

Supplements are the perfect solution as they provide a higher concentration of nutrients but with a lower impact on the body. For example, whey protein (used in some protein supplements) does not contain the nitrogenous waste produced by meat protein, thereby reducing any potential negative impact on the liver.

3.           Sports supplements are absorbed faster than ordinary foods.

The composition and concentration of nutrients in supplements enables the body to absorb them faster than those in ordinary foods without putting any strain on the digestive system and metabolism. For example:

Food/

Supplement

Quantity

Concentration

Digestion and absorption times

Slice of beef

100g

20g protein

5-6 hours

Star Whey

100% Whey Protein Isolate

100g

90g protein

50 minutes

 

4.           Sports supplements are formulated to meet the specific needs of each athlete.

The dietary needs of strength and resistance sports athletes vary and, depending on the type of exercise, determine which supplement to use before, during and after workout. There are many formulations on the market designed to support specific goals: resistance, energy, concentration, recovery etc. Compared to natural foods, supplements respond in a more targeted way. It is important to tailor your personal sports supplementation plan according to your specific needs and to combine it with your healthy daily diet.

5.           Sports supplements not only improve your performance during physical exercise but also, and more importantly, help you lead a healthy life.

The use of sports supplements helps to optimise your performance and the effectiveness of your chosen exercise plan (before-during-after). Furthermore, it can help to improve your general wellbeing as an athlete.

Have you changed your mind about using sports supplements in your diet? Discover the range of food supplements offered by NAMEDSPORT>

Article written in collaboration with Dr Alessandro Manca, a doctor of Sports Science and Nutrition Expert for NAMEDSPORT>

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