Currently, everyone has either started exercising but left, exercise regularly, or has put exercising in a definite plan. If you are engaged in sports or you are going to start sports, we will have some advice for you. One of the biggest factors is nutrition so that you can make exercising more effective for your body and improve yourself better.

Why was sports nutrition developed?

  • Maximizing competition performance
  • Preparation for the competition
  • Increase post-competition recovery
  • Improving exercise performance
  • Delaying the onset of fatigue


Macro and micronutrients play a critical role in the regulation of cellular signaling pathways involved in skeletal muscle during training. The content of the diet, the level of glycogen storage inside the muscles and liver, the timing of nutrition, daily protein intake, the rate of absorption of nutrients, and the increase of protein synthesis are important issues.

International Olympic Committee’s Medical Commission Group chairman and professor from School of Sport, Exercise and Health Science at Loughborough University Professor Ronald Maughan says ‘the right food choices doesn’t make a mediocre athlete into a champion, but wrong food choices can prevent a talented athlete from becoming a champion.’ 

The right food choices do not make a mediocre athlete a champion, but the wrong food choices can prevent a talented athlete from becoming a champion.

Professor Ronald MAughan

Many athletes stick to a nutrition program only during the competition period, but this is not enough. The concept of physical periodization aims to provide the right training methods and training load at the appropriate time to achieve the goal. If the factors affecting training and recovery are not taken into account, the best planned training programs cannot be effective enough. Looking at external factors, one of the most important limiting factors for training is nutrition. It is important not only to know the necessary carbohydrates, fats and proteins, but also to eat in the most appropriate and adequate way for changing physiological needs.

Every time the type of training changes, the amount of nutrients required also changes. There is no standard nutrition program. Sticking to an appropriate nutrition plan, whether there’s an approaching competition or not, increases the health, strength, speed, strength, endurance and the immune system of the athlete.

Aim of nutrition periodization is to regulate body weight and body composition, increase metabolic efficiency, strengthen the immune system and provide physical periodization.

Energy and nutrient requirements vary among the branches of sports. According to the dominant energy system used, sports branches can be grouped into three basic groups.

  1. Team sports
  2. Power sports
  3. Endurance sports

Food item needs also differ among athletes due to individual differences and differences in sports branches.

The two most important stages for the periodization of both training and nutrition are the preparation and competition phases. Athletes who are supported correctly by both training and nutrition during the preparation phase can perform best if they are fed correctly also during the competition period. 

The most important points of nutrition during the preparation period are: ensuring energy balance, getting enough carbohydrates and protein at the appropriate time, and whether the diet contains enough fat or not. In performance nutrition, it is important to maintain hydration, maintain glycogen stores with carbohydrate intake, and take protein in sufficient quantities at the appropriate time.

In short, nutrition is individual, like fingerprints. There are many factors, from the body composition of people to the sport that they do, from the sport that they do to the lifestyle.

References:

  • Aird, T. P., Davies, R. W., & Carson, B. P. (2018). Effects of fasted vs fed‐state exercise on performance and post‐exercise metabolism: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports28(5), 1476-1493.
  • Aragon, A. A., Schoenfeld, B. J., Wildman, R., Kleiner, S., VanDusseldorp, T., Taylor, L., … & Stout, J. R. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition14(1), 16.
  • Aragon, A. A., Schoenfeld, B. J., Wildman, R., Kleiner, S., VanDusseldorp, T., Taylor, L., … & Stout, J. R. (2017). International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition14(1), 16.
  • Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., La Bounty, P., Taylor, L., Nelson, M. T., Greenwood, M., … & Schmitz, S. (2013). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: energy drinks. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition10(1), 1.
  • Campbell, B., Kreider, R. B., Ziegenfuss, T., La Bounty, P., Roberts, M., Burke, D., … & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition4(1), 8.
  • Kerksick, C., Harvey, T., Stout, J., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., Kreider, R., … & Ivy, J. L. (2008). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition5(1), 1-12.
  • La Bounty, P. M., Campbell, B. I., Wilson, J., Galvan, E., Berardi, J., Kleiner, S. M., … & Smith, A. (2011). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition8(1), 4.

Author: Gözde Büyükekşi

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