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Nutrition and team sports

Nutrition and team sports

We aim Occupational cancer prevention give people Nutrition and team sports to reliable science-based information to support geam on their Nutriition towards a healthy, sustainable diet. Additional CHO intake during trainings and games may be beneficial [7]. In order to meet your energy and nutrient needs, eat every three to four hours.

Nutrition and team sports -

Doing physical activity will increase your energy expenditure the calories you use , as energy is required during exercise to fuel the contracting muscles, increased breathing and heart rate and metabolism. It is difficult to lose weight just by getting more active and it is still important to control your calorie intake for weight control.

The most effective weight loss programmes include both a controlled diet and increased physical activity. It is also important to be active to keep weight off after weight loss. A study of people in the US who have successfully maintained their weight loss shows that they tend to be active for about an hour a day usually walking and spend less time in sedentary activities like watching TV in their free time.

The benefits of physical activity go beyond just burning off calories and can help preserve muscle as you lose weight and increase the proportion of muscle in the body.

We also know that physical activity, and spending less time sitting, can reduce your risk of developing several chronic diseases, such as heart disease. The main role of carbohydrates in physical activity is to provide energy.

For athletes, if their diet does not contain enough carbohydrate, it is likely that their performance and recovery will be impaired, as carbohydrate is the key fuel for the brain and for muscles during exercise.

The body can store carbohydrates in the muscles and liver as glycogen and use these stores as a source of fuel for physical activity.

These glycogen stores are limited, so for those training at a high level, it is important to be fully fuelled at the start of any exercise. Glycogen is the main source of energy at the start of exercise and during short bursts of exercise. If you are doing high intensity training for long periods and your glycogen stores are not sufficient you may feel tired, lack energy and not be able to perform at your best.

So, regular intake of carbohydrate-rich foods can be important in this case to keep stores topped up. The correct food choices can help ensure the body has enough energy for activity, as well as help aid recovery.

Starchy foods are an important source of carbohydrates in our diet. Wholegrain varieties also provide fibre, and a range of vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, iron, calcium and folate.

Find out more about this topic on our pages on starchy foods, sugar and fibre. The amount of carbohydrate you need will depend on the frequency, type, duration and intensity of physical activity you do.

Competitive sports people and athletes will likely require more carbohydrates than an average gym user to match the intensity of their activity level.

If you are active at around the current recommended levels minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of high intensity activity plus two sessions of muscle strengthening activities per week , then you can follow general healthy eating guidance to base meals on starchy carbohydrates, choosing wholegrain and higher fibre options where possible.

For information about portion sizes of starchy foods you can use our Get portion wise! portion size guide. At this level of activity, it is unlikely you will need to consume extra carbohydrates by eating more or by using products like sports drinks or other carbohydrate supplements, and these can be counterproductive if you are trying to control your weight as they will contribute extra calories.

Sports drinks also contain sugars, which can damage teeth. Regardless of your level of activity, you should try not to meet your requirements by packing your entire carbohydrate intake into one meal.

Spread out your intake over breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that fit around planned exercise. For athletes and individuals who are recreationally active to a higher level such as training for a marathon , consuming additional carbohydrate may be beneficial for performance.

Athletes can benefit from having some carbohydrate both before and after exercise to ensure adequate carbohydrate at the start of training and to replenish glycogen stores post exercise.

In longer duration, high intensity exercise minutes or more , such as a football match or a marathon, consuming some carbohydrate during exercise can also improve performance, for example in the form of a sports drink.

Estimated carbohydrate needs are outlined below and depend on the intensity and duration of the exercise sessions International Olympics Committee :.

For example, from this guidance, someone who weighs 70kg doing light activity would need g carbohydrate per day whereas if they were training at moderate to high intensity for 2 hours a day, they would need g carbohydrate per day. Protein is important in sports performance as it can boost glycogen storage, reduce muscle soreness and promote muscle repair.

For those who are active regularly, there may be benefit from consuming a portion of protein at each mealtime and spreading protein intake out throughout the day. As some high protein foods can also be high in saturated fat, for example fatty meats or higher fat dairy products, it is important to choose lower fat options, such as lean meats.

Most vegans get enough protein from their diets, but it is important to consume a variety of plant proteins to ensure enough essential amino acids are included.

This is known as the complementary action of proteins. More information on vegetarian and vegan diets is available on our page on this topic. Whilst there may be a benefit in increasing protein intakes for athletes and those recreationally active to a high level, the importance of high protein diets is often overstated for the general population.

It is a common misconception that high protein intakes alone increase muscle mass and focussing too much on eating lots of protein can mean not getting enough carbohydrate, which is a more efficient source of energy for exercise.

It is important to note that high protein intakes can increase your energy calorie intake, which can lead to excess weight gain.

The current protein recommendations for the general population are 0. If you are participating in regular sport and exercise like training for a running or cycling event or lifting weights regularly, then your protein requirements may be slightly higher than the general sedentary population, to promote muscle tissue growth and repair.

For strength and endurance athletes, protein requirements are increased to around 1. The most recent recommendations for athletes from the American College of Sports Medicine ACSM also focus on protein timing, not just total intake, ensuring high quality protein is consumed throughout the day after key exercise sessions and around every 3—5 hours over multiple meals, depending on requirements.

In athletes that are in energy deficit, such as team sport players trying to lose weight gained in the off season, there may be a benefit in consuming protein amounts at the high end, or slightly higher, than the recommendations, to reduce the loss of muscle mass during weight loss. Timing of protein consumption is important in the recovery period after training for athletes.

Between 30 minutes and 2 hours after training, it is recommended to consume g of protein alongside some carbohydrate. A whey protein shake contains around 20g of protein, which you can get from half a chicken breast or a small can of tuna. For more information on protein supplements, see the supplements section.

To date, there is no clear evidence to suggest that vegetarian or vegan diets impact performance differently to a mixed diet, although it is important to recognise that whatever the dietary pattern chosen, it is important to follow a diet that is balanced to meet nutrient requirements.

More research is needed, to determine whether vegetarian or vegan diets can help athletic performance. More plant-based diets can provide a wide variety of nutrients and natural phytochemicals, plenty of fibre and tend to be low in saturated fat, salt and sugar.

Fat is essential for the body in small amounts, but it is also high in calories. The type of fat consumed is also important. Studies have shown that replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat in the diet can reduce blood cholesterol, which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Fat-rich foods usually contain a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids but choosing foods that contain higher amounts of unsaturated fat and less saturated fat, is preferable as most of us eat too much saturated fat.

Find more information on fat on our pages on this nutrient. If I am doing endurance training, should I be following low carbohydrate, high fat diets? Carbohydrate is important as an energy source during exercise.

Having very low intakes of carbohydrate when exercising can cause low energy levels, loss of concentration, dizziness or irritability. Because carbohydrate is important for providing energy during exercise, there is a benefit in ensuring enough is consumed. This is especially for high-intensity exercise where some studies have shown that performance is reduced when carbohydrate intakes are low.

Some studies in specific exercise scenarios such as lower intensity training in endurance runners, have found beneficial effects of low carbohydrate diets on performance. However, these results have not been consistent and so at the moment we do not have enough evidence to show that low-carbohydrate diets can benefit athletic performance.

Water is essential for life and hydration is important for health, especially in athletes and those who are physically active, who will likely have higher requirements. Drinking enough fluid is essential for maximising exercise performance and ensuring optimum recovery.

Exercising raises body temperature and so the body tries to cool down by sweating. This causes the loss of water and salts through the skin. Generally, the more a person sweats, the more they will need to drink. Average sweat rates are estimated to be between 0. Dehydration can cause tiredness and affect performance by reducing strength and aerobic capacity especially when exercising for longer periods.

So, especially when exercising at higher levels or in warmer conditions, it is important to try and stay hydrated before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration. In most cases, unless training at a high intensity for over an hour, water is the best choice as it hydrates without providing excess calories or the sugars and acids found in some soft drinks that can damage teeth.

For more information on healthy hydration see our pages on this topic. For those who are recreationally active to a high level, or for athletes, managing hydration around training or competition is more important. The higher intensity and longer duration of activity means that sweat rates tend to be higher.

Again, the advice for this group would be to ensure they drinks fluids before, during and after exercise. Rehydration would usually involve trying to drink around 1. Below are some examples of other drinks, other than water that may be used by athletes, both recreational and elite.

Sports drinks can be expensive compared to other drinks; however it is easy to make them yourself! To make your own isotonic sports drink, mix ml fruit squash containing sugar rather than sweeteners , ml water and a pinch of salt. Supplements are one of the most discussed aspects of nutrition for those who are physically active.

It is reasonable to assume that the slower digestion and absorption of the high-fibre carbohydrate meal results in a delayed delivery of glucose to the systemic circulation and hence skeletal muscles [ 42 ].

During subsequent submaximal treadmill running, there was a lower rate of carbohydrate oxidation and a higher rate of fat oxidation than when runners consumed the HGI pre-exercise meal.

The lower rate of carbohydrate oxidation suggests that muscle glycogen stores were used more sparingly, i. glycogen sparing. When the endurance-running capacity of treadmill runners were compared following consuming pre-exercise HGI and LGI carbohydrate meals on separate occasions, the time to fatigue was greater following the LGI meal [ 44 ].

Consuming a LGI carbohydrate pre-exercise meal results in a smaller rise in plasma insulin level than is the case following HGI carbohydrate meals. As a consequence, the inhibition of fatty acid mobilisation is reduced, the rate of fat metabolism during subsequent exercise is increased, and so muscle glycogen is oxidised more slowly.

This more economic use of the limited glycogen stores is an advantage during prolonged submaximal exercise; however, brief periods of sprinting rely on a high rate of glycogenolysis and phosphocreatine degradation.

Therefore, as mentioned previously even a higher rate of fat metabolism, following a LGI carbohydrate meal, cannot provide ATP fast enough to support high-intensity exercise. Therefore, it is not surprising that the few studies that compared the impact of HGI and LGI carbohydrate pre-exercise meals on performance during intermittent brief high-intensity exercise failed to show differences [ 45 — 47 ].

When considering the merits of HGI and LGI pre-exercise meals it is important to remember that to achieve the same amount of carbohydrate and energy, the LGI meal will have a greater amount of food than in the HGI meal [ 47 ]. The reason for this is that LGI carbohydrates generally have higher fibre content and so more food has to be consumed to match the amount in HGI foods.

The higher fibre content of LGI carbohydrate foods results in earlier satiation than following the consumption of HGI carbohydrate foods. One consequence is that athletes may consume less carbohydrate when recommended to eat LGI foods and so do not sufficiently restock their glycogen stores.

During high-intensity exercise, the permeability of the muscle membrane to glucose is sensitised via a multitude of signalling pathways thought to include adenosine monophosphate kinase and calcium amongst many others [ 48 ].

However, the delivery of glucose to the muscle is reliant on adequate perfusion of skeletal muscle capillaries while maintaining overall plasma glucose levels [ 49 ].

The benefits of ingesting a carbohydrate-electrolyte CHO-E solution during endurance exercise are well established [ 50 ]. Less attention has been paid to prolonged intermittent exercise, though early speculation suggested improvements in performance would be similar [ 51 ].

In pursuit of answers to these questions, Nicholas and colleagues undertook a study in which they provided games players with either a 6. After performing 75 min of the LIST, the games players completed Part B, i.

alternated m sprints with jogging recoveries to fatigue. beyond the five blocks of the LIST, than when they ingested the placebo [ 52 ]. Davis and colleagues modified the LIST protocol to more closely resemble the activity periods in basketball.

In the brief rest periods between each min block, the games players also completed a set of mental and physical tests, namely: vertical jumps, a modified hop-scotch test to assess whole body motor skill, and mental function tests, i. Stroop colour word test as well as completing a Profile of Mood States questionnaire.

They included measures of peripheral and CNS function during the basketball-related exercise protocol and found faster m sprint times, enhanced motor skills and improved mood state during the last quarter when the games players ingested the CHO-E solution [ 25 ]. In contrast to the results reported by Davis and colleagues, they found no performance benefit when their basketball players ingested 75 g of sucrose in mL of orange juice 45 min before they completed the basketball test.

However, during the fourth-quarter, sprint performance was not different from those on the placebo trial [ 26 ]. The ingestion of the large bolus of sucrose 45 min before exercise is known to cause hypoglycaemia at the onset of exercise but without a detriment to endurance-running capacity [ 54 ].

In a three-trial study, Stokes and colleagues examined the performance benefits of ingesting a CHO-E solution and a CHO-E solution with caffeine in comparison with a placebo solution during a rugby performance test [ 35 ].

They reported that there were no significant differences in the results of the performance tests, which were embedded in their shuttle-running protocol.

Seven young team games players five boys and two girls: average age of However, it would be unwise to extrapolate the results of this study to adolescents per se because the participants were an uneven number of boys and girls [ 55 ].

Foskett and colleagues addressed the question of whether or not ingesting a CHO-E solution during prolonged, intermittent high-intensity shuttle running has performance benefits for games players when their muscle glycogen stores were well stocked before exercise [ 56 ].

To test this hypothesis, six university-level soccer players completed six blocks of the LIST 90 min and then consumed a high-carbohydrate diet for 48 h before repeating the LIST to fatigue. During subsequent performance of the LIST, they ingested either a 6. The total exercise time during the CHO-E trial was significantly longer min than during the placebo trial min [ 56 ].

There was no evidence of glycogen sparing and yet during the CHO-E trial the soccer players ran for an additional 27 min beyond their performance time during the placebo trial. While only speculative, the greater endurance may have been a consequence of higher blood glucose levels that did not compromise the supply of glucose to the central nervous system as early as in the placebo trial, thus delaying an inhibition of motor drive as glycogen stores became ever lower [ 57 , 58 ].

There is some evidence that gastric emptying of a CHO-E solution is slower while performing brief periods of high-intensity cycling than during lower intensity exercise [ 59 ]. To examine whether or not the same slowing of gastric emptying occurs during variable-speed running, Leiper and colleagues completed two studies in which games players ingested CHO-E solutions before and during exercise [ 60 , 61 ].

The same gastric emptying and timing was repeated while the soccer players performed two min periods of walking with the same min rest between the two activity periods.

Gastric emptying was slower during the first min period than during the walking-only trial, but during the second 15 min of the soccer game there was no statistical difference in the emptying rate. In total, the volume of fluid emptied from the stomach was less than during the same period while walking [ 60 ].

In the second running study, gastric emptying of a 6. The exercise intensities during the two min activity cycles of the LIST were higher and more closely controlled than those self-selected exercise intensities achieved during the five-a-side soccer game.

Nevertheless, the results were quite similar in that gastric emptying was slower during the first 15 min of exercise both for the CHO-E and the placebo solutions than while walking for the same period.

However, during the second 15 min, gastric emptying of both solutions was similar during both the running and the walking trials with a trend for slightly faster emptying rates [ 61 ]. Whether or not this greater gastric emptying later in exercise suggests an acute adaptation to coping with large gastric volumes remains to be determined.

Even with an intensity-induced reduction in gastric emptying, the available evidence does not suggest that team sport players should drink carbohydrate-free solutions. On the contrary, there is sufficient evidence to support the ingestion of CHO-E solutions during prolonged, intermittent variable-speed running to improve endurance capacity [ 24 , 52 , 55 ].

However, even recognising the benefits of ingesting CHO-E solutions during intermittent variable-speed running, young athletes appear to not meet the recommended intakes [ 8 ]. Carbohydrate gels provide a convenient means of accessing this essential fuel during prolonged running and cycling.

However, there are only a few studies on the benefits of ingesting carbohydrate gels during variable-speed shuttle running. Of the two available studies, both report that ingesting carbohydrate gels improves endurance running capacity.

One of the studies reported that when games players ingested either an isotonic carbohydrate gel or an artificially sweetened orange placebo while performing the LIST protocol, their endurance capacity was greater during the gel 6.

In the second study on intermittent shuttle running, Phillips and colleagues compared the performances of games players when they ingested either a carbohydrate gel or non-carbohydrate gel before and at min intervals while completing the LIST protocol [ 63 ].

They reported that during the carbohydrate-gel trial, the games players ran longer in Part B 4. Concerns about the potential delay in gastric emptying when ingesting carbohydrate gels before and during exercise are allayed by the performance benefits reported in the above studies.

In addition, it appears that the rate of oxidation of carbohydrate gels during min of submaximal cycling is no different to that after ingesting a Although carbohydrate-protein mixtures have mainly been considered as a means of accelerating post-exercise glycogen re-synthesis, Highton and colleagues examined their performance benefits during prolonged variable-speed shuttle running [ 65 ].

However there were no significant differences in the performance between trials. Exercise performance in the heat is generally poorer than during exercise in temperate climates. Team sports are no exception, for example Mohr and colleagues have clearly shown that the performance of elite soccer players is significantly compromised when matches are played in the heat, i.

There are only a few studies on exercise performance during variable-speed running in hot and cooler environments. Using the same experimental design, Morris et al. The m sprint speeds of the female athletes were also significantly slower in the heat, declining with test duration, which was not the case during exercise in the cooler environment.

Again, there was a high correlation between the rates of rise of the rectal temperatures of the athletes in the heat but it was less strong during exercise at the lower ambient temperature. In a follow-up study, Morris et al.

Rectal and muscle temperatures were significantly higher at the point of fatigue after exercising in the heat. Analyses of muscle biopsy samples taken from eight sportsmen before and after completing the LIST protocol under the two environmental conditions showed that the rate of glycogenolysis was greater in seven of the eight men in the heat.

However, glycogen levels were higher at fatigue after exercise in the heat than after exercise in the cooler environment [ 68 ]. Muscle glycogen and blood glucose levels were lower at exhaustion during exercise in the cooler environment, suggesting that reduced carbohydrate availability contributed to the onset of fatigue.

At exhaustion after exercise in the heat muscle, glycogen and blood glucose levels were significantly higher, suggesting that fatigue was largely a consequence of high body temperature rather than carbohydrate availability. Endurance capacity during exercise in the heat is improved when sufficient fluid is ingested [ 69 ], but does drinking CHO-E solution rather than water have added performance benefits?

This question was addressed in a three-trial design in which nine male games players ingested either a flavoured-water placebo, a taste-matched placebo, or a 6. Although ingesting the CHO-E solution resulted in greater metabolic changes, there were no differences in the performances during the three trials.

While the games players were accustomed to performing prolonged variable-speed running during training and competition, they were not acclimatised to exercising in the heat. Clarke and colleagues attempted to tease out the benefits of delaying the rise in core temperature and CHO-E ingestion on performance in the heat [ 71 ].

The four-trial design included two trials in which the soccer players were pre-cooled before the test and two trials without pre-cooling. In each pair of trials, the soccer players ingested, at min intervals, either a 6.

Performance was assessed at the end of 90 min at the self-selected speed that the soccer players predicted was sustainable for 30 min but ran for only 3 min at this speed. Thereafter, their high-intensity exercise capacity was determined during uphill treadmill running that was designed to lead to exhaustion in about 60 s [ 72 ].

They found that pre-cooling and CHO-E solution ingestion resulted in a superior performance at the self-selected running speed than CHO-E ingestion alone.

However, CHO-E solution ingestion, with or without pre-cooling, resulted in a longer running time, albeit quite short, during high-intensity exercise test than during the placebo trials. The findings of this study provide evidence to support the conclusion that variable-speed running in hot environments is limited by the degree of hyperthermia before muscle glycogen availability becomes a significant contributor to the onset of fatigue.

Consuming carbohydrates immediately after exercise increases the repletion rate of muscle glycogen [ 73 ]. In competitive team sports, the relevant question is whether or not this nutritional strategy also returns performance during subsequent exercise.

Addressing this question, Nicholas and colleagues recruited games players who performed five blocks of the LIST 75 min followed by alternate m sprints with jogging recovery to fatigue, and 22 h later they attempted to repeat their performance [ 74 ].

When this study was repeated using energy- and macro-nutrient-matched HGI and LGI carbohydrate meals during the h recovery, there were no differences in performance of the games players [ 47 ].

This is not surprising because the advantage of pre-exercise LGI carbohydrate meals is the lower plasma insulin levels that allow greater rates of fat mobilisation and oxidation, which in turn benefit low- rather than high-intensity exercise. Clearly providing carbohydrates during recovery from exercise accelerates glycogen re-synthesis as does the degree of exercise-induced depletion [ 75 ].

It also appears that the environmental conditions may influence the rate of glycogen re-synthesis. When nine male individuals cycled for an hour to lower muscle glycogen and then consumed carbohydrate 1. Recovery in a cool environment 7 °C does not slow the rate of muscle glycogen re-synthesis [ 77 ].

In contrast, local cooling of skeletal muscle, a common recovery strategy in team sport, has been reported to have either no impact on or delay glycogen re-synthesis [ 78 ]. Clearly, further research is required.

It has been suggested that adding protein to carbohydrate during recovery increases the rate of glycogen re-synthesis and so improves subsequent exercise capacity. The rationale behind this suggestion was that a protein-induced increase in plasma insulin level will increase the insulinogenic response to consuming carbohydrate leading to a greater re-synthesis of muscle glycogen [ 79 ].

Although a greater rate of post-exercise glycogen re-synthesis and storage has been reported following the ingestion of a carbohydrate-protein mixture compared with a carbohydrate-matched solution, there were no differences in plasma insulin responses [ 80 ].

Nevertheless, more recent studies suggest that ingesting sufficient carbohydrate ~1. The possibility of enhancing glycogen storage after competitive soccer matches by consuming meals high in whey protein and carbohydrate has recently been explored by Gunnarsson and colleagues [ 82 ].

After the h dietary intervention, there were no differences in muscle glycogen storage between the carbohydrate-whey protein and control groups [ 82 ]. While post-exercise carbohydrate-protein mixtures may not enhance glycogen storage or enhance subsequent exercise capacity, they promote skeletal muscle protein synthesis [ 83 ].

Prolonged periods of multiple sprints drain muscle glycogen stores, leading to a decrease in power output and a reduction in the general work rate during training and competition. Adopting nutritional strategies to ensure that muscle glycogen stores are well stocked prior to training and competition helps delay fatigue.

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Sportd link between good health Nturition good nutrition Njtrition well established. Interest in nutrition and its impact on sporting performance is now a aports in itself. Whether you are a competing athlete, a weekend sports player or a Nutrition and team sports daily Nutritiln, the foundation Nutrition and team sports improved Healthy blood sugar levels Nutrition and team sports a nutritionally Nutritipn diet. Athletes who exercise strenuously for more than 60 to 90 minutes every day may need to increase the amount of energy they consume, particularly from carbohydrate sources. The current recommendations for fat intake are for most athletes to follow similar recommendations to those given for the general community, with the preference for fats coming from olive oils, avocado, nuts and seeds. Athletes should also aim to minimise intake of high-fat foods such as biscuits, cakes, pastries, chips and fried foods. After absorption, glucose can be converted into glycogen and stored in the liver and muscle tissue. Team sports are based on intermittent high-intensity Nutrition and team sports patterns Nutritjon the Vegan sources of iron characteristics vary Calming herbal extracts and within codes, and from Nutgition game Nutrition and team sports the next. Despite the Nutrition and team sports of predicting exact game demands, performance sporgs team sports is often influenced by nutritional preparation. Heam issues Nuttition achieving ideal levels of muscle mass and body fat, and supporting the nutrient needs of daily training. Acute issues, both for training and in games, include strategies that allow the player to be well fuelled and hydrated over the duration of exercise. Each player should develop a plan of consuming fluid and carbohydrate according to the needs of their activity patterns, within the breaks that are provided in their sport. In seasonal fixtures, competition varies from a weekly game in some codes to two to three games over a weekend road trip in others, with a tournament fixture usually involving one to three days between matches. Some sports supplements may be of value to the team sport athlete. Nutrition and team sports

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