Endurance sports, such as skiing, long distance racing or running, and rowing are some of the most challenging and most rewarding sports an athlete can ever embark upon. Whereas most other sports require players to perform exceptionally well for a short period of time, endurance sports require athletes to perform consistently well for an extended distance or amount of time. For this reason, following a proper sports nutrition regimen and being in good overall health is more important for the endurance athlete than for any other type of athlete.
If you practice endurance sports, you will need to, first of all, follow a daily exercise plan. This should consist of different kinds of exercise, practice in well balanced amounts. Strength training, muscle building, and fat burning exercises will all be necessary in order to achieve true success in the sport of your choosing. For best results, you will want to work with a personal trainer or an athletic coach in order to develop an exercise plan. This plan will need to be changed frequently as your personal goals, athletic abilities, age, and other factors change.
Of course, exercise alone will not make you into the athlete you want to be. Following a properly balanced and healthy diet consisting of all of the food groups in the correct amounts is absolutely necessary. Endurance athletes require larger amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, and even fats than most other athletes. In order to achieve optimal health and athletic ability, these food products must be eaten in the correct amounts, which will vary from person to person and from sport to sport. Again, the help of a professional becomes absolutely necessary. Working with a nutritionist or even with a general physician can help you to understand what foods you should be eating and in what amounts you should be eating them. You will also gain insight as to what purposes each of these food groups serve, which can be helpful if you ever need to adjust your eating plan on your own.
Many endurance athletes will also benefit from the use of vitamins, minerals, and other types of supplements. Creatine and whey protein powders are particularly popular among those involved with endurance sports. While these can be helpful, nutritious, and performance-enhancing, they must be used correctly. When abused or otherwise misused, normally helpful supplements can become dangerous and damaging.
You should always discuss the use of any product with a doctor or a nutritionist and get a professional opinion and advice before using any product. It is also up to you to do your own research. Know what type of supplement you are using and what brand of supplement and read and research accordingly. This is not the place to try and save money; you should only put the best of the best products into your body. Above all, remember that your health is much more important than how well you play a sport. As long as you are sure to always put this first, you can’t help but to succeed
- Endurance athletes benefit more from slow release carbohydrates that last longer
- Endurance athletes have been advised to avoid stimulants, the quick energy high will come down with a crash and require your body to compensate
- You can find a range of slow release carbohydrates on Ironscience.co.uk, such as Fine Scottish Oats or Barley Starch
- Sleep! Rest after exercise is essential to allow your body to make the changes it needs after a long workout