Pack the right sports nutrition essentials in your kit bag this season, and get the right habits in place, so you can give it your all on the pitch, court, or golf course!
As the weather gets better and those team text notificatons start picking up pace on your phone, it’s worth taking a pause to think about how you can get in the best shape and stay healthy throughout the season ahead.
It’s been hard to stay consistent with training over the last 2 years, with gyms opening and closing and lots of us spending more time at home. But, whether you’re looking to elevate your performance or reset, get healthier, and avoid injury as you get stuck into regular training and sports, the basic principles of sports nutrition stay the same.
Giving a pass to the Saturday night takeaway before a Sunday morning training session is just the first step, but a few simple moves can give your kit bag and your season’s prospects a next-level boost.
Our Manly pharmacy team has pulled together some of our favourite sports nutrition tips to help put you on a winning streak!
Increase water intake
First of all, make an effort to increase water intake. It doesn’t take much effort to dig out the water bottle from the bottom of your kit bag and drink at least 2 litres of water in each day, whether or not you’re working out. This change alone will have you feeling better in a matter of days.
There are many benefits to staying hydrated, including enhanced physical performance. Hydration is especially important during exercise, as athletes can lose up to 10% of body water weight during intense training sessions. Even if you don’t class yourself as an athlete it still matters that you feel in good condition, and the knock-on effects of dehydration can make themselves felt in low motivation, increased fatigue, and altered body temperature control.
Pace your meals and snacks
Caffeine overloads and chocolate pick-me-ups may get you through the afternoon slump mid-week, but you don’t need us to tell your their rollercoaster effect isn’t great for your overall wellbeing or the right fuel for peak sports performance.
You might like to follow the example of many athletes who find their overall performance benefits when they consume 5 or 6 small meals throughout the day for consistent energy release. Try it out and you should find you have fewer sugar cravings and are less drawn to snacking! Strike a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from non-processed foods in these meals too, and you’ll soon feel the benefits.
Make sure you have the vitamins you need
For peak performance, you may need an extra boost on top of a healthy diet. You may be concentrating on clean eating already, or trying out veganism or a hybrid diet. Whatever your approach to your food intake, it’s important to check you are consuming all the vitamins and minerals you need to sustain your new training regime.
Take a look at your diet by tracking everything you eat and drink – even if you do this for just 48 hours, you can gain real insights that might well prompt a rethink!
B Vitamins, iron, CoQ10 and Vitamin D are a few of the supplements worth adding to your kit bag if you want to achieve peak performance and combat fatigue.
Pack a B12 boost
Vitamins aid the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, and so they’re vital for the release of energy. If you’re into sport and follow a vegan diet, it’s particularly important to make sure you’re not deficient in Vitamin B12.
One of our favourite Vitamin B12 supplements is the BetterYou B12 Boost Oral Spray. It contains an optimum level of vitamin B12 together with Chromium and Green Tea extract. Spray it under your tongue so that the formulation enters quickly into your bloodstream for the ultimate in bio-availability and convenience. Each dose delivers 1,200mcg of vitamin B12 per dose, and the small bottle lasts an impressive 40 days, so this convenient spray really earns its space in your kit bag!
Iron’s job is to transport oxygen around your body. It helps to ensure a steady supply of oxygen to your heart and muscles, and when your levels are right it supports endurance.
While women tend to need iron more than men, exercise can lower your stores, leading to chronic fatigue, reduced endurance, and an increase in energy consumption. This can be more common in those following a vegan or vegetarian diet, as plant iron sources are less well absorbed by the body than meat sources. Too much iron can cause its own problems, but it’s definitely worth adding iron in to your regime if your stamina is ebbing.
Traditionally iron supplements have been tough on our digestive systems leading to digestive complications such as constipation and/or diarrhea. But newer formulations have overcome these side effects, and Active Iron is a supplement we always turn to and our Manly customers buy it again and again.
Increase energy production
The nutrient CoEnzyme Q10, or CoQ10 – naturally found in our bodies – is an essential component in the production of energy in every cell. But, as we age, we produce less and less, and this impacts on how much energy we can produce. As well as increasing energy production, CoQ10 can help to reduce the inflammation seen with heavy exercise, and it can even reduce recovery time. If you’re looking for peak performance, you’re going to want CoQ10 on your team!
As pharmacists, we are always looking for the best, most efficient formulations of medicines and supplements and we love the fact that the Revive brand of CoQ10 uses Ubiquinol, which is the reduced, active antioxidant form of CoQ10. This is its most absorbable form.
Improve body strength and your immune system
Vitamin D has gained a lot of popularity since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, not least due to its immune-boosting properties. Our sales of Vitamin D supplements increased by over 150% between March and September 2020, a trend that shows no signs of stopping even now!
From a sports point of view, when Vitamin D levels are optimised, our endurance and lower body strength improves, as well as our sleep and immunity.
Our first choice in Vitamin D supplements is Pharma Nord Bioactive D Pearls 75ug which is highly bioavailable so you get the full benefits.
The vitamin D in Pharma Nord BioActive D Pearls is dissolved in cold-pressed olive oil to improve absorption in the digestive system, as Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Our sports nutrition tips should give you some useful pointers to keep your kit bag well=stocked and your performance on support, keeping your body in the right condition to get your right through the warmer months.
Now all you’ve got to do is get out there and work up a sweat!
References and Sources
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