Sports nutrition advice: understanding everything.

Introduction: why sports nutrition is crucial

Are you an aspiring or experienced athlete? Then you already know that the key to performance and recovery lies in optimal sports nutrition. In this comprehensive guide, we reveal everything you need to know to unleash your full potential. But before we dive in, it's important to understand why proper nutrition is so crucial. Not only does it help you achieve your goals more quickly, it also plays an essential role in preventing injury and improving your overall health. In short, good sports nutrition isn't a luxury, it's a necessity.

What is Sports Nutrition

Definition and Importance

Sports nutrition is a branch of nutrition that focuses specifically on the dietary needs of athletes. It encompasses everything from the types of nutrients needed to enhance sporting performance to how these nutrients are consumed and metabolised, as well as recovering after exercise. But that's not all, proper sports nutrition can also improve your mental focus and emotional wellbeing, which is just as important for your overall performance.

Key Nutrients in Sports Nutrition

The Macronutrients


Proteins are the fundamental building blocks of your muscles. They are essential for muscle repair and growth. Sources of high-quality protein include meat, fish, eggs and some dairy products. But did you know that the timing of your protein intake is also crucial? To maximise muscle protein synthesis, it's recommended that you consume protein before and after training.


Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your body. They are particularly important for endurance sports such as running or cycling. Good sources of carbohydrates include fruit, vegetables and whole grains. But not all carbohydrates are created equal. Favour complex carbohydrates for a more stable release of energy.


Lipids, or fats, are also a source of energy, but they are mainly used during low-intensity exercise. Avocados, nuts and oily fish are excellent sources of healthy fats. It's also important to note that certain types of fat, such as omega-3, can have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help with recovery.


Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in a multitude of bodily functions, from energy production to muscle contraction. Fruit and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Certain minerals such as zinc and magnesium are particularly important for athletes as they contribute to hormone regulation and muscle contraction.


Hydration is a crucial element of sports nutrition. Athletes tend to lose significant amounts of fluid during exercise, particularly in hot or humid conditions. Dehydration can lead to reduced sporting performance, increased fatigue and reduced muscle recovery. So it's important for sportspeople to make sure they're well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Experts recommend drinking around 500ml to 1 litre of water per hour during exercise, depending on the duration and intensity of the physical activity. Sports drinks can also be useful for replacing electrolytes lost during exercise.

The Importance of Cheat Meals

What is a Cheat Meal

A cheat meal is a meal where you allow yourself to eat what you like, without worrying about calories or macronutrients. It's a welcome break from your strict diet, which can actually help boost your metabolism. They can be a source of motivation to stick to a healthy diet and can help prevent cravings or frustration from restrictive eating..

How to Manage Cheat Meals Well

However, it's important not to overdo cheat meals, as this can compromise long-term nutrition and sports performance goals. The trick is to plan your cheat meals carefully and include them in a balanced, calorie-controlled eating plan to avoid excesses and the negative effects they could have on your health.... Don't use them as an excuse to go completely off your diet. One cheat meal a week is generally a good rule of thumb.

Sports nutrition and bodybuilding: The Winning Duo

Why Nutrition is Crucial in Bodybuilding

Building muscle is a sporting discipline that involves a high demand for energy and nutrients to maximise muscle growth and repair. Therefore, sports nutrition is particularly important for people who practice bodybuilding. Muscles need protein for growth and repair, as well as carbohydrates for the energy needed for training. Healthy fats are also important to support bodily functions and hormone levels necessary for muscle growth. Muscle-building athletes also need to ensure they have adequate hydration to support bodily functions and muscle recovery. Ultimately, a healthy, balanced diet is essential for maximising muscle growth and repair and achieving sports performance goals in bodybuilding.

Supplements in bodybuilding

If you're involved in intense physical activity, you may need supplements to help you achieve your nutritional goals. You can find them in pill, powder or drink form. The most commonly used supplements for sports nutrition are protein powder, creatine, BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) and pre-workout boosters.

  • Protein powders: these are useful for increasing the amount of protein in your diet if you're struggling to get it from food.
  • Creatine: can increase muscle strength and endurance when used in combination with resistance training.
  • BCAAs: can help reduce muscle fatigue and improve recovery after exercise.
  • Pre-workout boosters: these often contain caffeine or other stimulants to improve concentration and endurance during exercise.

In summary, sports nutrition is important for all sportsmen and women. By eating the right foods, drinking enough water and taking supplements, you can help your body perform at its best during physical activity and recover more quickly after exercise. By taking care of your sports nutrition, you can help maximise your performance and achieve your sporting goals more quickly.

Nutritional intake by duration of exercise


Duration of workout Carbohydrate intake Protein intake Water intake
Less than 30 minutes

0.5 g/kg

of body weight

0.1 g/kg

of body weight

5 to 7 ml/kg

of body weight

30 to 60 minutes

1 g/kg

of body weight

0.2 g/kg

of body weight

5 to 10 ml/kg

of body weight

1 to 2 hours

1.5 g/kg

of body weight

0.25 g/kg

of body weight

7 to 10 ml/kg

of body weight

2 to 3 hours

2 g/kg

of body weight

0.3 g/kg

of body weight

10 to 12 ml/kg

of body weight

More than 3 hours

2.5 g/kg

of body weight

0.4 g/kg

of body weight

10 to 12 ml/kg

of body weight

Note that these values are approximate and may vary depending on your personal needs and the types of exercise you do.

Sports nutrition advice from our coach

  • Eat complex carbohydrates before exercise to provide your body with energy. Complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice and whole wheat pasta, provide sustained energy to your body during exercise.
  • Eat a meal that contains carbohydrates and protein within 30 minutes of physical activity. This will help your body recover more quickly.
  • Listen to your body and adjust your nutritional needs accordingly. Everyone is different and has different nutritional needs. If you notice muscle aches, bloating or digestive problems, adjust your food choices accordingly. Sports nutrition is much more than a diet; it's a way of life. By understanding and applying the principles of sports nutrition, you'll set yourself on the path to becoming a better and more successful athlete.

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