Sports Professionals to avoid Supplements
Sports and games like cricket, tennis, hockey, badminton, etc, which we once enjoyed as recreation, are now being pursued as a career. Along with this comes the drive to build up oneís body and much is advertised about supplements like creatine and amino acids, etc. which will aid the body building. The question is are we at a disadvantage if we do not consumed these supplements and are they a must if we are competing at a professional level.
We would like to state that athletic competition is not a test of supplements, performance boosters or drugs. It is a test of a personís ability to excel in his/her area of sports. The real keys to physical performance are genetics, training and healthy nutrition. The trend observed is that a sportsman reaching the top is influenced by these 3 factors. We would like to state that one is at an advantage firstly if you have a family background of athletes. Second, he must get the best training, i.e. be selected and coached by good professional trainers and coaches and thirdly his diet must be made up of a good balance of all the essential nutrients namely water, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, proteins and necessary fat and fiber. The first and second factors may not be in our control but the third factor is within our power to improve if you follow this simple advice and make sure that you are eating a good variety of foods like fruits, vegetables, cereals, dhals and pulses and milk and milk products, egg, non-veg and little fats.
All the recent research has proved that the longstanding belief that protein and amino acid supplements build muscle is a myth and therefore it is dying. These supplements continue to capture the attention and money of athletes because people think of protein and amino acids as the ingredients from which muscles are made. Therefore they believe the higher the supply of protein and amino acids the bigger the muscles. But thatís not the way muscles are built. The protein and amino acids you consume donít go directly to build muscle. Excess proteins in the diet are converted to glucose and fat and not to muscle. Exercise, sufficient fluid and a balanced healthy diet, build muscles.
However our advice is to first be very disciplined with your exercise regimen. We have seen that regular cardio vascular exercise like a mix of brisk walking and jogging of 20-30 minutes daily, or 6 days a week with weight training for 3-4 days is the ideal for overall muscle building. Along with this you need to consume a minimum of 3-4 liters water daily. Dehydration is very harmful to a sports manís body and muscles. Thirdly one needs to get 6-7 hours proper rest and sleep to relax and refresh the body. After all this comes the diet and here before we talk about the protein I must mention that you have to eat plenty of carbohydrate in the form of cereal, whole wheat bread, rice, pasta, etc at every meal so that you spare the protein you will eat for body building.
If we calculate that the average Indian woman is 60kgs then a sports woman needs 60gm plus 10-12gm more protein per day. If the average man is 70kgs he needs 70gm plus 12-15gm proteins per day. A woman would get about 10-15 gm protein from her cereal intake daily and the man about 15-20 gm protein.
Then sports people are advised to take one-liter skimmed milk or curd daily, which gives you 30gms protein. Dhal or pulses, one cup for lunch and one cup for dinner gives you 8 plus 8gm protein. Two egg whites will give you about 8gm protein and 2 pieces of chicken or fish will give you 20-25 gm protein. Going the natural way and including the above daily can change your body in just a month or two.