Protein is among the most important nutrients that can be used for enzyme production, hormone, energy production, muscle growth and healthy skin. Athletes require more protein than average individuals to generate energy and grow their muscles. We also lose some amount of protein through perspiration. When eaten with carbohydrate, protein could also help our body to regulate blood sugar level. Protein is essential during the recovery period after an intense exercise session. Our body will break down muscles cells to generate fuel when we lack in protein, which is something that no athlete wants.
Beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, eggs, fish, chicken and some red meat can provide us with enough protein for our daily requirements. We could ensure to add enough protein at any meal. However, if we train hard, it can be rather challenging to obtain all the necessary protein in a single day. This should be where drinks and supplements can benefit us. Our body permanently creates energy from food we consume to help us function during intense activities. The process of turning sugar stores and fat layer into usable energy is known as oxidisation. However, such a process produces some unwanted by products called free radicals.
Free radicals could cause severe damages to our cells and increase the risks of infections and injuries. In reality, athletes who perform intense physical activities produce significantly more free radicals compared to those with sedentary lifestyle. So, it is clear that while exercise is beneficial for our body, it could also cause some damages. Our body needs something to fight free radicals due to smoky atmosphere and pollution. It is also not a good idea to consume barbecued and fried food that contains more free radicals. Fortunately, we could consume substances called antioxidants to eliminate free radicals from our body.
Antioxidants could be consisted of minerals like selenium, vitamins like A, C and E or specific amino acids, like glutathione. These substances and elements don’t have similarities in terms of chemical structure, but they work similarly, that is to neutralize free radicals. Highly active athletes should consume enough antioxidants because their body produces a huge amount of free radicals. By ensuring the consumption of antioxidants, we should be able to maintain a strong immune system. We could also speed up recovery during post exercise period by reducing muscle damages.
We should be able to consume healthy diet that’s consisted of good quality protein and usable antioxidant, Vegetables and fruits are always best sources of antioxidants, especially those with bright or dark colors, such as beets, carrot, blueberry and strawberries. A healthy dies that is combined with enough rest and balanced training will enhance our immunity and performance. There are also supplements that we can use to nourish and replenish nutrients in our body. Protein powder is one of them. Mineral and multivitamin supplements are also useful to enhance sports performance.