Carbohydrates seem to be a source of confusion for most health-conscious people, including athletes and fitness fanatics. Many active people don’t know what to eat. They just think they should avoid pasta, bagels, juice, bananas, and sugar, even if these foods are not problematic for them. Most of the anti-carb hype is targeted not toward the fit crowd but the masses of overfat and underfit folks whose bodies do not handle carbohydrates as well.
Too many athletes of all ages struggle with food. While the prevalence of eating disorders is higher among elite athletes, and higher in females than in males, the runners, dancers, gymnasts, and others who compete in weight-sensitive sports are the most vulnerable.
Centuries ago, warriors (the original athletes) ate the hearts of lions. Today, athletes seek out energy drinks and protein shakes. Clearly, times have changed. In case you are wondering what else is old – and new – when it comes to sports nutrition, I’ve compiled this update to resolve confusion and help you fuel for success.
Whether you are looking for a hit, boost, pleasing stimulant, or excuse to socialize with your friends, coffee is the go-to beverage for many people. Coffee-drinkers enjoy the way a cup of morning brew enhances their feelings of well-being and their ability to accomplish daily tasks. Fortunately, moderate coffee intake is typically not associated with health risks.
How healthy you are depends largely on the diet and lifestyle choices you make. It also matters how educated and financially secure you are. And where you live – not only in what kind of neighborhood but also in which part of the country – plays a role as well. If you are looking for the most health-promoting environment in America today, Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the place to be, according to a survey conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), titled the American Fitness Index™ (AFI).
Despite plenty of encouragement from the government and health experts to move more, Americans still find it hard to adopt a less sedentary lifestyle. Merely 20 percent are in compliance with the government’s recommendations for physical activity, which advise getting at least two and a half hours per week of moderately intense aerobic exercise like brisk walking as well as some strength training such as lifting weights or doing pushups. The “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans,” as the recommendations are officially called, have been criticized as unrealistic and unattainable for many Americans, especially for low-income earners and those living in unwalkable and unsafe neighborhoods.
You’ve probably heard stories about marathoners and soldiers who have died due to consuming too much water. Clearly, overhydration can be as dangerous to your health as underhydration. While our bodies can deal with transient underhydration for limited periods of time, chronic dehydration can lead to serious health issues. So what does a sweaty athlete need to know about staying adequately hydrated? Here are some answers from recent studies.