THE USE OF SPORTS NUTRITION PRODUCTS

In the specialised stores, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of products specifically designed for physical activity, with each brand trying to create new formulas or new product presentations. Given this exponential increase, we could ask ourselves what these products are for and why it is so difficult to find the product that suits us. Chrystèle, a practitioner in natural health, tells us how she advises sports users at the Decathlon of Colomiers on sports nutrition products.

1/ WHY IS HYDRATION AND NUTRITION IMPORTANT FOR SPORTS USERS?

Hydration and nutrition have become 2 crucial factors for sports users.

Nutrition has been occupying an increasingly prominent position in sports, whether it is in the clubs, magazines or TV reports. Studies show that nutrition plays an important role and that it can, when poorly managed, lead to you falling short of your objectives, despite an excellent physical preparation.

It is worth recalling that the daily diet in the form of a variety of balanced meals (without supplements) represents the basic intake of sports users throughout the year. A person who does not eat correctly and who wants to redress the balance just a few days before the event will only be "sticking a plaster" on the problem hoping that it doesn't come off on the day of the race… It is therefore important throughout your preparation to take care of your nutrition at the same time as your training plan.

sports-nutrition-products

2/ WHAT ARE THE MAIN SPORTS NUTRITION PRODUCTS?

We cannot provide a complete list, but we will talk to you about the main types of sporting nutrition product.  ISOTONIC DRINK  The first type of product is the isotonic drink. This means that its osmolarity is similar to that of blood plasma, particularly regarding its sodium and glucose content. This feature facilitates the take-up of the drink by the body. An isotonic drink is therefore essential for the water as well as the electrolytes and carbs to be absorbed into the body and thereby replenish the energy expended during physical activity. At Aptonia, we have two types of isotonic drinks called ISO and ISO+. The main difference is the quantity of sodium and antioxidants contained in the ISO+ which is recommended for longer efforts (more than 3 hrs). For more information on energy drinks, don't hesitate to consult the drink comparison information compiled by the nutritionist, Nicolas Aubineau :

THE SPORTS NUTRITION PRODUCTS

Regarding the food products, they are essentially made up of fruit jellies, almond paste and bars.

It is up to each person, depending on their tolerance to absorbing this type of element, to choose what suits them. You also need to take into account the type of race and how long it will take. It is normally easier to eat a fruit jelly than a more filling bar.

If your body can take it, I recommend fruit jellies for short efforts and a variety of different textures for long efforts. We never know what will tempt us on the day of the race and, for a long effort, chewing on food can also feel good at certain times during the race. Take flavours that you like and have tested in advance because you will not be tempted by the same things during a physical activity.

Gels

These products, which are essentially composed of sugar, have the advantage that they are quickly absorbed by the body and should always be kept close at hand should you feel a sudden drop in your energy levels. Some people only need gels (always to be taken with a little water) when they race, while others will prefer to take an emergency accessory in the event of a sudden craving or drop in energy, or even to provide a “boost” when approaching a difficult section.

3/ WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SPORTS NUTRITION PRODUCTS?

I often explain to people, who are reluctant to take this type of product, that although the body has lots of resources and, naturally, some trained people can complete long events without having to use this type of product, these products will improve their performance. Given that they are easily digestible and provide the essential substrates needed to produce energy, they prevent certain drops in energy levels that may sometimes occur a few weeks after an objective. These products are used on the day of the event but also during preparation. These products become effective when the sessions exceed one hour.

There are therefore an increasing number of these sports nutrition products, but they also meet the need of sports users to optimise their physical potential by capitalising on a number of factors: specific training, nutrition and rest.

To finish, I have one more word of advice: There is no one-size-fits-all solution because each person is unique and each session is unique. So try things out, listen to what your body is telling you, choose a winning formula that suits you and you will be ready to enjoy attaining your objective!

 

chrystele-aptonia-writer

Chrystèle

I've been doing triathlons for 10 years. After running a variety of different formats ranging from the XS to the XXL, I am now focusing on the L format.

The two disciplines in which I feel most comfortable are the cycle and run legs with a certain partiality for the run leg.

I particularly enjoy the events involving elevation gains. I love the triathlon because it is a complete sport that combines many of the different values that I share.

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