Myths to be discussed Nutritional and Fitness

Nutritional and Fitness, Exercise

Myths to be discussed Nutritional and Fitness

Since ancient times, illustrious doctors have dedicated their writings to sports nutrition by providing athletes with food advice of all kinds. The (rather original) belief of the scientist Galeno was that athletes could benefit from the protein intake of animals with Athletic characteristics similar to those of their sporting discipline: bull meat for wrestlers, a goat for jumpers, and antelope for runners.

These words indicate the importance of nutrition as a foundation for well-being and physical performance, as it provides fuel for biological work, the molecules useful for carrying out physiological functions promotes an increase in muscle mass, optimizes physical work, and reintegrates losses due to physical and mental stress. An inadequate diet, on the contrary, can prevent optimal performance and increase the risk of accidents or, even worse, serious acute diseases.

The acquisition of the best physical condition derives from the interaction of many elements. First of all, it is important to plan a training program with times and means appropriate to the athlete (both amateur and professional), to the discipline and the objectives that we aim to achieve. 

In this perspective, proper nutrition must optimally cover an individual's needs, taking into account the growth phase, muscle activity, the discipline carried out, the type of training or competition, and the environment in which it will take place. In particular, it is necessary to delay the appearance of fatigue (both mental and physical), promote muscle adaptations that are activated with training, and allow the restoration of muscle glycogen reserves, as well as the repair of damaged fibers. 

If the energy intake is insufficient, it can lead to changes in endocrine functions, menstrual changes in the case of women, and early osteoporosis. In general, even to carry out physical activity adequately, high consumption of carbohydrates, low lipids, and moderate proteins are necessary. Let's see why.

Do carbohydrates serve or weigh down? The main fuel for physical activity, especially for aerobic and high-intensity exercises, is represented by carbohydrates which must cover 55-70% of the total daily calories, of which 10-15% oligosaccharides and 40-60% polysaccharides. An adequate introduction of carbohydrates serves to restore the body's proteins and serves as a spark for the catabolism of fatty acids. 


Therefore, a low carbohydrate diet quickly compromises energy reserves. Excluding the energies that come from carbohydrates from the diet leads the individual to train in a state of the relative loss of glycogen which can cause fatigue that makes physical performance difficult. With the reduction of glycogen, in fact, the intensity of muscle work is reduced, the probability of muscle injuries and depression of the immune system are increased. However, the daily carbohydrate requirement cannot be considered fixed, as it is closely related to the intensity and duration of the physical exercise that the athlete must sustain.
Do more proteins guarantee more performance? Proteins are fundamental constituents of living cells. They are used for energy purposes when the body's requests are not met by the levels of carbohydrates and lipids introduced in the diet. 


This can happen in endurance sports or during strength training, in which proteins also contribute to energy production for 10-15% of the total. It should not be forgotten, however, that the use of proteins for energy purposes reaches maximum levels when the exercises are carried out in a state of glycogen depletion. All this underlines the important role played by carbohydrates in limiting protein consumption and suggests that they can mitigate protein catabolism during exercise.


Even today it is a widespread habit among athletes, both amateur and professional, to assume a high protein intake. In reality, based on the research, the scientific community has now agreed on the existence of a modest increase in performance, combined with particular sports activities. The recommended daily protein intake is a maximum of 1.5-1.8 g / kg of body weight per day. 

Since the estimated daily calorie intake for some professional athletes can be even 2-3 times greater than that recommended for sedentary subjects, it may be tempting to eat large quantities of meat to reach the recommended high protein levels, however introducing an excess of fats, purines, and cholesterol.


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