It's something that I get asked about a lot, should I be taking supplements? Will they improve my performance? Will they make me feel better?
It seems to be an ever growing market, with huge stores dedicated to just selling the stuff, but how do you decide if you should be taking something and if so, what should you be taking?
Let me start by saying this is an overview of how to decide to take a supplement - I am a) not saying you 100% should be taking anything and b) everyone is completely different, you all take part in different sports and eat different diets.
So in terms of supplements, what are they? The purpose of supplements are exactly as the name suggests, they are there to 'supplement' the normal diet, in order to improve general health and wellbeing. There are a HUGE range on the market which all claim to do/improve various different things such as:
The concept of periodization when it come to a training program is well known and well applied within sport. The link between exercise and nutrition is also well known. However the concept of using the periodization model within nutritional practice appears to be very uncommon.
There is of course a lot of research and advice on nutrition to consume pre/post training, however consideration of the bigger, long term picture in regards to specific goals, physiological adaptations during different phases of training, is rarely put into practice-so much in fact that guidelines for practitioners are still lacking.
So what is periodization? When applied to exercise it is the long-term planning of athletic training designed to improve performance, reaching peak performance for the most ‘competitive’ part of the year (This might be a particular race, game or competition). It involves a variation of training throughout the year, variation of intensities and load and is typically broken down into c...
Sugar is very much a hot topic at the moment. Everything on the news and within the wellness/fitness industry would appear to brand sugar the 'devil' and thus, should be avoided at all costs. The growth in 'sugar free' and 'detox' diets is phenomenal, which I suppose isn't surprising given the well-established scientific view that removing sugar from any diet directly improves overall health.
However, I wanted to discuss why Sugar perhaps isn't necessarily the bad guy for athletes, or anyone who takes part in high intensity activity.
Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for any athlete. Their are limited glycogen stores in the body, which means athletes need to be consuming carbohydrates prior to exercise to ensure they have enough fuel to sustain the level of activity they're about to do. The reason carbohydrates are the main source of energy is due to the speed in which they can be broken down to create ATP (energy) because they can do so without the prese...