Competitive sports and nutrition

Competitive sport and nutrition

Institute for Sports Medicine

SALUTO is the largest centre of excellence in the German-speaking world for top athletes. It is led by the sports scientist, Prof. Dr. Elmar Wienecke, who also holds a qualification in training from the football league. The centre has medical data from 10 000 top athletes and several thousand other competitive athletes - a treasure trove of information for sports medicine. However, the importance regarding the field of nutrition is still not fully appreciated.

Injuries due to a lack of micronutrients/nutraceuticals 

72% of all sports injuries are not due to external effects.  Muscles, tendons, ligaments and even bones are injured due to sporting strain, often due to a lack of vital nutrients.  If the minerals and trace elements in the athletes blood are measured, the results are usually normal. Nevertheless, many athletes have a severe deficiency in these minerals at a cellular level, but they are unaware of it.

The optimal supply of micronutrients

Optimal care of the athletes micronutrient requirement leads to a significantly higher level of performance and fewer injuries.  Top athletes usually lack the following micronutrients:

  • Protein, especially essential amino acids  (recommendation: Product MAP, which stands for Master Amino Acid Pattern)
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Selenium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin C
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and L-carnitine

Other more rare trace elements should also be kept in mind.

The right diet

Athletes require a higher intake of carbohydrates which should, whenever possible, be taken in the complex form ie.e wholegrain products.  Before each training session, the glycogen stores in the muscles and the liver should be replenished. Sugar and white flour promote inflammation and hyperacidity. The protein requirement of an athlete is much higher than that of a couch potato, as is the need for fatty acids. Interestingly, athletes also need 3-4 times more micronutrients. Tests carried out on professional athletes show that even with a 4 times higher intake, they often still have a deficiency.

Faster recovery

After each training session and competition, the body is highly acidic and flooded with free radicals. Therefore, antioxidants are vitally important for faster regeneration and recovery.  The easiest way to do this is to add antioxidants to an isotonic drink. I recommend a product called Aronia Shots (available from Kingnature) to the athletes that I treat. It is advisable to consult a specialist, but one thing is certain: The correct diet is extremely powerful!

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