WHANGANUI, NEW ZEALAND, June 3, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — As a Registered Dietitian and sports nutritionist, I constantly see the sports nutrition sector growing each year. While several trends are happening each time, there are some that you can benefit significantly from them.
These are the top 5 trends seen in sports nutrition for 2022 and how they can benefit an athlete.
Top Trend In Sports Nutrition
1. Plant-based Diet
2. All-Natural Supplements
3. Immune Support
4. Optimal Recovery
5. Digital Communities
We are constantly seeing more and more athletes going from meat-based to plant-based diets. Most people assume that a plant-based diet focuses only on reducing (and sometimes eliminating) animal products. Instead, we work with athletes to use plant-based foods that provide them with all the body’s macros and nutrient requirements.
The most common reason people turn into this eating pattern is health issues. Research shows that following a plant-based diet can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and weight management.
For athletes, following a plant-based approach offers a lot of benefits. Increasing the carb content means more glycogen stores (the energy found in muscles) and improving performance.
Additionally, a diet based on plants also means that you get more antioxidants, which helps reduce the damage done by free radicals (reducing muscle fatigue and improving muscle recovery).
While following a plant-based diet offers athletes many benefits, they are more likely to get dietary deficiencies if not done correctly since they have higher nutritional needs. Anemia is the most often nutritional deficiency seen in athletes that follow a plant-based diet. Ensure you have an adequate intake of iron, vitamin B12, and vitamin B9 to prevent complications.
If you are thinking of following a plant-based diet, here are some tips to help you out.
• Emphasize the protein: An athlete can have a substantial protein requirement. According to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an athlete could need 1.6 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, depending on the goals and exercise. Without animal proteins, this can be challenging at times. Focus on adding legumes (beans, chickpeas, lentils, quinoa, and edamame), nuts, seeds, and soy to increase your protein intake.
• Taking a supplement is an excellent idea to increase the intake: Take an omega-3 supplement. Omega-3 has anti-inflammatory benefits (sometimes decreased on a plant-based diet). You can also add food sources like chia seeds, hemp seeds, or flax seeds.
• Transition slowly: If you are just a beginner, you can start the transition slowly. Have one plant-based meal per day, then an entirely plant-based day until you reach all your meals. This is an easier way to start developing habits.
Another trend seen in the sports nutrition environment is a natural approach. More and more people are not taking synthetic supplements but focusing on natural foods or supplements from natural sources.
There is an increased concern about what we put into our bodies. People are now looking to find supplements without artificial ingredients, GMO products, and additives. Instead, they focus on products that come from grass-fed sources, organic, or non-GMO sources.
While it can be challenging for the supplement industry to create a natural product, nowadays, you see more and more products offering grass-fed products with natural flavors and fewer additives. This leads to a higher-quality product with no fluffs or fillers.
With the pandemic, there was a rise in boosting immune support. This is crucial for athletes since high-intensity training can decrease the immune system due to increased stress.
Several nutrients play an essential role in boosting your immune function. Vitamin D, selenium, and vitamin C all are essential when it comes to immune health. While you can get them from natural ingredients, nowadays, people are expected to take blends with these nutrients to boost their health.
Probiotics are now an essential component in the diet of athletes. Your gut health modulates over 70% of your immune system. That is why more and more athletes focus on improving their gut microbiome.
To have better immunity, here are a couple of tips you can do.
• Take probiotics and prebiotics. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that colonize your gut, while prebiotics is the food that feeds that bacterium. That is why it is always good to take both simultaneously. If you are not too keen on taking a supplement, you can add high probiotic foods like kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
• Increase your vitamin C. Add foods like berries, cruciferous veggies, and citric foods to boost your vitamin C.
• Increase your selenium. Add Brazil nuts, seafood, and brown rice to increase your selenium.
A common practice previously seen in athletes was focusing only on the nutrition leading the competition but not on what happens after. Nowadays, we understand that recovery is equally important than what happens before a competition or training session.
Several components can increase your recovery.
• Omega-3 fatty acids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties.
• Antioxidants help reduce free radicals in the body, which reduces inflammation.
• Electrolytes are essential to replenish the nutrients lost during a workout.
Foods like salmon (omega-3), berries (antioxidants), and coconut water (electrolytes) are some essential foods that should be in any athlete’s fridge or pantry.
Finally, one of the biggest trends in sports nutrition is the social environment. Without an adequate support system, people often don’t find the motivation to go to training or even the benefit of hearing other people’s stories and recommendations.
During the pandemic, we learned to use technology to connect with people. Now, we see groups for runners, gyms, or any other sports activity where people often need a community.
This has helped a lot with the mental health of several people that had a hard time coping with the effects of the pandemic. Athletes have seen a benefit since they can seek support for their training for their competitions.
FREZZOR New Zealand: Producer of high-quality nutrition from New Zealand.