Sport nutrition is a big market. According to the estimates of this Nutrition Business Journal report, the global nutrition and supplements market stood at US$96 billion as of 2012. A year later, it was approximately US$104 billion globally.
I saw this talk and it got me thinking.
What has this got to do with Sport Nutrition?
There is a lot of pressure to buy this or that dietary supplement. Energy drinks are everywhere. I even saw a low calorie energy drink. An oxymoron or what?
Anyway, sport nutrition and your everyday diet are the same thing.
It is one of the 20% of things that gives you 80% of your results (Pareto’s Law).
Diet and weight problems are probably some of reasons why many people start running in the first place.
The shocking fact is that, in many parts of the world, people are killing themselves with food. And it’s not some micro component of the diet that is lacking, it’s too much of the basic components, fat and carbohydrate, that is doing the damage.
You see advertised various herbal remedies, vitamins and minerals that may save you from a heart attack or reduce your risk of cancer by a couple of percent, but so what? You’ve just had something deep fried in a white bread roll so increasing your risks by tens of times more than the little pill claims to make.
There is a tendency to look for an easy way out by taking some pill or other while ignoring the problem entirely.
A statistic I like is that there are more carcinogens in a cup of coffee than in the pesticide residues in a year’s supply of fruit and vegetables. Yet people choose to eat organic food because they think it is good for them. It might be, but you’re not doing any good if you are drinking coffee, organic or not.
I’m of the opinion that “organic” is a bit of a red herring anyway because there are so many other dangerous chemicals in plants in vastly higher quantities, but they are “natural” so they are seen as being safe. But that’s another story.
Back to the 80:20 rule. All of your supplements and pills and potions are in the 80% group. Your number one priority that will give you 80% (if not more) of the benefits is cooking your own food from fresh ingredients.
So forget your sport nutrition supplements and pills, special diets and the latest fad.
The best thing you can do to improve your sport nutrition is to improve your overall nutrition. So if you do not make your own food from fresh ingredients, start doing it now. You never know, you might enjoy it.
I have done this all of my life and never took any sport nutrition supplements right up until a few years ago. I wrote about it in this post. Taking extra protein works for me now, but I never tried it when I was younger, so I suggest that you take little time to work out what exactly you are eating and see if you need to make a change or take a supplement. This is so much easier if you are preparing your own food.
Don’t forget that your age, weight and sex as well as what you eat are all factors that you need to consider when deciding on your sport nutrition requirements. So by going back to basics and preparing your food from raw ingredients and weighing them so you know what you are eating you are able to make a qualified decision on what you actually need to eat.
It might sound like a laborious task, but you will find it well worth while and simpler than you think.
It surprised me how often I ate the same things in similar quantities. Just work out a few meals and see what you are eating each day for a few days, and perhaps anything special that you do regularly, and you will soon tune into what you need and get an idea of whether you are eating enough of the right foods.
You spend a lot of time running and probably a lot of money on shoes and equipment. You might even spend a fortune on sport nutrition products that are doing you no good at all. After how often you run, what you are eating is the second biggest factor affecting your performance.
If you want to run better you need to eat better.
Half an hour extra preparing your food is not much to ask if you are willing to spend that much time running. After all, it’s your health you are talking about. It is probably why you started running. What else would you be doing that is going to give you years of healthy extra life?