Introduction to sports nutrition for track and field
Track and field includes a broad spectrum of disciplines. High-speed strength and the shift to anaerobic metabolism are the main factors limiting physiological performance and depend on the type of discipline (throwing, jumping and running). In middle- and long-distance running aerobic capacity becomes increasingly important. Needless to say, nutrition is necessary before and after, rather than during the discipline itself. Snacks are covenient for irregular breaks and keep you fueled throughout longer tournaments.
Track and field athletes can use the same carbohydrate-based sports drinks as typical endurance athletes to stay energized and hydrated. SPONSER® recommends COMPETITION®, a nonacidic, hypotonic sports drink with a mild taste which is well-tolerated. Replacement meals come in handy when breaks are too short and if no dining options are available. Aside from the HIGH ENERGY BAR, which is well tolerated and rich in nutrients, shakes are also recommended, in particular, the ULTRA PRO as it is available in practical single portion sachets. LIQUID ENERGY gels provide extra energy and are ingested only minutes before high-intensity exercise without straining the digestion system. Lactic-acid build-up becomes a limiting factor for runs longer than 400 meters. Lactic acid tolerance can be increased by high-performance products such as LACTAT BUFFER and BETA ALANINE. Furthermore, Track and field athletes (in particular the disciplines sprint, throwing and jumping) can benefit from creatine supplements which influence the development of both muscle and strength. Creatine supplements should be tested in advance as their effect vary from person to person and may possibly result in weight gain.
SPONSER® also offers highly specialized products, so-called PERFORMANCE OPTIMIZERS. The NITROFLOW PERFORMANCE2or RED BEET VINITROX contain nutrients that support nitric oxide (NO) metabolism by dilating blood vessels. As a result, microcirculation is enhanced which positively influences performance but also recovery.
Apart from physical performance, cognitive and mental factors such as quick reflexes and concentration also contribute to success in track and field. ACTIVATOR is a caffeine-based product that targets these factors. Caffeine has been shown to enhance cognitive and mental performance and is taken about 30-60 minutes before the desired time of effect. As sensitivity to caffeine varies from person to person, ACTIVATOR should be tested in different doses at first. SPONSER® also offers MENTAL FOCUS, a caffeine-free alternative specifically designed for cognitive and mental performance.
To promote recovery, SPONSER® recommends shakes with protein and carbohydrates such as RECOVERY DRINK or PRO RECOVERY. They are based on milk or water and are available in single portion sachets or bigger tubs depending on the preference and use. Athletes that travel often, go to training camps, bigger events or competitions are at higher risk of getting an infection. It is thus particularly important to strengthen the immune system and to take precautions against infections. Multinutrient supplements with immunoactive substances such as IMMUNOGUARD along with a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet will strengthen your immune system.