WELLBEING By Arati Shah Co-Founder and Principal Nutritionist of Cafe Nutrition COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS BY PEOPLE IN SPORTS Should I take in more protein for building muscle? Can I exercise on an empty stomach? Need I consume a sports drink? With so much conflicting data around regarding what to eat or drink and what not to for performance here are answers to 5 commonly asked questions by people in sports.
Are carbs fattening? It is not the carbs but the excess calories consumed that are fattening. Carbs are the main fuel for the working muscles. Having the right combination of carbs and proteins in the meals will help achieve the desired results.
Does more protein mean more muscle? Being the building blocks of the body protein is an essential part of a balanced diet. But eating more protein only will not help you grow muscles. Working your muscles with the right amount of proteins with a healthy combination of carbohydrates for fuel will help build up the muscles.
Are sports drinks really important? Sporting activities lasting less than an hour do not require any kind of a sports drink. But it is essential to replace the lost body fluids and the electrolytes and maintain the blood glucose levels during longer activities. For such activities one could also rely on foods like dried fruits, sports gels, bananas or energy bars as per the gut tolerance.
Should I eat before I exercise or play sports? Research suggests that eating a small snack just ten to fifteen minutes before a moderate exercise can improve performance compared to exercising on an empty stomach. For those who cannot eat just before exercise work out a plan with your sports nutritionist about when would be the best time then to have some snack before the exercise.
I am a vegetarian.Do I need protein from meat for performance? The quality of animal proteins is superior to plant based proteins. However, a variety of plant based proteins will ensure that your protein needs are met and the quality of protein is improved.