Three Common Sports Nutrition Myths

When it comes to nutrition, everyone and their uncle has tips to give you – “drink lemon water in the morning”; “eat coconut oil by the spoonful”; “only eat organic”; the list goes on!

And when it comes to sports nutrition in particular, there are a million and one different recommendations floating around. So, which ones are rooted in fact and which in fiction?

Myth #1: Water is the best replenishment / Sports drinks are horrible for you. (Double whammy!)

Truth is, both water and sports beverages can be beneficial to your workout. Generally speaking, for workouts under one hour, water will do just fine. Though for heavier, more endurance type workouts (which require sustained energy for longer than an hour), you will require more replenishment of electrolytes and glycogen stores in your muscle. This is where sports beverages can come into play. In this case, a sports beverage can help balance your energy and fluid levels, preventing you from feeling overly fatigued. 

Coconut water has also gained recent popularity as a source of workout replenishment. While very tasty and certainly refreshing, it doesn’t contain all of the electrolytes needed to properly refuel you.

Myth #2: There is a “perfect” macronutrient ratio somewhere on the internet.

There is no perfect macro ratio that is correct for every single person – we are all unique individuals.

Work with your personal trainer or dietitian to find a macro ratio that works for you. Start with something and tweak as necessary. If you find that you feel better consuming more fats, stick with that. Feel more energetic on a high-carb, low-fat routine? Go for it. Tweak your eating pattern until you personally feel your best. For most of us, we are not going to find our “ideal” macro ratio on the first try, so the key is to pay attention to how your body is feeling, write things down and then reflect afterwards. This reflection will help you understand what needs to be adjusted in order to feel and perform your best!

You may find a free calculator on the internet which will give you a macro structure, or use MyFitnessPal which will give you macro targets based on your weight and goals…However, the only way to know what works best for you is to try (after consulting with a professional), and try again.

Myth #3: Too many/much carbs/protein/fat is bad for you and makes you gain weight.

The reality is that too much of anything isn’t good for you, water included. Though as mentioned above, some people need to play around with ratios until they find what works for them.

In the end, it is the surplus in calories that makes you gain weight and not necessarily the carbs, proteins, or fats that makes up those calories. Carbohydrates (especially complex carbs) and proteins can help you feel full, and while fats can satiate you too, they generally don’t make you feel as full as when you’ve consumed the same amount of calories in carbs or proteins. Therefore, it is important that you not only have an understanding of what is in the food you are eating (i.e. what are the main components), but it is also useful to know what your targets are. Remember, that not everyone needs to follow a strict macro plan, but knowing how many calories your body needs to 1) survive and 2) perform is imperative if you have specific goals you are trying to achieve! 

What are some common nutrition myths you’ve heard? Are there any you swear by?
Comment below and let’s discuss!

By: Diana Skakavac
FF6S Nutrition Student

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