Sport nutrition – facts or fiction?

Should Micronutrients be Supplemented in an Athlete’s Diet?

What are micronutrients?

  • These are organic (vitamins) and inorganic (minerals) compounds
  • They are required in small amounts to prevent:
    • Clinical deficiency
    • Deterioration of health, growth & reproduction
  • Our body cannot produce vitamins, so we need to take them in via the diet

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Is supplementation necessary?

  • A well balanced diet should cover the needs for all micronutrients in healthy humans
  • Often the Western diet is not balanced, which may lead to changes in micronutrient status
  • The first step to achieving optimal micronutrient intake would be to correct any dietary imbalances
    • A well balanced diet is required on a consistent basis, not only around competition time
    • A variety of good quality, nutritious foods should be consumed.
    • Sufficient energy (kilojoules) should be consumed; no micronutrient can make up for a diet lacking in sufficient “fuel”
    • Healthy snacks, high in nutrients should be accessible within the training context
    • Avoid using “sports foods” out of context as these tend to be high in carbohydrate, but low in fibre and micronutrients
    • Use creative menu planning eg. fortified foods and drinks, smoothies, soups, wholewheat pizza, etc.
    • Shopping guidelines from a registered dietician may be helpful to understand food labels
    • Time management should ensure sufficient time and effort for eating

 Athletes and supplements

  • Athletes may not always eat a balanced diet in a bid to lose body fat, gain weight or during off season / injury periods

When is supplementation justified?

  • The use of vitamin supplementation (levels should be below the Upper Intake Level (UIL)) is only justified in the following circumstances:
    • When a normal diet is unable to maintain an athletes micronutrient status
    • If micronutrient supplementation improves an athletes micronutrient status and physiological functioning
    • If supplementation enhances an athletes performance either directly or indirectly

Which supplement to use?

  • Should an athlete choose to use a micronutrient supplement, the following is safe and adequate for optimal sports performance:
    • A multivitamin-mineral supplement

Consult a registered dietician if you are uncertain of the following:

  • Do I need or will I benefit from a multivitamin-mineral supplement?
  • Which multivitamin-mineral supplement should I use as an athlete?

PeptoPro®is a unique protein hydrolysate derived from the pre-digested milk protein, casein. It should be added to your favourite, carbohydrate energy drink – for use during and after exercise for better performance and recovery

PeptoSport®is a sports drink with Carbohydrate and Protein Hydrolysate (PeptoPro®) for use during and after Exercise for better performance and recover.

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