Sports Nutrition: Fuel up on Information
Successful athletic performance is a function of three primary factors: training, rest, and ... read more »
If as an athlete you have special dietary concerns, or would like the advice and consultation of an ... read more »
Dietary supplements are designed to add nutrients not otherwise consumed to your regular diet. They can be prescribed to those diagnosed with certain deficiencies, or used as a sort of insurance for those who want a boost in their diet. Used correctly, these tablets and powders full of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids can be a healthy way to start the day. However, the line between supplements and performance-enhancing drugs is not always clear, and credible information is vital in determining which, if any, you should be adding to your regimen.
- Get advice from a certified nutritionist or dietician before you ingest any supplements, especially those that promise muscle gain and improved aerobic performance.
- Read an article from the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, "How to Evaluate Supplements", written by Ellen Coleman, an R.D. who serves as a nutritional consultant for the L.A. Lakers. This article gives pointers on how to distinguish legitimate supplements from others on the market. Coleman notes that dietary supplements do not have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as drugs do, so it's particularly important to evaluate them by other means.
- Supplements are widely discussed and written about online, but don't trust forums or personal Web sites that endorse supplements, especially those that claim to be performance enhancing. Consult sports magazines, which often have nutritionists as contributors, and talk to a nutritionist or dietician before you try anything. General medical sites like the Mayo Clinic and the Merck Manual discuss performance-enhancing drugs and supplements from a purely scientific perspective, and are a good way to get professional insight for free.
When you think of an athlete's diet, visions of golden arches, glazed crullers, and Twinkies aren't ... read more »