Recent scientific research and expert opinions show that not all popular claims about athletes’ diets relate to an athlete’s actual nutrition
Protein supplements build more muscle tissue
The body undergoing intense physical effort needs relatively large amounts of protein. It affects muscle strength and endurance, but this does not necessarily equate to building new muscle tissue.
An active body should be supplied with about 150 grams of protein per day, in the case of men this dose may be higher. Such a dose can be taken in the food itself without much problem. For this reason, protein supplements and their benefits for the body are just a myth to encourage the purchase of the product. They do not increase the actual effects. Experts emphasize that muscle mass growth is definitely better stimulated by strength training, extra load or interval training.
Gluten-free diet helps fight intestinal problems
Avoiding gluten-containing products in your daily food is recommended for people suffering from celiac disease. For any other condition, the amount of grain products in the diet has no effect. Intestinal problems can be the result of severe stress or problems digesting hard to digest carbohydrates such as oligo-, di- and monosaccharides and polyols. These substances have a very long digestion process in the human body, which can cause them to start fermenting in the digestive system
The most common foods that contain these types of ingredients are apples, onions, garlic, milk or wheat. Intestinal problems for athletes can also result from lactose intolerance, but following a gluten-free diet will not solve this problem.
Athletes should not take caffeine because of its diuretic effects
One of the common myths that has no reflection in the real preparation of the athlete. Despite appearances, caffeinated beverages are an integral part of an athlete’s diet. Although its diuretic effect is undeniable, the benefits of its use are much greater
Caffeine stimulates the body to work, has an energy value and is a great stimulant before training or two hours before a competition. Minerals washed out by coffee or green tea can be quickly replenished without depriving the body of an additional stimulus.
A vegan diet can have a negative impact on athletic performance
Another common myth is the harmfulness of following a diet that excludes animal products. According to some athletes, the body without animal protein has less strength and weaker physical endurance. Such thinking is wrong, because a vegan diet is able to provide the body with all the necessary nutrients, in the same way as meat or fish.
In the case of vegans, products containing protein are replaced by legumes, among others. An important aspect when it comes to following a plant-based diet is also supplementing the amino acid leucine, which helps build muscle tissue. Excluding meat, dairy and fish from the diet reduces its intake by 50%, so vegan athletes should take care to increase its levels by eating large amounts of soy products, nuts or legumes.
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