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Sooner or later, anyone who does regular sport will come across the topic of nutrition. The right diet is essential for lasting training results, especially in types of sport that demand a great deal from your body. But not every athlete achieves their training goal with the same meal plan. Let us explain what the right nutrition is for strength athletes and what diet works for endurance athletes.
People who do weight training generally work towards one of two goals: Training to build muscle and bulk or to improve strength and performance. Through regular training, the body becomes more athletic and also looks healthier and younger. It also has numerous positive effects on your health: Improved posture, increased physical capacity and reduced injury risks. The positive effect on your heart, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are also scientifically proven.
As strength training demands a lot from your body it is, of course, important to provide it with the right nutrients. Protein and carbohydrates, in particular, are vital components for successful recovery and effective muscle building. Sufficient protein ensures that muscles have enough “material” in the recovery period available to build muscle. Carbohydrates provide the necessary energy for physical exercise and recovery, so strength athletes need to avoid a low-carb diet.
However, many strength athletes overdo their protein intake. Athletes who train three times a week only need to provide their body with about 1 to 1.5 g of protein per kg body weight. Although this assumes that such physically active people have a balanced, targeted diet on a daily basis. In particular, plant and animal protein sources should be an everyday part of their diet. These sources include, for example, cereal products, legumes, eggs, poultry, red meat, fish and dairy products such as buttermilk. Ideally, strength athletes should consume protein and carbohydrates within two to three hours of their workout session. It is recommended to maintain a calorie excess of 100 to 500 kcal/day to build muscles. Adequate fluids are just as important for a healthy diet – this protects the liver and kidneys, which are heavily involved in the protein metabolism.
For endurance sport, the aim is primarily to increase long-term physical and mental stamina. Consequently, athletes can maintain consistent performance over an extended period without getting tired. Endurance sport is also ideally suited to reducing body weight. It has positive effects on the heart and circulation, improves blood flow and blood pressure, normalises blood lipid and sugar levels and increases lung capacity. It can even help with mild to moderate depression and is regarded as an effective means for greater psychological well-being.
In terms of diet, endurance athletes should primarily consume carbohydrates. There's a particularly high demand on glycogen and fat reserves – depending on the type of exertion. For this reason, it is important to have adequate carbohydrate stores and low-fat meals and athletes should also consume moderate amounts of protein. To put this in figures, the following percentages are a guide:
There are significant differences between nutrition for strength athletes and nutrition for endurance athletes – as well as a few similarities. Whereas strength athletes predominantly build muscle, mass and strength, the focus in endurance sport is on stamina. The exertion is primarily aerobic and relates to metabolic processes that need lots of oxygen. Both types of sport have numerous positive effects: Performance increases, heart, circulation, blood pressure, cholesterol and many other measurable values are positively influenced.
In terms of nutrition, there are differences in the respective nutrients required. While strength athletes need to consume lots of protein and carbohydrates, endurance athletes focus on carbohydrates, supplemented by small amounts of protein and more fats.
Nutrineo, as a private label manufacturer for sports nutrition, has a range of nutritional supplements for this sector in particular, supplements that are tried and tested for sport and which can help support performance in strength and endurance sport. Isotonic drinks are a popular supplement in endurance sport. They help to maintain performance for longer. Protein powders play a key role in nutrition for strength athletes so that they can consume enough protein. Both types of sport also benefit from recovery drinks in the recovery period. We would also like to present three other popular nutritional supplements:
nutrineo: Nutritional supplementation specifically for athletes
nutrineo, as an expert with experience in sports nutrition, supports you at all stages of product development and marketing. As a private label manufacturer, we already produce various nutritional supplements such as protein powders, weight gainers and recovery drinks, however we are also happy to help you develop your own personalised recipe. Contact us!
As you can see, the right nutrition depends greatly on the chosen type of sport. In strength sport, diet is primarily based on consuming ample protein and carbohydrates. Animal and plant protein in particular ensure that your muscles can grow in the recovery period. It is also important to provide your body with the necessary energy with sufficient carbohydrates and drinking is also key to ensure your organs are not unduly stressed.
The right diet in endurance sport ideally consists of a balance of carbohydrates (60 %), fats (25 %) and protein (15 %). There is a specific focus on carbohydrates – glycogen reserves are in particular demand.
How important is diet for muscle building?
The right nutrition is essential when building muscle in strength training. Ensure that you consume enough carbohydrates and protein, and avoid sugar and convenience products. You will be amazed at the impact the right food has on your training.
How much protein do athletes need?
Power athletes need significantly more protein for muscle building and recovery. If you eat enough vegetable and animal proteins, an additional protein supplement of 1 to 1.5 g per kg body weight would be adequate. For endurance athletes, protein should make up approx. 15 % of their diet.
What is the ideal diet for endurance sport?
Endurance athletes should consider the right proportions in their diet. The following proportions are recommended:
If the type of endurance sport requires a lot of strength, increase the fat and protein requirement.
What should you avoid eating when you are building muscle?
When you want to build muscle, it is detrimental to consume low-fat and convenience products, alcohol, isotonic drinks, sugary foods and wheat flour. You should also avoid a low-carb diet as you won’t have the energy you require.