How Chemistry Fuels the Body to Run

sports-usain-bolt-in-action-new-hd-wallpaper-usain-bolt-wallpaperUsain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter who competed in the 2012 London Olympics, is widely known as the fastest man ever. Bolt is the first man in history to hold both the world records for the 100 meter and 200 meter sprint.  Running 100 meters in 9.58 seconds and 200 meters in 19.19 seconds required that he be able to produce and effectively use ample energy to support the strain he puts on all of the systems of his body.

Energy is derived from the food we put into our bodies and the oxygen we breathe. The food is chemically changed and metabolized at the cellular level (aerobically—with oxygen, anaerobically—without), which means it goes through processes that eventually convert it to ATP (adenosine triphosphate).   ATP is the source of energy that gives Bolt and other athletes the ability to do amazing things.

Learn the basics of how chemistry fuels running or read the more technical details.

Articles by Josh Sewell.

Putting Protein in Its Place

newfoodpyramid_largeProtein powders, bars, and drinks are often touted as the key to enhancing muscle growth, increasing energy, and losing excess body fat. Nutrition science indicates that excess protein intake can cause a decrease in the intake of other essential macronutrients. It can also saturate the body’s protein supply and result in depleted calcium stores, adversely affected kidney function, and damage to other critical systems of the body, including the cardiovascular system. Scientists recommend meeting the majority of nutritional needs from a nutrient-rich diet that balances the intake of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.

Learn the basics of how protein affects your performance or read the more technical explanation.

Articles by Kenny Morley.

Hydration and Sport Beverages

sports-drinks-athleteAthletes have many factors to consider when it comes to improving their performance, and one of these critical aspects is maintaining proper water levels, or hydration. Water makes up about 60 percent of the human body, and is critical to transport nutrients and maintain body temperature, among other physiological processes.

Numerous beverages and sports drinks have been promoted as being beneficial for fluid replacement or retention in athletes. For moderate exercise (less than two hours), water should be sufficient to meet hydration needs. For longer periods, sports beverages, drinks, or gels can help replace electrolytes lost in sweat. Some products are also recommended after exercise to replace the proteins and carbohydrates consumed. It is important for athletes to have proper hydration and nutrient levels before, during, and after exercise for both performance and overall health, and specialized products can help fulfill these needs.

Learn the basics of staying hydrated or read the more technical explanation.

Articles by Jamie Saunders.

Timing of Eating and Exercise

Athlete-Nutrition-1 The role of nutrition in regard to physical activity and athletic performance is of high importance for all athletes. There are many aspects to consider in the realm of sports nutrition, and an important area is the timing of food and fluid consumption around exercise. The research in this area points to several specific guidelines to assist athletes in optimizing their performance by not only consuming the proper nutrients, but also consuming them in the appropriate time frame around exercise.

Read the basic information about timing your eating or learn the more technical details of nutrition intake around exercise.

Articles by Jamie Saunders.