Sports nutrition is surrounded by a series of myths. In many cases, these can put the athlete's health at risk or, simply, promise effects that they are not capable of producing.
In other cases, the advance of science demystifies ancient beliefs to adapt them to current trends. What should you know about it? Below, we review some of these myths in detail.
Frequent myths about sports nutrition
Sports nutrition has always been surrounded by myths. Therefore, in recent years, many researchers have focused on investigating more about this area . Thus, today we can recognize more precisely what these false beliefs are.
Research has determined that it is not necessary to vary the eating pattern too much to generate saturation of glycogen stores.
Carrying out a carbohydrate load can be interesting in many sports. However, until a few years ago, the way to do it was not the best one. In this way, the traditional way of carrying out a charge or overload of glycogen consisted of producing a complete depletion of the deposits for a subsequent over-intake of this nutrient.
Current studies point out that this method is wrong. It is not necessary to vary the feeding pattern too much to produce saturation of glycogen stores . It is enough to decrease the training load and improve rest in the days before the test.
This discovery facilitates the task of carbohydrate loading, without the risk of an imbalance in caloric balance and compromising muscle functionality.
There are many substances on the market that claim to have the ability to increase sports performance . However, few are the ones that really succeed. The truth of it is that the marketing industry can create confusion.
A very clear example is that of substances that promise to increase fat burning. Although an adequate dose of vitamin C can improve the oxidation of this nutrient during exercise, according to some studies , few other substances have an incidence on weight loss.
Of the few that could help improve body composition are caffeine, creatine, and hmb. However, the effect is not miraculous and its use must be framed within the practice of regular exercise and a healthy diet.
The particular case of testosterone boosters
There is no evidence of the supposed effects of natural supplements to increase testosterone levels.
One of the focuses of myths when it comes to sports nutrition is the use of natural substances that can increase testosterone levels. Both ginger, tribulus terrestris, aspartic acid, etc. , are all substances that promise to increase the levels of this hormone naturally , therefore improving performance and muscle function .
The reality is that there is no human study that evidences this fact. Most of the studies carried out in this regard use animals and, in many cases, only manage to increase the quality of the sperm.
In humans, all the trials that have been carried out have concluded that they can be substances whose intake improves sexual desire in circumstances of low testosterone levels. However, no relationships have been found with protein synthesis, mass gain, or muscle function.
The time to start drinking is when thirst appears
The dehydration begins to occur before the thirst mechanism is activated. Especially in hot and humid climates, losing water and mineral salts can negatively affect performance and health.
Therefore, it is interesting to make small constant intakes of water , once the 20 minutes have elapsed from the start of the exercise. The scientific literature shows the importance of correct hydration to avoid falls in sports performance.
In addition, in some cases, the use of sports drinks with mineral salts or certain amounts of glucose may be necessary to delay the onset of fatigue and thereby improve performance.
To take note of sports nutrition!
Sports nutrition is full of myths that claim to improve performance. However, the key to success lies in the correct planning of workouts and a varied and balanced diet.
Reducing the consumption of processed and increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables, together with a good rest and proper hydration, will prevent unwanted losses in sports performance.
Do not get carried away by the marketing that can lead to an overconsumption of supplements that do not have any effect endorsed by the scientific community. In addition, when choosing a supplement it is important to opt for that brand that is capable of certifying the absence of doping substances in its composition.