Importance Of Sports Essay Wikihow

For other uses, see Sport (disambiguation).

Sport (British English) or sports (American English) includes all forms of competitivephysical activity or games which,[1] through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical ability and skills while providing enjoyment to participants, and in some cases, entertainment for spectators.[2] Usually the contest or game is between two sides, each attempting to exceed the other. Some sports allow a tie game; others provide tie-breaking methods, to ensure one winner and one loser. A number of such two-sided contests may be arranged in a tournament producing a champion. Many sports leagues make an annual champion by arranging games in a regular sports season, followed in some cases by playoffs. Hundreds of sports exist, from those between single contestants, through to those with hundreds of simultaneous participants, either in teams or competing as individuals. In certain sports such as racing, many contestants may compete, each against each other, with one winner.

Sport is generally recognised as system of activities which are based in physical athleticism or physical dexterity, with the largest major competitions such as the Olympic Games admitting only sports meeting this definition,[3] and other organisations such as the Council of Europe using definitions precluding activities without a physical element from classification as sports.[2] However, a number of competitive, but non-physical, activities claim recognition as mind sports. The International Olympic Committee (through ARISF) recognises both chess and bridge as bona fide sports, and SportAccord, the international sports federation association, recognises five non-physical sports: bridge, chess, draughts (checkers), Go and xiangqi,[4][5] and limits the number of mind games which can be admitted as sports.[1]

Sports are usually governed by a set of rules or customs, which serve to ensure fair competition, and allow consistent adjudication of the winner. Winning can be determined by physical events such as scoring goals or crossing a line first. It can also be determined by judges who are scoring elements of the sporting performance, including objective or subjective measures such as technical performance or artistic impression.

Records of performance are often kept, and for popular sports, this information may be widely announced or reported in sport news. Sport is also a major source of entertainment for non-participants, with spectator sport drawing large crowds to sport venues, and reaching wider audiences through broadcasting. Sports betting is in some cases severely regulated, and in some cases is central to the sport.

According to A.T. Kearney, a consultancy, the global sporting industry is worth up to $620 billion as of 2013.[6] The world's most accessible and practiced sport is running, while association football is its most popular spectator sport.[7][8]

Meaning and usage

Etymology

The word "Sport" comes from the Old Frenchdesport meaning "leisure", with the oldest definition in English from around 1300 being "anything humans find amusing or entertaining".[9]

Other meanings include gambling and events staged for the purpose of gambling; hunting; and games and diversions, including ones that require exercise.[10] Roget's defines the noun sport as an "activity engaged in for relaxation and amusement" with synonyms including diversion and recreation.[11]

Nomenclature

The singular term "sport" is used in most English dialects to describe the overall concept (e.g. "children taking part in sport"), with "sports" used to describe multiple activities (e.g. "football and rugby are the most popular sports in England"). American English uses "sports" for both terms.

Definition

See also: Game § Definitions

The precise definition of what separates a sport from other leisure activities varies between sources. The closest to an international agreement on a definition is provided by SportAccord, which is the association for all the largest international sports federations (including association football, athletics, cycling, tennis, equestrian sports, and more), and is therefore the de facto representative of international sport.

SportAccord uses the following criteria, determining that a sport should:[1]

  • have an element of competition
  • be in no way harmful to any living creature
  • not rely on equipment provided by a single supplier (excluding proprietary games such as arena football)
  • not rely on any "luck" element specifically designed into the sport.

They also recognise that sport can be primarily physical (such as rugby or athletics), primarily mind (such as chess or go), predominantly motorised (such as Formula 1 or powerboating), primarily co-ordination (such as billiard sports), or primarily animal-supported (such as equestrian sport).[1]

The inclusion of mind sports within sport definitions has not been universally accepted, leading to legal challenges from governing bodies in regards to being denied funding available to sports.[12] Whilst SportAccord recognises a small number of mind sports, it is not open to admitting any further mind sports.

There has been an increase in the application of the term "sport" to a wider set of non-physical challenges such as video games, also called esports, especially due to the large scale of participation and organised competition, but these are not widely recognised by mainstream sports organisations. According to Council of Europe, European Sports Charter, article 2.i, " "Sport" means all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competition at all levels.".[13]

Competition

There are opposing views on the necessity of competition as a defining element of a sport, with almost all professional sport involving competition, and governing bodies requiring competition as a prerequisite of recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or SportAccord.[1]

Other bodies advocate widening the definition of sport to include all physical activity. For instance, the Council of Europe include all forms of physical exercise, including those competed just for fun.

In order to widen participation, and reduce the impact of losing on less able participants, there has been an introduction of non-competitive physical activity to traditionally competitive events such as school sports days, although moves like this are often controversial.[14][15]

In competitive events, participants are graded or classified based on their "result" and often divided into groups of comparable performance, (e.g. gender, weight and age). The measurement of the result may be objective or subjective, and corrected with "handicaps" or penalties. In a race, for example, the time to complete the course is an objective measurement. In gymnastics or diving the result is decided by a panel of judges, and therefore subjective. There are many shades of judging between boxing and mixed martial arts, where victory is assigned by judges if neither competitor has lost at the end of the match time.

History

Main article: History of sport

Artifacts and structures suggest sport in China as early as 2000 BC.[16] Gymnastics appears to have been popular in China's ancient past. Monuments to the Pharaohs indicate that a number of sports, including swimming and fishing, were well-developed and regulated several thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt.[17] Other Egyptian sports included javelin throwing, high jump, and wrestling. Ancient Persian sports such as the traditional Iranian martial art of Zourkhaneh had a close connection to warfare skills.[18] Among other sports that originate in ancient Persia are polo and jousting.

A wide range of sports were already established by the time of Ancient Greece and the military culture and the development of sports in Greece influenced one another considerably. Sports became such a prominent part of their culture that the Greeks created the Olympic Games, which in ancient times were held every four years in a small village in the Peloponnesus called Olympia.[19]

Sports have been increasingly organised and regulated from the time of the ancient Olympics up to the present century. Industrialisation has brought increased leisure time, letting people attend and follow spectator sports and participate in athletic activities. These trends continued with the advent of mass media and global communication. Professionalism became prevalent, further adding to the increase in sport's popularity, as sports fans followed the exploits of professional athletes — all while enjoying the exercise and competition associated with amateur participation in sports. Since the turn of the 21st century, there has been increasing debate about whether transgender sportpersons should be able to participate in sport events that conform with their post-transition gender identity.[20]

Fair play

Sportsmanship

Main article: Sportsmanship

See also: Gamesmanship and Winning isn't everything; it's the only thing

Sportsmanship is an attitude that strives for fair play, courtesy toward teammates and opponents, ethical behaviour and integrity, and grace in victory or defeat.[21][22][23]

Sportsmanship expresses an aspiration or ethos that the activity will be enjoyed for its own sake. The well-known sentiment by sports journalist Grantland Rice, that it's "not that you won or lost but how you played the game", and the modern Olympic creed expressed by its founder Pierre de Coubertin: "The most important thing... is not winning but taking part" are typical expressions of this sentiment.

Cheating

See also: Match fixing and cheating

Key principles of sport include that the result should not be predetermined, and that both sides should have equal opportunity to win. Rules are in place to ensure that fair play to occur, but participants can break these rules in order to gain advantage.

Participants may choose to cheat in order to satisfy their desire to win, or in order to achieve an ulterior motive. The widespread existence of gambling on the results of sports fixtures creates the motivation for match fixing, where a participant or participants deliberately work to ensure a given outcome.

Doping and drugs

Main article: Use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport

The competitive nature of sport encourages some participants to attempt to enhance their performance through the use of medicines, or through other means such as increasing the volume of blood in their bodies through artificial means.

All sports recognised by the IOC or SportAccord are required to implement a testing programme, looking for a list of banned drugs, with suspensions or bans being placed on participants who test positive for banned substances.

Violence

Violence in sports involves crossing the line between fair competition and intentional aggressive violence. Athletes, coaches, fans, and parents sometimes unleash violent behaviour on people or property, in misguided shows of loyalty, dominance, anger, or celebration. Rioting or hooliganism by fans in particular is a problem at some national and international sporting contests.

Participation

Gender participation

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(March 2012)

See also: Women's sports, Women's professional sports, and Women's sports in the United States

Female participation in sports continues to rise alongside the opportunity for involvement and the value of sports for child development and physical fitness. Despite gains during the last three decades, a gap persists in the enrollment figures between male and female players. Female players account for 39% of the total participation in US interscholastic athletics. Gender balance has been accelerating from a 32% increase in 1973–74 to a 63% increase in 1994–95. Hessel (2000).[full citation needed]

Youth participation

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(March 2012)

See also: College sport

Youth sports present children with opportunities for fun, socialization, forming peer relationships, physical fitness, and athletic scholarships. Activists for education and the war on drugs encourage youth sports as a means to increase educational participation and to fight the illegal drug trade. According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, the biggest risk for youth sports is death or serious injury including concussion. These risks come from running, basketball, association football, volleyball, gridiron, gymnastics, and ice hockey.[24] Youth sports in the US is a $15 billion industry including equipment up to private coaching.[25]

Disabled participation

See also: Disabled sports

Disabled sports also adaptive sports or parasports, are sports played by persons with a disability, including physical and intellectual disabilities. As many of these based on existing sports modified to meet the needs of persons with a disability, they are sometimes referred to as adapted sports. However, not all disabled sports are adapted; several sports that have been specifically created for persons with a disability have no equivalent in able-bodied sports.

Spectator involvement

Main article: Spectator sport

The competition element of sport, along with the aesthetic appeal of some sports, result in the popularity of people attending to watch sport being played. This has led to the specific phenomenon of spectator sport.

Both amateur and professional sports attract spectators, both in person at the sport venue, and through broadcast media including radio, television and internet broadcast. Both attendance in person and viewing remotely can incur a sometimes substantial charge, such as an entrance ticket, or pay-per-view television broadcast.

It is common for popular sports to attract large broadcast audiences, leading to rival broadcasters bidding large amounts of money for the rights to show certain fixtures. The football World Cup attracts a global television audience of hundreds of millions; the 2006final alone attracted an estimated worldwide audience of well over 700 million and the 2011 Cricket World Cup Final attracted an estimated audience of 135 million in India alone .[26]

In the United States, the championship game of the NFL, the Super Bowl, has become one of the most watched television broadcasts of the year.[27][28] Super Bowl Sunday is a de facto national holiday in America;[29][30] the viewership being so great that in 2015, advertising space was reported as being sold at $4.5m for a 30-second slot.[27]

Issues and considerations

Amateur and professional

See also: professional sport and amateur sport

Sport can be undertaken on an amateur, professional or semi-professional basis, depending on whether participants are incentivised for participation (usually through payment of a wage or salary). Amateur participation in sport at lower levels is often called "grassroots sport".[2][31]

The popularity of spectator sport as a recreation for non-participants has led to sport becoming a major business in its own right, and this has incentivised a high paying professional sport culture, where high performing participants are rewarded with pay far in excess of average wages, which can run into millions of dollars.[32]

Some sports, or individual competitions within a sport, retain a policy of allowing only amateur sport. The Olympic Games started with a principle of amateur competition with those who practiced a sport professionally considered to have an unfair advantage over those who practiced it merely as a hobby.[33] From 1971, Olympic athletes were allowed to receive compensation and sponsorship,[34] and from 1986, the IOC decided to make all professional athletes eligible for the Olympics,[34][35] with the exceptions of boxing,[36][37] and wrestling.[38][39]

Technology

Technology plays an important part in modern sports. With it being a necessary part of some sports (such as motorsport), it is used in others to improve performance. Some sports also use it to allow off-field decision making.

Sports science is a widespread academic discipline, and can be applied to areas including athlete performance, such as the use of video analysis to fine-tune technique, or to equipment, such as improved running shoes or competitive swimwear. Sports engineering emerged as a discipline in 1998 with an increasing focus not just on materials design but also the use of technology in sport, from analytics and big data to wearable technology.[40] In order to control the impact of technology on fair play, governing bodies frequently have specific rules that are set to control the impact of technical advantage between participants. For example, in 2010, full-body, non-textile swimsuits were banned by FINA, as they were enhancing swimmers' performances.[41][42]

The increase in technology has also allowed many decisions in sports matches to be taken, or reviewed, off-field, with another official using instant replays to make decisions. In some sports, players can now challenge decisions made by officials. In football, Goal-line technology makes decisions on whether a ball has crossed the goal line or not.[43] The technology is not compulsory,[44] but was used in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil,[45] and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada,[46] as well as in the Premier League from 2013–14,[47] and the Bundesliga from 2015–16.[48] In the NFL, a referee can ask for a review from the replay booth, or a head coach can issue a challenge to review the play using replays. The final decision rests with the referee.[49] A video referee (commonly known as a Television Match Official or TMO) can also use replays to help decision-making in rugby (both league and union).[50][51] In international cricket, an umpire can ask the Third umpire for a decision, and the third umpire makes the final decision.[52][53] Since 2008, a decision review system for players to review decisions has been introduced and used in ICC-run tournaments, and optionally in other matches.[52][54] Depending on the host broadcaster, a number of different technologies are used during an umpire or player review, including instant replays, Hawk-Eye, Hot Spot and Real Time Snickometer.[55][56] Hawk-Eye is also used in tennis to challenge umpiring decisions.[57][58]

Politics

Main article: Politics and sports

Sports and politics can influence each other greatly.

Benito Mussolini used the 1934 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Italy, to showcase Fascist Italy.[59][60]Adolf Hitler also used the 1936 Summer Olympics held in Berlin, and the 1936 Winter Olympics held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, to promote the Nazi ideology of the superiority of the Aryan race, and inferiority of the Jews and other "undesirables".[60][61] Germany used the Olympics to give of itself a peaceful image while it was very actively preparing the war.[62]

When apartheid was the official policy in South Africa, many sports people, particularly in rugby union, adopted the conscientious approach that they should not appear in competitive sports there. Some feel this was an effective contribution to the eventual demolition of the policy of apartheid, others feel that it may have prolonged and reinforced its worst effects.[63]

In the history of Ireland, Gaelic sports were connected with cultural nationalism. Until the mid 20th century a person could have been banned from playing Gaelic football, hurling, or other sports administered by the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) if she/he played or supported football, or other games seen to be of British origin. Until recently the GAA continued to ban the playing of football and rugby union at Gaelic venues. This ban, also known as Rule 42,[64] is still enforced, but was modified to allow football and rugby to be played in Croke Park while Lansdowne Road was redeveloped into Aviva Stadium. Until recently, under Rule 21, the GAA also banned members of the British security forces and members of the RUC from playing Gaelic games, but the advent of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 led to the eventual removal of the ban.

Nationalism is often evident in the pursuit of sports, or in its reporting: people compete in national teams, or commentators and audiences can adopt a partisan view. On occasion, such tensions can lead to violent confrontation among players or spectators within and beyond the sporting venue, as in the Football War. These trends are seen by many as contrary to the fundamental ethos of sports being carried on for its own sake and for the enjoyment of its participants.

A very famous case when sports and politics collided was the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Masked men entered the hotel of the Israeli olympic team and killed many of their men. This was known as the Munich massacre.

A study of US elections has shown that the result of sports events can affect the results. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that when the home team wins the game before the election, the incumbent candidates can increase their share of the vote by 1.5 percent. A loss had the opposite effect, and the effect is greater for higher-profile teams or unexpected wins and losses.[65] Also, when Washington Redskins win their final game before an election, then the incumbent President is more likely to win, and if the Redskins lose, then the opposition candidate is more likely to win; this has become known as the Redskins Rule.[66][67]

Sports as a means of controlling and subduing populations

Étienne de La Boétie, in his essay Discourse on Voluntary Servitude describes athletic spectacles as means for tyrants to control their subjects by distracting them.

Do not imagine that there is any bird more easily caught by decoy, nor any fish sooner fixed on the hook by wormy bait, than are all these poor fools neatly tricked into servitude by the slightest feather passed, so to speak, before their mouths. Truly it is a marvelous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy. Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naïvely, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.[68]

Religious views on sports

The practice of athletic competitions has been criticized by some Christian thinkers as a form of idolatry, in which "human beings extol themselves, adore themselves, sacrifice themselves and reward themselves."[69] Sports are seen by these critics as a manifestation of "collective pride" and "national self-deification" in which feats of human power are idolized at the expense of divine worship.[69]

Tertullian condemns the athletic performances of his day, insisting "the entire apparatus of the shows is based upon idolatry."[70] The shows, says Tertullian, excite passions foreign to the calm temperament cultivated by the Christian:

God has enjoined us to deal calmly, gently, quietly, and peacefully with the Holy Spirit, because these things are alone in keeping with the goodness of His nature, with His tenderness and sensitiveness. ... Well, how shall this be made to accord with the shows? For the show always leads to spiritual agitation, since where there is pleasure, there is keenness of feeling giving pleasure its zest; and where there is keenness of feeling, there is rivalry giving in turn its zest to that. Then, too, where you have rivalry, you have rage, bitterness, wrath and grief, with all bad things which flow from them—the whole entirely out of keeping with the religion of Christ.[71]

See also

Related topics

References

  1. ^ abcde"Definition of sport". SportAccord. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. 
  2. ^ abcCouncil of Europe. "The Europien sport charter". Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  3. ^"List of Summer and Winter Olympic Sports and Events". The Olympic Movement. 
  4. ^"World Mind Games". SportAccord. Archived from the original on 8 May 2012. 
  5. ^"Members". SportAccord. 
  6. ^"Women in sport: Game, sex and match". The Economist. 7 September 2013. 
  7. ^Finn, Adharanand (2012). Running with the Kenyans. p. chapter 2. 
  8. ^Mangan, J A (2014). Sport in Latin American Society: Past and Present. p. 93. 
  9. ^Harper, Douglas. "sport (n.)". Online Etymological Dictionary. Retrieved 20 April 2008. 
  10. ^Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. Springfield, MA: G&C Merriam Company. 1967. p. 2206. 
  11. ^Roget's II: The New Thesaurus, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1995. ISBN 0-618-25414-5. 
  12. ^"Judicial review of 'sport' or 'game' decision begins". BBC News. 2015-09-22. 
  13. ^Council of Europe, Revised European Sports Charter (2001)
  14. ^Front, Rebecca (17 July 2011). "A little competition". The Guardian. 
  15. ^Scrimgeour, Heidi (17 June 2011). "Why parents hate school sports day". ParentDish. 
  16. ^"Sports History in China". 
  17. ^"Mr Ahmed D. Touny (EGY), IOC Member". Archived from the original on 29 October 2006. 
  18. ^"Persian warriors". Archived from the original on 26 March 2007. 
  19. ^"Ancient Olympic Games". 
  20. ^Sport and the Law: Historical and Cultural Intersections, p 111, Sarah K. Fields - 2014
  21. ^"Sportsmanship". Merriam-Webster. 
  22. ^Fish, Joel; Magee, Susan (2003). 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent. Fireside. p. 168. 
  23. ^Lacey, David (10 November 2007). "It takes a bad loser to become a good winner". The Guardian. 
  24. ^"Gym class injuries up 150% between 1997 and 2007", Time, 4 August 2009
  25. ^Gregory, Sean (24 August 2017). "How Kids' Sports Became a $15 Billion Industry". Time. Retrieved 24 August 2017. 
  26. ^"135 mn saw World Cup final: TAM". Hindustan Times. 10 April 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  27. ^ ab"Super Bowl XLIX was the most-viewed television program in U.S. history". Yahoo Sports. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  28. ^"Super Bowl most watched television show in US history". Financial Times. 2 February 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  29. ^"Super Bowl Sunday is a Worldwide American Football Holiday". American Football International Review. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  30. ^Markovits, Andrei; Rensmann, Lars (2010). Gaming the World: How Sports Are Reshaping Global Politics and Culture. p. 94. Retrieved 8 June 2015. 
  31. ^"The White Paper on Sport". European Commission. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2007. 
  32. ^Freedman, Jonah. "Fortunate 50 2011". Sports Illustrated. 
  33. ^Eassom, Simon (1994). Critical Reflections on Olympic Ideology. Ontario: The Centre for Olympic Studies. pp. 120–123. ISBN 0-7714-1697-0. 
  34. ^ ab"Olympic Athletes". Info Please. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  35. ^"What changed the Olympics forever". CNN. 23 July 2012. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  36. ^"Olympic boxing must remain amateur despite moves to turn it professional states Warren". Inside the Games. 13 August 2011. Retrieved 13 June 2015. 
  37. ^
The International Olympic Committee recognizes some board games as sports including chess.
Spectators at the 1906 unofficial Olympic Games
Modern sports have complex rules and are highly organized.

Sports nutrition is the study and practice of nutrition and diet with regards to improving anyone's athletic performance. Nutrition is an important part of many sports training regimens, being popular in strength sports (such as weightlifting and bodybuilding) and endurance sports (e.g. cycling, running, swimming, rowing). Sports Nutrition focuses its studies on the type, as well as the quantity of fluids and food taken by an athlete. In addition, it deals with the consumption of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, supplements and organic substances that include carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Supplements[edit]

Dietary supplements contain one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; amino acids; herbs or other botanicals; and other substances) or their constituents is intended to be taken by mouth as a pill, capsule, tablet, or liquid.[1] Athletes may choose to consider taking dietary supplements to assist in improving their athletic performance.[2] There are many other supplements out there that include performance enhancing supplements (steroids, blood doping, creatine, human growth hormone), energy supplements (caffeine), and supplements that aid in recovery (protein, BCAAs).

Energy Supplements[edit]

Athletes sometimes turn to energy supplements to increase their ability to exercise more often. Common supplements to increase an athlete's energy include: Caffeine, Guarana, Vitamin B12, and Asian ginseng.[3] Caffeine, a common energy supplement, can be found in many different forms such as pills, tablets or capsules, and can also be found in common foods, such as coffee and tea. Caffeine is used to improve energy and increases metabolism. Guarana is another supplement that athletes take to enhance their athletic ability, it is frequently used for weight loss and as an energy supplement.[4]

A 2009 study from the University of Texas reports that caffeinated energy drinks decrease sporting performance. They found that after drinking an energy drink, 83% of participants improved their physical activity parameters by an average of 4.7%. This was attributed to the effects of caffeine, sucrose and Vitamin B in the drink - however scientific consensus does not support the efficacy of using Vitamin B as a performance enhancer. To explain the performance improvement the writers report an increase in blood levels of epinephrine, norepinephrine and beta-Endorphin. The adenosine receptor antagonism of caffeine accounts for the first two,[5][better source needed] while the latter is accounted for by the Neurobiological effects of physical exercise.[6]

Caffeine has been around since the 1900s and became popularly used in the 1970s when its power of masking fatigue became highly recognized.[7] Similarly, the caffeine found in energy drinks and coffee shows an increased reaction performance and feelings of energy, focus and alertness in quickness and reaction anaerobic power tests. In other words, consuming an energy drink or any drink with caffeine increases short time/rapid exercise performance (like short full-speed sprints and heavy power weight lifting).[8] Caffeine is chemically similar to adenosine, a type of sugar that helps in the regulation of important body processes, including the firing of neurotransmitters. Caffeine takes the place of adenosine in your brain, attaching itself to the same neural receptors affected by adenosine, and causing your neurons to fire more rapidly, hence caffeine's stimulating effects.[9]

Recovery Supplements[edit]

Common supplements to help athletes recover from exercising, include protein and amino acid supplements. The main use for athletes to take dietary proteins are for hormones, oxygen transport, cellular repair, enzymes and conversion to fuel.[10] The intake of protein is a part of the nutrient requirements for the normal athlete and is an important component of exercise training. In addition, it aids in performance and recovery. Dietary protein intake for well-trained athletes should occur before, during and after physical activity as it is advantageous in gaining muscle mass and strength.[11] However, if too much protein and amino acid supplements is consumed it can be more harmful to the body than it is beneficial; health risks include: dehydration, gout, calcium loss, liver, renal damage, diarrhea, bloating, and water loss.[10] A bountiful protein diet must be paired with a healthy, well-rounded meal plan and regular resistance exercise. Characteristics of this particular diet include the type of exercise, intensity, duration and carbohydrate values of diet.[12] The most effective way to secure the natural nutrients required by your body for optimum health and physiological performance is by eating your vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, sugars and carbohydrates, which can be procured from fresh fruits and vegetables.[7]

Post-exercise nutrition is an important factor in a nutrition plan for athletes as it pertains to the recovery of the body. Traditionally, sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade, are consumed during and after exercise because they effectively rehydrate the body by refueling the body with minerals and electrolytes. Electrolytes regulate the bodies nerve and muscle function, blood pH, blood pressure, and the rebuilding of damaged tissue.[13] These types of drink are commonly made of glucose and sucrose in water and has been seen to improve the football players' performance.[7]

A substitute for sports drinks is milk, which contains many electrolytes, nutrients and other elements that help to make it an effective post-exercise beverage.[14] It is true that milk helps replace fluids and electrolytes lost after the athlete has worked out. A recovery drink is supposed to replenish the sugar lost, and help recover the muscles to be able to workout at full intensity by the next time they workout. When compared to plain water or sports drinks, research suggests that chocolate milk is more effective at replacing fluids lost through sweat and maintaining normal body fluid levels. Athletes drinking chocolate milk following exercise-induced dehydration had fluid levels about 2 percent higher (on initial body mass) than those using other post-exercise recovery beverages. These results allowed for prolonged performance, especially in repeated bouts of exercise or training.[15]

Performance Enhancing Supplements[edit]

In the extreme case of performance-enhancing supplements, athletes, particularly bodybuilders may choose to use illegal substances such as anabolic steroids. These compounds which are related to the hormone testosterone, can quickly build mass and strength, but have many adverse effects such as high blood pressure and negative gender specific effects. Blood doping, another illegal ergogenic, was discovered in the 1940s when it was used by World War II pilots.[7] Blood doping also known as blood transfusions, increases oxygen delivery to exercising tissues and has been demonstrated to improve performance in endurance sports, such as long-distance cycling.[16]

The supplement, Creatine, may be helpful for well-trained athletes to increase exercise performance and strength in relation with their dietary regimen.[12] The substance glutamine, found in whey fiber supplements, is the most abundant free amino acid found in the human body.[17] It is considered that glutamine may have a possible role in stimulated anabolic processes such as muscle glycogen and protein synthesis, for well-trained and well-nourished athletes.[17] Other popular studies done on supplements include androstenedione, chromium, and ephedra. The findings show that there are no substantial benefits from the extra intake of these supplements, yet higher health risks and costs.[12]

Factors influencing nutritional requirements[edit]

Differing conditions and objectives suggest the need for athletes to ensure that their sports nutritional approach is appropriate for their situation. Factors that may affect an athlete's nutritional needs include type of activity (aerobic vs. anaerobic), gender, weight, height, body mass index, workout or activity stage (pre-workout, intro-workout, recovery), and time of day (e.g. some nutrients are utilized by the body more effectively during sleep than while awake).Most culprits that get in the way of performance are fatigue, injury and soreness. A proper diet will reduce these disturbances in performance. The key to a proper diet is to get a variety of food, and to consume all the macro-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals needed. According to Eblere's article (2008), it is ideal to choose raw foods, for example unprocessed foods such as oranges instead of orange juice. Eating foods that are natural means the athlete is getting the most nutritional value out of the food. When foods are processed, the nutritional value is normally reduced.[18]

Anaerobic exercise[edit]

During anaerobic exercise, the process of glycolysis breaks down the sugars from carbohydrates for energy without the use of oxygen. This type of exercise occurs in physical activity such as power sprints, strength resistances and quick explosive movement where the muscles are being used for power and speed, with short-time energy use. After this type of exercise, there is a need to refill glycogen storage sites in the body (the long simple sugar chains in the body that store energy), although they are not likely fully depleted.

To compensate for this glycogen reduction, athletes will often take in large amounts of carbohydrates, immediately following their exercise. Typically, high-glycemic-index carbohydrates are preferred for their ability to rapidly raise blood glucose levels.For the purpose of protein synthesis, protein or individual amino acids are ingested as well. Branched-chain amino acids are important since they are most responsible for the synthesis of protein. According to Lemon et al. (1995) female endurance runners have the hardest time getting enough protein in their diet. Endurance athletes in general need more protein in their diet than the sedentary person.Research has shown that endurance athletes are recommended to have 1.2 to 1.4 g of protein per kg of body weight in order to repair damaged tissue. If the athlete consumes too few calories for the body's needs, lean tissue will be broken down for energy and repair. Protein deficiency can cause many problems such as early and extreme fatigue, particularly long recovery, and poor wound healing. Complete proteins such as meat, eggs, and soy provide the athlete with all essential amino acids for synthesizing new tissues. However, vegetarian and vegan athletes frequently combine legumes with a whole grain to provide the body with a complete protein across the day's food intake.[19] A popular combination being rice and beans.[20]

Spada's research on endurance sports nutrition (2000) and where the types of carbohydrates come from will be explained. He advises for carbohydrates to be unprocessed and/or whole grains for optimal performance while training. These carbohydrates offer the most fuel, nutritional value, and satiety. Fruits and vegetables contribute important carbohydrate foundation for an athlete's diet. They provide vitamins and minerals that are lost through exercise and later needed to be replenished. Both fruits and vegetables improve healing, aid in recovery, and reduce risks of cancer, high blood pressure, and constipation. Vegetables offer a little more nutritional value than fruits for the amount of calories, therefore an athlete should strive to eat more vegetables than fruits. Dark-colored vegetables usually have more nutritional value than pale colored ones.(add info) A general rule is the darker the color the more nutrient dense it is. Like all foods, it is very important to have a variety. To get the most nutritional value out of fruits and vegetables it is important to eat them in their natural, unprocessed form with no other nutrient (sugar) added.[21]

Often in the continuation of this anaerobic exercise, the product from this metabolic mechanism builds up in what is called lactic acid fermentation. Lactate is produced more quickly than it is being removed and it serves to regenerate NAD+ cells on where it's needed. During intense exercise when oxygen is not being used, a high amount of ATP is produced and pH levels fall causing acidosis or more specifically lactic acidosis. Lactic acid build up can be treated by staying well-hydrated throughout and especially after the workout, having an efficient cool down routine and good post-workout stretching.[22]

Intense activity can cause significant and permanent damage to bodily tissues. In order to repair, vitamin E and other antioxidants are needed to protect muscle damage. Oxidation damage and muscle tissue breakdown happens during endurance running so athletes need to eat foods high in protein in order to repair these muscle tissues. It is important for female endurance runners to consume proper nutrients in their diet that will repair, fuel, and minimize fatigue and injury. To keep a female runner's body performing at its best, the ten nutrients need to be included in their diets.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

An assortment of supplements.
Weightlifting is an anaerobic exercise
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  12. ^ abcLawrence, Marvin E., and Donald F. Kirby. "Nutrition and Sports Supplements Fact or Fiction." Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 35 (2002): 299-306. Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. 2002. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 25 Mar. 2009 <journals.lww.com/jcge/>.
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  19. ^Jurek, Scott (2012). Eat and Run. London: Bloomsbury. 
  20. ^Lemon P. "Do athletes need more dietary protein and amino acids?". International journal of sports nutrition. 5: 39–61. 
  21. ^Spada R. "Endurance sports nutrition". Journal of Sports Medicine & physical Fitness. 40 (4): 381–382. 
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  23. ^Rokitzki L. "Alpha-tocopherol supplementation in racing cyclist during extreme endurance training". International Journal of sports nutrition. 4 (3): 253–64. 

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