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How much protein do I need?

I will try to explain the amount of protein required for each athlete, so you can calculate yourself.

We all know that proteins are essential to repair and build your muscles, in addition to other functions. Now, according to the activity of the adult individual, how much protein do you need?

A sedentary individual should ingest 0.8 grams of protein per kg.
An amateur athlete resistance between 1.2 and 1.6 grams of protein per kg.
An amateur athlete who want to gain muscle mass, you should take between 1.5 and 2.0 grams per kg.

There is no scientific evidence that the body is able to leverage more than 2.0 grams of protein per kg. Therefore, eat more in this case, no further increase our muscle size. It should be clear that is not good an excess or a deficiency of protein in your diet.

As a side note, for those who seek to increase their muscle mass, do not forget that carbohydrates also are very important, as those who will bring you the energy required to push through your toughest workouts.

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Adequate hydration

All athletes must be aware of the importance of staying well hydrated before, during and after a physical activity. Adequate hydration is a recurring and very effective advise for many different objectives. No wonder if we consider the roles that water plays in our body. Water is involved in all cell reactions, as the reaction medium, as a reactant or product. It also participates in the transport of nutrients, gases and metabolic waste products. As if that were not enough, also it acts as a refrigerant muscle when they are heated during exercise, evaporating sweat, eliminating vapor exhaled air or directly through the skin. Hydrate before exercise has a clear objective: to ensure proper functionality and muscular performance in the first phase of the exercise. It is recommended to take between 400 and 600 ml water, 2 or 3 hours before exercise to allow the renal system regulates the total body fluid volume and achieve the optimal values of osmolarity. During the exercise, our goal is to maintain a positive hydrate electrolyte balance, since a deficit would adversely affect athletic performance. It is recommended between 150 and 350 ml of water every 15 or 20 minutes, from the beginning of the session, to prevent the lowering of sodium. If exercise is intense and long lasting, you should not take only water, add a drink with carbohydrates to keep the oxidation of sugars, normalize hypoglycemia, delaying fatigue and speed recovery of lost glycogen. By the way, the drink should not be too cold but feel like, because at low temperatures the absorption takes place more slowly. Too hot, it has the same problem, so the best thing is a drink that is simply “cool”. Rehydrate after exercise is intended to restore muscle physiological functions as soon as possible. Ideally, complete rehydration for the next two hours to complete the exercise. It is recommended that at least 150% of the weight loss cover the loss of fluid through sweat, plus obligatory urine loss. At this stage, carbohydrates should be taken as soon as possible, because the muscles are very receptive to glucose uptake and this will promote muscle glycogen resynthesis. Put a little care, will lead us to adopt healthy habits regarding our hydration while enhancing the results of our efforts with diet and training.
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Warm up & Cool down

Spending time on warming up and cooling down will improve your level of performance and accelerate your recovery process.
Research work by McNair (2000)[1] and Knudson (2001)[2] suggests that the use of dynamic stretches – slow controlled movements through the full range of motion – are the most appropriate exercises for the warm up. By contrast, static stretches are more appropriate for the cool down.
Warm up increases the blood flow to the muscles, allowing them to loosen up, which can raise the flow of oxygen to the muscle cells. Doing this gradually increases the body’s temperature. This then increases the speed and force of muscular contractions, because nerve impulses travel faster at higher body temperatures, and muscles become less stiff or more pliable.

10854908_381059255406976_6757254183806810548_oWarm up also helps to gradually increase the heart rate and ensure that the demand made on the circulatory and metabolic systems is gradual as well. This initial part of your exercise session helps to improve neural function and coordination, protect major joints as it takes time to increase the supply of lubricating synovial fluid.

The warm up’s intensity should cause transpiration but not fatigue. The type of warm up needs to be appropriate for the activity planned. It also needs to be appropriate to the age range and fitness level of the participants.

The following examples cover a warm up:

  • walking or jogging to increase the body’s temperature (5-10 min)
  • dynamic stretches to reduce muscle stiffness (10-15 min)
  • specific stretches for muscles that will be used during exercises (10-15)

So in warming up thoroughly, we are preparing the body and the mind for the more energetic demands to come.

It is important to rehearse common movement patterns and skills which will be used in the match/competition. This will not only help to improve performance through ensuring the muscles are prepared for the task in hand, but will also help to improve coordination, reaction times and accuracy.
Examples of sports specific exercises include:

  • Dribbling drills (soccer/hockey etc)
  • Passing drills (soccer/hockey/netball/basketball)
  • Shooting drills (soccer/hockey/netball/basketball)
  • Cutting maneuvers (All team sports)
  • Hitting practice (cricket/tennis/baseball etc)
  • Throwing drills (netball/basketball/cricket/baseball)
  • Serve/bowling practice (tennis/cricket/baseball)

Cooling down after a workout is as important as warming up. After physical activity, your heart is still beating faster than normal, your body temperature is higher and your blood vessels are dilated. This means if you stop too fast, you could pass out or feel sick. A cool-down after physical activity allows a gradual decrease at the end of the episode.
It’s good to stretch when you’re cooling down because your limbs, muscles and joints are still warm. Stretching can help reduce the buildup of lactic acid, which can lead to muscles cramping and stiffness.

The cool down should consist of a gentle jog, decreasing in speed down to a walk followed by light static stretching. Remember to stretch all muscle groups used in the sport. Upper body muscles especially are often forgotten is sports such as football, soccer and rugby.

Danke steht in vielen Sprachen auf einer Tafel mit lächelndem Kind daneben
Danke steht in vielen Sprachen auf einer Tafel mit lächelndem Kind daneben

[1]MCNAIR, P.J. et al. (2000) Stretching at the ankle joint: viscoelastic responses to holds and continuous passive motion. Medicine & Science in Sport and Exercise, 33 (3), p. 354-358
[2]KNUDSON, D et al. (2001) Acute Effects of Stretching Are Not Evident in the Kinematics of the Vertical Jump, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 15 (1), p. 98-101