Weight Loss for a Healthier and More Efficient Body:

Changes in body weight are dependent upon the amount of energy put into the body versus the amount of energy used by the body. For weight maintenance, the energy amounts must be equal. If there is an excess of energy put into the body, weight gain will result. If there is more energy burned than consumed, a weight loss will occur.

This formula is the same for athletes however, an athlete’s energy requirements are different from that of the sedentary population. For weight maintenance, an increased amount of energy must be consumed in order to equal the greater amount of energy expended. This energy goes into the body as calories. In order for the body to work most efficiently, these calories must come in the form of a well-rounded diet. Activities in different sports require different nutritional needs, but every athlete should restrict the intake of fatty foods, and be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

If an athlete experiences a loss in weight, it could be the result of some different things. First of all, if the weight loss is unwanted, then simply not enough calories are being supplied to meet the demand. If weight loss is the goal, then the loss should result in not more than one pound of fat per week. For weight loss that occurs during a workout, be sure to drink plenty of water and sports drinks to replace that fluid weight lost. Otherwise the body will become dehydrated.

One other thing to consider is that muscle tissue weighs more that fat. As a person exercises, the body loses fat weight, but also gains muscle weight. So with long term exercise a change in body composition will result. This change will most likely lead to overall changes in weight, but will result in a more healthy and efficient body.

 

Dietary Supplements:

by Chris Klekker, Riverview High School Athletic Trainer

The practice of using supplements and ergogenic aids to increase athletic performance is on the increase in athletics; however there exist substantial safety concerns and myths about their use. It is very important that athletes, parents, and coaches be informed as to the current status of knowledge pertaining to supplements, which as of right now are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Many associations, including the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) discourage the use of supplements by athletes because of the insufficient data concerning their long-term adverse effects, especially in adolescent athletes.

 

General Concerns About Supplements:

Safety
  • Nutritional supplements are not regulated by the FDA
  • Without FDA standards, no guarantee about amount or concentration of ingredients
  • Without FDA controls, supplements lack purity and are laced with other compounds
  • Very little research on short-term and/or long-term effects
  • Even less research on effects in children and adolescents
Effectiveness
  • Very little research to assess effectiveness
  • Insufficient evidence to prove that performance is increased in many sports
 
Legality
  • Some supplements illegal without prescription
  • Numerous supplements although legal are prohibited by sports organizations
 
Existing Stands
American College of Sports Medicine’s stand on dietary supplements:
  • Performance will not be increased in athletes with nutritionally sufficient diets who use supplements
  • Only athletes with nutrient insufficiency with profit from supplementation of those/that nutrient(s)
  • Registered dietician should be seen to help with nutrient insufficient diets
  • Athletes should have a well-balanced diet rather than dietary supplementation
 
Common Myths About Supplements
  • If a substance is natural, it must be safe —> False
  • If a substance is natural, it must be healthy and beneficial —> False
  • If a little bit is good, then a whole lot is better —> False
  • Athletes are deficient in important compounds —> False
  • If a substance increases muscle mass, then sports performance is enhanced —> False
 
Preventing athletes from taking supplements
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
  • The harder YOU work, the harder it is to surrender
  • There’s no short-cut to excellence, it’s all hard work
  • If you win naturally, you’ll know it was YOU who won
  • No drug is harmless and free of consequences
  • Even natural substances in unnatural amounts can have short-term and/or long-term adverse effects
  • Nutritional supplementsare not regulated by the FDA
  • Without FDA standards,no guarantee about amount or concentration of ingredients
  • Without FDA controls,supplements lack purity and are laced with other compounds
  • Very little researchon short-term and/or long-term effects
  • Even less researchon effects in children and adolescents
 
Effectiveness
  • Very little researchto assess effectiveness
  • Insufficientevidence to prove that performance is increased in many sports
 
Legality
  • Some supplementsillegal without prescription
  • Numerous supplementsalthough legal are prohibited by sports organizations
 
Existing Stands
AmericanCollege of Sports Medicine’s stand on dietary supplements:
  • Performance willnot be increased in athletes with nutritionally sufficient diets who use supplements
  • Only athleteswith nutrient insufficiency with profit from supplementation of those/that nutrient(s)
  • Registered dieticianshould be seen to help with nutrient insufficient diets
  • Athletes shouldhave a well-balanced diet rather than dietary supplementation
 
Common Myths

About Supplements

  • If a substanceis natural, it must be safe —> False
  • If a substanceis natural, it must be healthy and beneficial —> False
  • If a little bitis good, then a whole lot is better —> False
  • Athletes aredeficient in important compounds —> False
  • If a substanceincreases muscle mass, then sports performance is enhanced —> False
 
Preventing athletes from taking supplements
  • If it’s too good to be true, it probably is
  • The harder YOU work, the harder it is to surrender
  • There’sno short-cut to excellence, it’s all hard work
  • If you win naturally, you’ll know it was YOU who won
  • No drug is harmless and free of consequences
  • Even natural substances in unnatural amounts can have short term and/or long-term adverse effects
 
 CreatineAndrostenedioneAnabolicSteroidsGrowthHormoneStimulants
Whatis it?A synthetic versionof a compound produced in the body from three amino acids. It is also available in diet from fish and meatAdrenal hormonethat converts to testosterone in the bodySynthetic versionsof the male hormone testosteronePolypeptide hormonesecreted by the pituitary glandCaffeine, ephedrine,mahaung
Howdoes it work?Increasesthe level of creatine and phosphocreatine in skeletalShort-termincrease in testosterone levelsIncreaseslevels of testosterone in bodyIncreaseslevel of growth hormone in bodyIncreasesblood pressure, metabolic rate, respirations, heart rate, acts as diuretic
ProposedBenefitsBoosts musclestores of creatine, ability to do more intense short-term workAllows one totrain harder and recover more quickly from exerciseIncreases muscledevelopment and strengthIncreases musclemass and strengthIncreases work-load,endurance and energy
SideEffectsNausea, GI distress,muscle cramping, strains, sprains, decrease in body’s production
of creatine
Enhancement offemale characteristics, increased risk of heart disease and pancreatic
cancer
Affects liverand cardiovascular function, increased aggressionAffects cardiovascularand liver functionNervousness,dehydration, nausea, muscle tremors, heart palpitations, diarrhea
Long-TermEffectsUnavailable atthis timeUnavailable atthis time; Likely similar to anabolic steroidsLiver and heartdisease, stroke, drug dependence, menstrual abnormalities, in females:
an increase in male sex characteristics
Thickening ofsoft tissue, excessive bone growth, pathological growth of the heart,
kidneys, colon cardiomyopathy, insulin resistance
Addition, withdrawalsymptoms such as headaches, irritability, fatigue, and upset stomach
Age FactorsTheoretical concernsabout extra load placed on kidneys and other organs and the effects
on muscle/bone junctions in the skeletally immature
Unavailable atthis timeIn adolescents, potentially serious health problems during puberty, premature physeal
closure (decrease in adult height)
In adolescents, potentially serious health problems during pubertyUnavailable atthis time
Who bansit?No sports governingbodies at this timeIOC, NCAA, NFLIOC, NCAA, NFL,NHL, MLBIOC, NCAAIOC, NCAA
Availableover the counterYesYesNoNoYes

 

For more information and sample diets visit these websites:

  • nfhs.org,
  • gssiweb.com, eatright.org,
  • sportfuel.com

References:

Zinder, S.M. and Shultz, S.J. Supplements. National Federation of State High School Associations – Resource Department. 57-60. 2001.

 


 

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