The sporting industry has evolved as a primary engine in most of today's societies. The various contests themselves generate revenue through employment en masse for competitors, coaches, trainers, nutritional experts, physiotherapists, medical doctors, and sports and facility administrators.
The strong ongoing links to clothing, beverages, food and a variety of equipment companies have placed the sports industry on the leading edge of progress the world over. Prominent in the big picture is the main product, the athlete. What are the priorities that enable the athletic body to function at its best?
The necessary nutritional intake is one of the top components. The United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) publication, 'The Joy of Sport' points out that, "your body is an amazing machine that must be continuously supplied with energy" to perform its many complex functions.
"As your training increases, your body energy demands also an increase. The fuel you give your body is a huge part of performing at your best," the USADA publication further informs.
At a recent Bahamas Association of Athletic Associations (BAAA) conference, Dr. Pattie Symonette emphasized the importance of athletes paying attention always to what goes into their bodies. Dr. Symonette is one of the local nutritional czars. She is a former outstanding athlete and for most of her life, healthy living through proper dietary consumption and fitness, has been a top focus.
"Now more than ever, athletes (and coaches) need accurate sports nutrition information. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation out there regarding what is a proper diet for athletes. Most often, an evaluation and modification of dietary intake can help maximize peak performances.
Optimal nutrition is an integral part of peak performance, while poor nutrition can limit an athlete's potential for maximal performance. The body's energy systems are designed to provide athletes with fuel as long as they are eating the proper foods," said Dr. Symonette who is also Education/Training Officer with the Bahamas Anti-Doping Commission.
She stressed the need for carbohydrates. "If carbohydrates are not consumed on a daily basis that would cause chronic fatigue and poor performance," she said. Regarded as definitely a "no, no" by Dr. Symonette is the concession stand. "It's best to discourage athletes from eating foods from concession stands. Most concession stands serve only high fat, high calorie foods that are not designed to maximize performance," she added.
Around the world, particularly in larger sporting countries, specialists like Dr. Symonette thrive while providing the kind of service that result in continued excellent efforts by athletes. In the leading Caribbean sports power nation more and more, athletes are beginning to understand that they ought to include ultra-nutritional experts like Dr. Symonette in the mix for appropriate conditioning.
This fact is yet another indication of the expansion of the sports industry here at home. There should be a full awareness also, within the sporting landscape in The Bahamas, that for the country to enhance its sports power image, all the areas of proper development and maintenance must utilized.
(To respond to this column, kindly contact Fred Sturrup at fredericksturrup@gmail.
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