Sport Food Myths
Plenty of sports nutrition information is available, and much of it is sound. But often, what you hear in the locker room is less reliable. Here are a few commonly held beliefs that are no longer considered valid:
Myth: Eating More Protein Speeds Muscle Building and Increases Strength
Although amino acids do build muscle, and athletes should eat more protein than non-athletes, it is not possible to build muscle or strength by eating more protein. Your body will burn what it needs for energy and store the rest as fat.
Myth: Athletes Need More Vitamins for Energy
Vitamins do not provide energy; calories do. Vitamins are in the food you eat. Athletes need the same amount of vitamins as everyone else.
Myth: Athletes Need Extra Sodium and Potassium to Replace Sweat Loss
Only during extreme physical exertion do athletes lose sodium and potassium. During regular exercise it is only necessary to take in fluid, which helps keep the salts in balance.
Myth: Skipping Breakfast Helps Burn More Fat
Skipping a meal will result in fewer calories burned overall. That's because you will get tired faster and won't be working at your usual potential.
Myth: Carb Loading the Night Before an Activity Gives You More Energy
Carbohydrate loading is intended as part of a long process of building glycogen stores. It should be ongoing throughout the athlete's training, which includes the “taper,” a reduction of exertion paired with an increase in carbohydrate intake during the last week before a big event.