New things

Essay by kingeli23College, UndergraduateB, November 2014

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Various aspects of exercise performance are favored by certain physical characteristics. Elite athletes therefore tend towards a physique that supports the demands of a specific event. Refining an athlete's basic physique (level of body fat and/or muscle mass) through diet and training is necessary in order to achieve optimal performance. Dietary approaches to facilitate weight control range from modest reduction in dietary fat and energy intake to severe restrictions in total energy intake and carbohydrate. For a number of athletes, interventions that focus on the reduction of fat intake are sufficient to produce the desired weight control. The advantage of this strategy for many athletes is that glycogen depletion is unlikely. Other athletes will also have to restrict total energy, fat and carbohydrate intake. In these cases maintaining satiety through adequate protein intake and the use of low-glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrates can be useful.

The weight goal of most athletes in strength based sports is optimizing their power to weight ratio.

This often involves aiming to reduce body fat while maintaining muscle mass. Although in some lifting and throwing events a high body fat level is not a big disadvantage, there are events where an athlete could benefit by reducing body fat levels. Low body fat levels tend to occur naturally for many athletes competing in these events (e.g.: jumps, sprints, hurdles). However some athletes may need to manipulate food intake to achieve their desired body fat levels. Competition will not deplete glycogen stores for these athletes and carbohydrate loading offers no benefit. The gain in body weight due to additional glycogen and water is just extra weight to carry and therefore could be a disadvantage to performance. Low body fat levels are an advantage to endurance athletes (e.g.: runners, road cyclists and triathletes) as they transport their body over...