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Nutrition and Digestion

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Russell Smith 6/10/10 Sports Nutrition Nutrition & Digestion In this assessment I am going to examine the factors of sports nutrition, it plays an important part in sports performance. It can make the difference between playing amateur or professional sport. Understanding and knowing what to eat can maximise the bodies potential. As a sports performer it is essential to have thorough working knowledge of nutrition and digestion. This will allow you to understand the effects diet can have on your performance. The first thing I'm going to discuss is definitions of the following terms. The meaning of nutrition is the means by which the energy and nutrients in food are taken in and used by your body. So sports nutrition is using the knowledge of nutritional strategies on sports performance. A balanced diet is a diet consisting of the proper quantities and proportions of the food needed to maintain health or growth. The definition of calorie is the energy needed to increase the temperature of one gram of water by 1�C. A kilocalorie or food calorie or 1,000 calories. Kilojoules is the measure of energy, for example in food and physical activity 1 kilo joule (Kj) = 0.238 Kcal. Recommended daily allowance (RDA) is the amount of nutrients and calories an individual is meant to consume daily. The accepted level of nutrients that an average person requires, the basis for the Recommended Daily Allowance is established by the U.S. ...read more.


are usually saturated fats and contribute to heat disease and cancer. Unsaturated (liquid) is the other type of fat which is vegetable fats (olive oil and corn oil). Liquid fats are generally unsaturated and are less harmful to the body. Fat is a less important provider of energy for exercise than carbohydrate and, unlike glycogen, its availability is never a limiting factor for performance. Even the leanest competitors have a supply of fat. Moreover, a high fat intake makes it difficult to achieve a diet with sufficient carbohydrate for an athlete's needs. An intake of less than 30% of food energy from fat is generally recommended for sports people. Two more nutrients are vitamins and minerals, which are micronutrients. Minerals make up only 4 % of our body weight, but they are important for a healthy body. Some necessary minerals are calcium, iron, phosphorus, iodine, potassium, and chlorine. Some sources of potassium include bananas, brown rice, and garlic. Potassium is important in the transmission of nerve impulses, heart rhythm, and muscle function. Calcium is found in milk, dried apricots, and sardines. Calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, it also plays an active role in the body's immune system. A lack of calcium in the diet is a contributing factor to osteoporosis, a condition that causes brittle bones in adults. Our bodies need 13 vitamins, they are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), Vitamin B6, Vitamin 12, Folacin, Pahtothenx acid, and Biotin. ...read more.


The digestive process begins in the mouth. Food is partly broken down by the process of chewing and by the chemical action of salivary enzymes. The Oesophagus is a long tube that runs from the mouth to the stomach. It uses rhythmic, wave-like muscles movements to force food from the throat into the stomach. This muscle movement gives us the ability to eat or drink even when we're upside down. The stomach is a large, sack like organ that churns the food and bathes it in a very string acid (gastric acid). After being in the stomach, food enters the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. It then enters the jejunum and then the ileum (final part of the small intestine). In the small intestine, bile (produced in the liver and stored in the gall bladder) pancreatic enzymes (produced in the Pancreas), and other digestive enzymes produced by the inner wall of the small intestine help in the breakdown of food. After passing through the small intestine, food passes into the large intestine. In the large intestine some of the water and electrolytes are removed from the food. Many microbes in the large intestine help in the digestion process. The first part of the large intestine is called the Cecum. Food then travels upward in the ascending colon, and then through the sigmoid colon. Solid waste is finally stored in the rectum until it is excreted via the Anus. (The picture above represents the digestive system). ...read more.

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