Preparation and training

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Sports supplements


  • Aims to aid ATP re-synthesis/helps to replenish phosphocreatine store
  • Increases PC levels to enhance ATP-PC system 
  • Possible benefits for short/powerful movements/high intensity activities -> improve muscle mass/improve strength/helps muscles recover more quickly during exercise/power athletes/sprinter
  • Mixed evidence to show positive benefits - not everyone's muscles respond to creatine
  • Possible side effects -> muscle cramps/diarrhoea/water retention/ bloating/vomiting/hinder aerobic performance


  • Aims to build/increase muscle mass/muscle growth and repair/enable muscle hypertrophy
  • May be used by vegetarians to supplement diet
  • Not needed if have balanced diet/extra protein easily available through diet
  • Possible side effects -> overuse may damage kidneys/liver/heart
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Sports supplements

Herbal remedies

  • Some research has shown that Arnica can reduce muscle soreness
  • Generally no evidence of positive effect - quantities ingested often very minute
  • Composition of herbal remedies is unclear - may contain other banned substances which are not listed
  • UKAD advise against use

Bicarbonate of soda

  • 'buffers' lactate build up
  • used to delay onset of fatigue 
  • increased amount of bicarbonate will allow hydrogen ions to leave muscle cell at faster rate -> anaerboic energy systems used for longer
  • effective for high-intensity events lasting 1-7mins/sports dependent on repeated anaerobic bursts
  • side effects -> vomitting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps
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Sports supplements


  • Aims to increase alertness/ attention to cues
  • Improve decision making/improve reaction time
  • May benefit aerobic performance/endurance athletes
  • Allows fats to be used as energy source/delays use of glycogen stores
  • Possible side effects -> dehydration/sleep deprivation/stomach cramps/irregular heart beat/insomnia
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Water and electrolyte balance

Importance of water

  • regulates body temperature
  • carries nutrients and O2 to all cells in body via blood plasma
  • helps convert food into energy and absorb nutrients
  • required for expiration
  • removes waste
  • protects/cushions vital organs and joints

Importance of electrolytes

  • vital for proper functioning of cells - particularly muscle cells
  • ensure that nutrients and waste products are exchanged
  • maintain body's pH level
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Water and electrolyte balance

Problems of dehydration

  • Blood thickens/increase in viscosity
  • Increase in heart rate/heart has to work harder
  • Reduction in blood flow to working muscles/less oxygen to the muscles 
  • Blood flow to skin reduces/increase in body temperature/unable to maintain correct body temperature

Loss of electrolytes

  • Slows reaction time/decision making/slows nerve impulses
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Muscle cramps
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Disruption to removal of waste products/lactic acid build up 
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The athlete's diet

Performer can meet all nutritional needs from normal diet if: 

  • performer is aware of what constitues a balanced diet
  • basic quality of diet are nutritionally balanced - key nutrients
  • 'extra' calories consumed to fuel training are derived from nutritious foods

Nutritional assessment 

  • food diary -> details of all foods/portion sizes consumed
  • questionnaire about general dietary habits
  • analysis of competition/training demands made on body

Nutritional guidlines

  • take on board sufficient carbohydrates to meet energy demands
  • drink enough fluids to remain hydrated
  • eat a healthy balanced diet -> whole/unprocessed foods e.g. wholegrain breads, lean meat etc.
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Achieving optimal weight for activities

Important for performer to have correct body fat percentage in relation to age, gender and chosen sport 

e.g. marathon runners -> lower body fat %

e.g. rugby players -> higher body fat %

BMI not good for determining optimal level of fat -> based upon weight/height ratio 

Resistance trained performers -> high fat-free muscle mass but same BMI as untrained adult

Measure using skin-fold callipers

With accuate body fat % -> athlete can manipulate body composition by changing diet and training

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