Should Footballers Take Supplements as Part of Their Diet?

Maintaining a healthy diet as a sportsperson can be difficult, however it is very important. As well as thinking about fat, protein and carbohydrate levels, football players must also consider their micronutrient levels.

Some players will struggle to build a diet that meets all of their needs. In some cases, additional dietary supplements may be an option, however it is important that players consider the pros and cons of these supplements before they begin to take them.

Dietary Changes

Before you start to take any dietary supplement, you must consider whether it is possible to make the necessary changes to your diet instead.

Making small changes to your diet to improve your micronutrient intake can actually help you to have a more varied and interesting diet. In many cases, it is possible to eat a few different fruits or vegetables to get the nutrients that you are lacking.

If you want advice about how to change your diet to include any nutrients that you are lacking, you are advised to speak to a nutrition specialist. In fact, speaking to a nutrition specialist for dietary advice can actually cost less than it does to sign up to a subscription to an expensive dietary supplement. A nutrition specialist will also give you the tools that you need to be able to understand more about your own nutrition needs. This can help you to make more informed choices about the supplements that you use.

Absorption Rates

Research has shown that the certain supplements cannot be absorbed properly by the body when they are consumed in the form of supplements. Although this is not true of all supplements, it can be difficult to keep track of levels of individual micronutrients which are being absorbed.

Most people find it easier to keep track of vital nutrient levels by carefully monitoring their diet instead and there are no shortage of apps for your phone that you can use to do this if you so wish.

Lack of Professional Research

Football players must be careful about trusting the claims which are made by sports supplement makers. Although some supplements do adequately describe the benefits that they are able to offer to users, other supplements make claims that are not backed up by hard evidence or professional research.

Even if the maker claims that their product has been tested by professionals, it can be hard to verify these claims.

Recommended Limits

Before you start taking a supplement, it is also worth considering the recommended daily limits of certain nutrients. Even though these nutrients are vital for the body to function properly, it is possible to overdose on ingredients. Taking supplements can increase the likelihood of overdosing on these nutrients, which may have adverse health consequences.

Banned Substances

Professional players must also consider the legality of any substances that they choose to consume. Some of the dietary supplements which are available for purchase on the internet actually include substances that are banned by FIFA and the FA. You can find details of the FIFA prohibited list here.

Professional players are routinely tested for banned substances so they must be very careful about any supplements that they take. Accidentally consuming a banned substance which is contained in a dietary supplement will rarely be excused. Ignorance is not an excuse, so if you are in doubt about a supplement, you should avoid consuming it.

100% Natural?

Many supplement users believe that substances that are labelled as 100% natural must be good for them; however this is not always the case. Some natural ingredients can be poisonous, especially if they are consumed in high enough doses. It is important for footballers to understand this before they take any muscle building or fat burning supplements.

Can Supplements ever be Helpful?

Some supplements that are aimed at sports people can be beneficial to football players, because they enable users to get a quick boost of the nutrients that they need. The special supplements or products can be consumed at half-time or just after a match to quickly replenish things that may have been depleted during the game.

Sports drinks and protein bars are a perfect example of products that may be useful for football players. Part of the appeal of these products is that they have been made into a practical format to be consumed when it may not be practical to consume a full meal. They should not be used to replace other meals. These products should only be purchased from sports nutrition experts.

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