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How to adjust nutrition according to age

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One of the fastest growing age group categories in endurance events is that of master athletes (40+).

Race organizers do not impose age limits on competing in events as long as the body allows them to do triathlons.

Hiroshi Inada, 85, was the oldest person to finish the Ironman World Championships in Kona. But if you’re racing or training for triathlons as you get older, there are some important factors to consider.

How does aging affect performance?

Credit: Jenny Hill / Unsplash

Many changes can occur in the body as we age, and these can be related to cardiovascular, muscular, bone, and neurological health. It can affect stamina, body composition, and thirst perception.

Not only do these changes impact training and performance, but how they affect each individual is different. As such, a personalized approach is required when addressing dietary and hydration needs.

high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Diabetes, Osteoarthritisanxiety, and depression It may also be more common with older players than younger ones. Athletes using these drugs should be aware if they are listed as prohibited substances for competition.

Effects of Menopause on Performance Not only some female athletes, hormonal imbalance Age-related changes in agility and muscle mass.

Do older athletes have different energy needs?

Older athletes may have lower energy requirements because their metabolic rate declines slightly as they age. For athletes, it can be more difficult. Loss of muscle mass also affects metabolism.

Masters athletes need to approach their diet regularly to reach their goals. A simple way to do this is to aim for the required energy intake on training and performance days, and reduce the energy intake on holidays and days of low activity.

What is your carbohydrate intake?

Carbohydrates and protein are key for master athletes (Credit: Merve Sehirli Nasir/Unsplash)

Carbohydrate intake is similar for all athletes, within the overall energy intake range. glycogenbut this can be improved with a good endurance training program.

Digestive issues may be a consideration for some athletes, so choosing more fiber options such as whole grains or oats is the best option.

Why is protein so important?

need for protein As muscle mass begins to decline, it increases with age. Older athletes should aim for approximately 1.2 g/kg of body weight.

Foods (Beef, Tofu, Dairy, Eggs, Salmon, Chickpeas) and Shakes (Try Elite All Blacks Clear Whey Protein Isolate) A high leucine content is important as this amino acid induces muscle protein synthesis. It is also important to spread your protein intake throughout the day.

If an athlete is trying to lose weight by reducing their energy intake, recovery should be a priority as protein helps maintain muscle mass.

Some master athletes may use creatine to help increase muscle mass and increase strength alongside strength training. is not necessarily effective for everyone.

Do micronutrient requirements vary with age?

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Absorption of micronutrients can decrease with age, one of the most important being vitamin D. This nutrient is necessary for the body’s uptake of calcium, which is important for bone health.

fully absorbed Vitamin DThis is an important issue for women whose bone density declines rapidly during menopause. While vitamin D supplementation is recommended for everyone during the winter months, some older athletes may need more throughout the year due to reduced absorption.

other nutrients including Vitamin B12iron, and magnesium can also affect performance through bone health, fatigue, and energy metabolism. antioxidantbut in some cases, a sports-approved multivitamin and mineral may help: Elite All Blacks Gold AZ Multivitamin.

How can Masters athletes ensure adequate hydration?

Finally, proper hydration is important. Older athletes may experience changes in thirst perception, renal function, sweating response. This means that drinking until thirsty may not be a reliable method of staying hydrated during and after training or competition.

Measuring perspiration in athletes is a common method for establishing hydration requirements, and this can be done in a variety of scenarios when competing abroad in the heat. , athletes can measure their water needs during training and competition, giving them the information they need to reduce the risk of dehydration and overhydration.

Nutrition is a key factor in determining athlete performance, regardless of age. However, some older athletes should consider it to protect their overall health while maintaining desirable body composition and performance goals.

This is relatively easy to accomplish with a little knowledge and careful planning, but may require the input of a registered sports nutritionist.

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