1Department of Physical Education, Faculty of Arts, Banaras Hindu University, India
Optimizing Athletic Performance and Post- Exercise Recovery: The Significance of Carbohydrates and Nutrition
Aim: This research examines the role of nutrition, particularly carbohydrate consumption, in optimizing athletic performance and post-exercise recovery. Method: A systematic review of relevant literature was conducted, encompassing various study types such as meta-analyses, systematic reviews, case reports, editorials, original research articles, and abstracts. Databases including PubMed/Medline, Web of Science, Taylor & Francis, and Google Scholar were comprehensively searched. The review adhered to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, utilizing a narrative synthesis approach due to the heterogeneity of collected data. Results: Carbohydrates emerged as a vital energy source for athletic performance. Adequate carbohydrate intake, appropriate timing, and nutrient composition were found to be critical for maintaining muscle glycogen levels during intense physical activity. Sports nutrition practices, such as high-carbohydrate diets and carbohydrate intake during exercise, have implications for athletes’ immune system status. Low glycemic-index carbohydrates exhibited benefits in endurance sports by promoting fat oxidation and reducing glucose oxidation. Gender-specific dietary guidelines were recommended to address substrate utilization differences during exercise. Conclusion: Nutrition, particularly carbohydrate consumption, significantly influences athletic performance and post-exercise recovery. The study underscores the importance of individualized nutrition plans, considering nutrient timing and composition, to optimize performance and overall well-being. Further research is needed to address limitations and establish conclusive evidence on the relationship between carbohydrate intake, recovery, and athletic performance. Overall, the research provides valuable insights for athletes, coaches, and practitioners aiming to enhance performance through effective nutritional strategies.
Carbohydrates, Nutrition, Athletic Performance, Post-Exercise Recovery, Glycogen Storage, Sports Nutrition
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