When training intensively, the body’s nutritional requirements increase dramatically. An appropriate diet for a normal, healthy person who is not in training is very different from someone who is, say, intent on building large quantities of lean muscle or training for a triathlon.


For an athlete in training, it is certainly possible to consume adequate amounts of protein from regular food items like fish, pulses and nuts, but in reality it can be quite difficult for some people to manage this. Due to the typical hectic lifestyle of a modern city dweller, finding the time to organise regular, sufficiently large fixes of protein and other nutrients can sometimes be impossible. For those looking for a quick, easy protein boost, sports supplements can be a valuable addition to their diet. Coming in a variety of forms, protein supplements are often pre-mixed, chocolate or vanilla-flavoured powders or snack bars. The whey protein powder variety of supplement is simply mixed with water or milk, and usually drunk immediately after exercise. Commonly containing around 300 calories, athletes with particularly high energy requirements can also consume whey protein supplements between meals.

Another sports supplement, creatine, is particularly useful for those interested in gaining weight and building muscle. It adds a much needed boost of energy, making it easier for users to push out those all important final few reps. In should be noted, though, that those using creatine supplements must drink far more water than athletes who are not; creatine draws water into the muscles (allowing them to work harder), and without drinking additional water can leave athletes prone to dehydration and all the usual problems associated with it.

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