Blog | Category | Sports nutrition
  • Hydration and Sports

    In Health Tips On 24 March 2015

    Why is it so important to stay hydrated? Whether you’re a serious athlete or a recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. All athletes need to drink extra fluids to replace body water lost during exercise (e.g. sweat). When it\'s warm, your body perspires more to help you cool down. And depending on the temperature, humidity, and the nature of your activity, you might not even realize how much you are perspiring. Don\'t rely on thirst alone to tell you how much you need to drink. To keep those muscles working and avoid fatigue; it\'s extremely important to drink plenty of liquids before, during, and after the activity. How much water should I drink while exercising? There are no exact rules for how much water to drink while exercising because everyone is different. You need to consider factors including your sweat rate, the heat and humidity in your environment, and how long and hard you are exercising. As a general rule, to maintain adequate hydration, drink fluids pre, during and post game, Drink about 250 -300 ml of fluid two hours before the activity. That helps make sure you are well-hydrated before you ever go outdoors. Then, during the activity, try to drink 150-200 ml every 15-20 minutes to keep your muscles well-hydrated. If you are planning an hour-long walk or gym workout, fill a water bottle with about 500 ml and take it with you. What about sports drinks? For most people, water is all that is needed to stay hydrated. However, if you will be exercising at a high intensity for longer than an hour, a sports drink may be helpful. The calories, potassium, and other nutrients in sports drinks can provide energy and electrolytes to help you perform for a longer period of time. Choose a sports drink wisely. They are often high in calories from added sugar and may contain high levels of sodium. Also, check the serving size. One bottle may contain several servings. If you drink the entire bottle, you may need to double or triple the amounts given on the Nutrition Facts Label. Some sports drinks contain caffeine. If you use a sports drink that contains caffeine, be careful not to get too much caffeine in your diet. What are the signs of dehydration? Dehydration happens when you lose more fluid than you drink. When your body doesn’t have enough water, it can’t work properly. Dehydration can range from mild to severe. Symptoms of dehydration can include the following: Muscles cramps Headaches Fatigue  Reduced mental function & concentration  Reduced balance  Fast heartbeat In case of any such symptoms get medical attention immediately. What is heat illness? Heat illness or heat-related illness is a spectrum of disorders due to environmental exposure to heat. It includes minor conditions such asheat cramps, heat syncope, and heat exhaustion as well as the more severe condition known as heat stroke. Heat illness can occur when the body is dehydrated and can’t cool itself effectively during exercise in hot or humid weather. Symptoms of health illness - Confusion Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration) Dizziness Fainting Fatigue Headache Muscle or abdominal cramps Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea   How much water is too much? This depends on your body weight and the kind of activity you are doing. Talk to your Nutritionist if you have questions about the right amount of water to drink while exercising.

  • Top 7 gluten free foods for athletes

    In Health Tips On 05 March 2016

    ​ For any athlete, their diet mainly relies on carbohydrate intake which helps in maintaining high energy levels, prevents fatigue, regulates blood sugar and helps in quick recovery after an event. Some athletes are now choosing gluten free foods as part of their performance enhancing factors. This basically means they’re choosing improved digestion and thus better absorption of nutrients which leads to an improved performance. A gluten free diet involves refined carbs, high fiber and lean protein – the perfect combination for any athlete! This is some of the top gluten free food an athlete should consume to further improve their performance. Banana:  One banana provides 31 grams of carbohydrates which really helps replenish your body’s exhausted carbohydrates. It also contains manganese which is essential for bone development and wound healing – another essential for any athlete. Bananas are also rich in potassium which is needed for muscle function. Basically a banana before your workout will really boost your performance! ​ ​ Sweet potatoes:  This one’s a great option for long lasting energy. One cup contains 166 kcal of glucose which is always drained after any athletic event. They’re the kind of carbs which literally fuel your body like an IV drip! Sweet potatoes can boost energy, increase endurance and improve energy levels – it’s a win win situation! Beans: Beans are an all inclusive source of protein, carbs and fiber. They also contain iron which really helps improve endurance. Need I say more? ​ Dried Fruits: Figs, raisins and dates are a handy source of a mid workout fuel! They are rich in manganese and provide just the right amount of calories to prevent further energy drain. Also they’re portable, which means you can just stuff them in your gym bag! Quinoa: It’s something like a cereal but not really. But the good part is that quinoa is loaded with crabs and also contains a large amount of protein! It helps build new muscle tissues and is also among the world’s healthiest food! ​ ​ ​ Gluten free protein bars: As we all know, protein bars are loaded with carbs, fiber, protein and potassium. The only thing you need to do here is pick up one that’s gluten free. Leave the rest to the bar! Eggs: Hard boiled, scrambled, omelets and what not. Eggs are the best meal for any athlete, and for any athlete reading this I needn’t give reasons why. Its like universal knowledge!   In case of any query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send a mail to [email protected] or call at 9535271586/08049538592.

  • Is too much Protein good or bad for you

    In Health Tips On 27 September 2016

    I receive lot of queries around Protein like how much is too much, whether Protein consumption will impact our health etc etc. Proteins are considered as building blocks of life. Every cell in the human body contains protein. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women. You must have heard that: Too much protein will destroy your kidneys. A lot of protein makes your bones weaker. Only professional bodybuilders need that much protein. The truth about protein is that it is misunderstood. Protein is an essential nutrient that plays a huge role in helping to keep you healthy and is essential to building muscle mass. Protein actually plays a role in strengthening bones. And there is no evidence that a healthy person will get kidney damage from a typical high-protein diet. Why getting enough protein is so important: Protein builds muscle mass Adequate protein is needed for post-workout recovery Protein in the diet supports fat loss Protein is important for a healthy immune system and connective tissue Insufficient protein skews body composition   Lets talk about the myths about Protein: Myth1# Too much protein will destroy your kidneys. Your kidneys are incredibly efficient at filtering unneeded substances from your body. Consuming a high protein diet doesn't increase the strain on your kidneys. The kidneys are built to handle exactly this sort of stress! I always recommend increasing your water intake when you're consuming a higher quantity of protein, because your body produces more urine as a means to eliminate the byproducts of protein breakdown. Extra fluid is needed to replace what is lost via urine. But you should be drinking plenty of water anyways. Think about people who have donated a kidney. That one kidney left over suddenly has to handle more protein. If higher levels of protein damaged healthy kidneys, we would see it in donors. But we don%u2019t. That one kidney just adapts and donors have no increased risk for kidney disease. Myth2# Too Much Protein Weakens Your Bones The idea of protein leading to weaker bones comes from the fact that protein increases the acidity of the body, and that this causes calcium to leach from the bones to counteract it. As per research, excess acidity has been found to lead to bone weakness, but protein is not the culprit. As a matter of fact, protein in the diet has the opposite effect: it strengthens bones. So How Much Protein Do You Actually Need? Now that we know Protein is really essential nutrient for all of us so, how much is needed?  FDA recommends 50 grams of protein per day for both men and women. This is a very general recommendation and isn%u2019t accurate for people who are really active. The amount of protein you need in your diet will depend on your overall calorie needs. The daily recommended intake of protein for healthy adults is 10% to 35% of your total calorie needs. For example, a person on a 2000 calorie diet could eat 100 grams of protein, which would supply 20% of their total daily calories. For people who work out, for athletes and trainers, more protein is necessary to build muscle and aid in recovery. It mean that who is moderately to extremely active, 2 to 3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight is a good general guideline. However, it is recommended to take advice from Nutritionist before changing Protein intake, because it is very crucial to understand body fat percentage, daily activity level, and appropriate caloric ratio specific to their daily activity needs for protein, carbohydrates, and fat. References: In case of any query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send us a mail at [email protected]

  • Are you Vitamin D deficient?

    In Diet Tips On 13 October 2016

    A lack of vitamin D does not just affect your bones, but poses more serious problems when neglected. As per the study 69% of Indians suffer from vitamin D deficiency, while a further 15% were found to be vitamin D insufficient. Because of long working hours and little or no time for outdoor activities, more and more people are suffering from vitamin D deficiency. What is Vitamin D & why it is critical for Health? Despite its name, vitamin D is not a regular vitamin. It's actually a steroid hormone that you get primarily from either sun exposure or supplementation. Vitamin D manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut and helps cells all over your body to communicate properly. Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses. Give me vitamin D The reasoning behind this concern is that vitamin D is made in the skin by the action of the ultraviolet rays (UV) in sunlight and this is the main source of vitamin D for most people. During summer, the majority of the population gets enough vitamin D through sunlight on the skin and a healthy, balanced diet. However, during winter everyone needs to rely on dietary sources of vitamin D because, the sun is low in the sky, and the atmosphere filters out nearly all the UV rays. In fact due to current lifestyle, it is getting difficult for people to meet the %u201810 micrograms per day%u2019 recommendation from consuming foods naturally containing vitamin D. People should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D, if required. Indeed, It's worth remembering that too much exposure to the sun brings exposure to ultraviolet radiation, which can have some nasty effects. Sometimes you can feel the heat from the sun on the skin but when it's windy or cloudy people may think they're less at risk but that's not true. UV can still be high and if you are over-exposed, your skin can burn which is not only painful but can increase your risk of skin cancer. Sources to get Vitamin D I firmly believe that appropriate sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels. If your circumstances don't allow you to access the sun, then you have only one option if you want to raise your vitamin D, and that is to take a vitamin D supplement. Here too recommendations vary, and there are no hard and fast rules.  What if you are vitamin D deficient? Too little vitamin D results in soft bones in children and fragile, misshapen bones in adults. It helps control the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, which are needed to keep your bones and teeth healthy. Having too little vitamin D (a deficiency) can damage the way your body absorbs calcium and phosphorus. Also, chronic low vitamin D status has been linked to poor immunity and an increased risk of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, heart disease, some cancers, cavities, muscle weakness and bone diseases such as osteoporosis. Know your vitamin D levels Vitamin D levels can be checked through blood test. Vitamin D Guidelines Aim to consume a vitamin D-rich diet all year round but especially during winter season Consider supplementation during the winter months. Consult with Physician or Dietitian to understand the requirement of supplement because, over dosage is also bad. Try to expose the skin on the legs and arms to regular, sensible doses (5-30 minutes a day) of sunshine between the hours 10am and 3pm without the use of sunscreen. Natural sources of Vitamin D Fatty fish, like tuna, mackerel, and salmon Fish oil Foods fortified with vitamin D, like some dairy products, orange juice, soymilk, and cereals. Beef liver Cheese Egg yolks Cow milk Avoid TOO MUCH VITAMIN D While being vitamin D deficient is a problem; too much vitamin D leads to lot of problems as well. Excess of vitamin D may cause health problems such as dehydration, vomiting, kidney damage and kidney stones. Therefore, it is must to consume Vitamin D under supervision of healthcare professional.


    In Health Tips On 26 January 2017

    It has been noticed that many athletes ignore right nutrition but give more weightage to exercise and result is: they end up hitting the wall. Nutrition for endurance athletes is one of the most important sides of preparation to hit the mark. If you are not eating right, you will be able to see clear consequences on and off the field. Here are 6 golden rules, which every athlete should follow: Eat Right: For endurance events like Marathon, avoid junk food, simple sugars and eat carbohydrate rich diet. Carbohydrates are converted into glycogen and stored in your muscles and liver. At very high intensity events like marathon, carbohydrates become the sole energy provider, fueling the powerful contractions of fast twitch muscle fibers. As part of your daily diet you need to include good amount of Carbohydrates (45-65%), Protein (10-35%) and Fat (20-35%) to hit the mark.   Eat in Right Proportion: The diet of a runner should be optimal both in quality and quantity of food in order to replenish the energy reserves and to avoid fatigue and inadequate nutrition. It is important that you keep track of what and how much you eat to gain the maximum benefits for your run. If your calorie requirement is 3000 KCAL, it doesn%u2019t mean that you should consume most of the calories in 2-3 meals only. Make sure that you are taking 6-7 meals (3 major 3-4 small) a day by distributing required calories wisely. Timing Matters: Along with eating in right proportion it is also important to understand that what time you should eat your meals. Definitely its not a good idea to skip the breakfast and have heavy lunch. All meals (major small) are equally important. Also, make sure that correct meal is taken per/during/post workout. For example, post workout, it should be recovery meal. 5 D%u2019s is the mantra: To achieve your target follow 5D%u2019s, doesn%u2019t matter its your workout or diet: Desire: You have to desire to do it, whatever it is. Discipline: You have to have the discipline to practice as well as to follow diet Dedication: Dedicate yourself to your task 100%. Determination: Set small small goals and accomplish them. Don%u2019t give up. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Devotion: Work smart and give your best efforts. Success will come automatically wherever you go Stay Hydrated:  Dehydration and Over hydration are serious concerns for athletes therefore, it is important to understand when and how much fluid is required before, during and post run. Therefore, keep yourself hydrated by taking all precautionary measures. Excess is bad of everything:  Whether its diet or exercise, don%u2019t stretch/overeat more than a limit. In case of any query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send us a mail at [email protected] OR call on 080 6741 7780 (Dial Extension: 778)

  • Caffeine. Is it Banned for Athletes?

    In Human Nutrition On 10 July 2017

    I keep on getting this query from many parents and athletes whether caffeine is prohibited for athletes. The answer to this query is: Caffeine is not a banned substance but under monitoring program of WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) in 2017. The decision on caffeine is expected to conclude in September 2017 by WADA whether it will be added to banned list or not.   Brief history: Caffeine was considered as banned substance at the Olympics for many years. In 2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA**) removed caffeine from banned list considering the fact that millions of people enjoy caffeine as part of their normal lives (coffee, tea, chocolate, and soft drinks with caffeine in them) not directly as a way to boost their performance in sport.  Recommended Dosage: 1 to 3 mg caffeine per kg body weight is considered safe for adults. Such moderate dosages can be found in everyday amounts of coffee, tea, cold drinks, chocolates and some sports products (e.g., gels). For example, 60-80 mg of caffeine is supplied by a small cup of espresso coffee or 400 ml of a cola drink.  Excess intake of caffeine (e.g. 9 mg per kg body weight) can result in side effects like jitteriness, nervousness, insomnia, headache, dizziness, and gastrointestinal distress, which can obviously have a detrimental effect on performance.  Side Effects of Caffeine if taken more than recommended: Abdominal pain Diarrhoea Dehydration Restlessness, anxiety & irritability Headaches High blood pressure Interference with recovery and sleep patterns Abnormal heartbeat Increased muscle tension Reference: Caffeine presence in various drinks referred from Nestle India site.  In the case of any related query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send us an email at [email protected] or call on 080 6741 7780 (Dial Extension: 778).

  • Special Needs for Sportswomen

    In Diet Tips On 16 September 2017

    When we talk about nutrition, well-balanced meals and following healthy regime is more or less similar for male as well as female. However, it is vital to understand that sportswomen should give particular attention to three nutrients: water, calcium, and iron. Besides, meals should be rich in B12, folate, and zinc. Water: Sportswoman participating in any physical activity should understand the importance of fluid balance and pre/during/post game hydration. They should monitor their water intake closely. Calcium: Helping the body in bone growth, bone mass, muscle contraction and nerve impulses, calcium is one of the most important components of a diet. It also helps in building strong bones to resist breaking and stress fractures. Inadequate calcium intake may cause a substantial risk of stress fractures, low bone mass, and related bone injuries. Women are at greater risk of developing osteoporosis (a disorder characterized by making the bones weak and more likely to fracture), particularly after menopause, because oestrogen levels are reduced. Considering this fact, adequate daily calcium is essential in maintaining bone strength. There is no doubt that calcium is good for women, however, too much calcium might cause serious side effects, which include renal damage and deposit of calcium in other areas besides the bones. In case you are at risk of developing kidney stones, you should take extra caution before taking calcium supplements. Ragi, Milk, Cheese, Leafy Vegetables and Yogurt and calcium-rich foods are a must for sportswomen. Iron: Deficiency of iron can lead to reduced performance and fatigue. More often, females are at risk because of increased iron requirements due to menstrual blood losses matched against a smaller intake of food. If sportswomen do not get enough iron from their diet, then supplements should be considered under the supervision of a sports nutritionist or a physician. Disordered eating and menstrual irregularities are very common symptoms of poor nutrition among sportswomen. Disordered eating includes poor nutrition habits, eating junk foods, dieting, etc. Combining disordered eating with intense training leads to multiple health problems like menstrual irregularities and much more. Precautions need to be taken by sportswomen: Monitor your hydration levels closely Avoid excessive dieting which leads to unhealthy weight loss Eat 5-7 meals (3 major 3-4 small) per day Choose breakfast options rich in iron e.g. cereals Distribute proper amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat across all the meals Avoid junk foods Make sure that you are getting enough macronutrients & micronutrients from food. If not then consider supplementation under the guidance of sports nutritionist or physician. Keep monitoring your menstrual cycles. In case of irregularity take medical advice immediately. In case of any related query or to book an appointment with Dt. Silky Mahajan please send us an email at [email protected] or call on  91 7829999400.

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Silky Mahajan

Dietitian in Bangalore , India 

An author of 'Nutrition for Sportspersons' book (published by Department of Youth Empowerment & Sports, Government of Karnataka), Silky Mahajan is a highly acclaimed name in the list of top Nutritionists in India. She is the Founder & Nutrition Expert at Foods & Nutrition Clinic, Bangalore. An award-winning nutritionist, she changes the way you eat forever with her acute understanding of nutrition and its significance in the diet. She has a Masters degree in Foods & Nutrition from Panjab University, Chandigarh. Also, she is Certified Sports Nutritionist from International Sports Science Association, USA. Silky also got trained in the field of Nutrition from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chandigarh and Fortis Escort Hospital. She is holding Certified Diabetes Educator certification from International Hope Health Academy (IDEEL) in order to have the vast knowledge of Diabetes/Insulin response in athletes. Also, she is an active member of Indian Dietetics Association (IDA). Her profound knowledge in the field of nutrition and dietetics has made her the youngest most Nutritionists in the country. In an extremely short span of time, she has dealt with athletes globally, both elite players who have participated in top International Championships as well as young budding athletes with a promising future. She believes that all the joy of life comes from the right food you eat- in right amounts and, at the right time.  She has acquired wide experience working with Fortis Hospital, Alere Medicals, Sports Academies, and many other reputed MNCs that have led her to become one of the country's pre-eminent nutrition experts working towards proper nutrition therapy for society to lead a healthier lifestyle. She is one of the very few certified sports nutritionists in India offering services to NGOs as well. As a prolific author, Silky Mahajan's columns appear in leading newspapers, sports/fitness magazines, social networking websites, and other online platforms.  She has also participated in many panel discussions on nutrition in FM Radios, corporate houses, sports academies, schools, and colleges. Silky has been practicing Nutrition for more than seven years in the field of sports as well as clinical nutrition. As part of sports nutrition, she covers most sports nutrition sub-specialties like carbohydrate loading, hydration strategy, energy & endurance, muscle building, insulin management, optimize performance and sports nutritional deficiency. As part of clinical nutrition, she covers Human nutrition (Infancy, Childhood, Adolescence, Adulthood & Older Adulthood), Weight Management, Medical Nutrition Therapy (e.g. Diabetes, Hypertension, Eating disorders, Thyroid, PCOS) as well as corporate nutrition classes.