Health Midterm Essay

Submitted By RaiderJJ117
Words: 2021
Pages: 9

January 14, 2014
Unit 5
Health Period 3
Nutrition and Sports I chose Nutrition and Sports as a topic because of the importance of its information, how it applied to my past, and because I plan on using this information to lead a healthier lifestyle. Some things that I learned about were vitamin supplements, salt tablets, sports drinks, energy bars, carbohydrate loading, and protein loading. In a nutshell I learned about different strategies to better health, some that work and a lot more that do not. While reading about vitamin supplements I learned that a supplement is a substance that increases your total dietary intake, in this section I also learned about megadosing, the dangers of it, and how it reaps little or no reward in increasing athletic performance. A group of subjects that I learned about were some of the individual supplements themselves including salt tablets, sports drinks, and energy bars. I learned that salt tablets are a supplement that teen athletes commonly consume for an increased salt intake, therefore a boost in electrolytes, and they take them to increase their sports performance. There is a major disadvantage to taking salt tablets, dehydration, teens that use salt tablets are more likely to become dehydrated during and/or after sports because they are not replacing the water they lose from strenuous physical activity. Whether or not salt tablets increase ones sports performance is completely irrelevant if they were too become easily dehydrated as a result of taking this supplement. Sports Drinks are commonly consumed to help replace the electrolytes that are lost during physical activity. Energy bars are another commonly used supplement that is taken to give a quick boost in energy and some other vitamins and minerals. In my research I also learned about techniques that athletes use to better performance, these techniques include Carbohydrate loading and Protein loading. Carbohydrate loading involves going a few days with a very low carbohydrate intake and then a very high carbohydrate intake for a few days. This strategy is supposed to load the muscle with glycogen prior to strenuous physical activity. Protein loading involves consuming extra protein in order to “gain muscle mass” or “make weight” for certain sports. The downside to Protein loading is that no muscle mass is actually gained from increased consumption of protein because muscle mass is gained through exercise. While researching this topic I also came across some interesting facts. I learned from my vitamin supplement research that “megadosing”, or taking certain vitamins in excessive amounts, can not only be non-effective in performance enhancement but it can also be harmful to ones health. I also learned from my Salt tablets research that many teens consume ten times the salt that is needed for their bodies. I also learned that, despite being used for energy purposes, many energy contains lots of sugar and are high in calories. Anything high in sugar with a lot of empty calories has the potential to later cause a sugar crash. I also learned that, despite muscle being constructed of various proteins, consuming extra protein does not give one extra muscle. You may be asking, Why did I chose this project? Well I chose this project because of my diet, my amount of physical activity, and my yearning for the knowledge that can potentially better my health. As of this fall, when the physicals were sent home, I found out that I was in the obese category. I realized just how disgusted I was by myself and I decided to make a change; for some time at the beginning of the year I went to the gym regularly, made myself healthy snacks and meals, and all around practiced good health skills. Then as the year went on and the daylight waned I became flooded with school work, chores, and household duties as the “man of the house”; then I developed bad eating habits again and I became sheltered in my house or at