Nutrition & supplementation for the squash player

29th August 2013

An area we get a lot of questions about here at Squashskills, is Nutrition. Specifics of what exactly we should eat, and when we should eat it are very relevant questions for such a physically demanding sport as squash, and diet and nutrition are certainly areas that we will branching out into further in the coming months here on the site.

One of the biggest issues with anything nutrition-based is a large amount of dissenting opinions, even on some of the most basic of issues. Nutrition is not an exact science, and there are a wide variety of factors that need to be taken into account and considered for any individual. Added to this is the massive conflict of interest with many so-called ‘nutritionists’ where they are simply trying to sell you their book or product, as well as the colossal amount of pseudoscience present in the field when talking about things such as ‘toxins‘, and it can be very difficult to know where to start and who to listen to.

Our aim here at Squashskills is to present simple, relatable, evidence-backed information for you to follow, and with this in mind we’ll be featuring a series of articles throughout the remainder of 2015 that cut through the nonsense and look at the basics of how to start and maintain a solid, healthy diet based on whole foods and optimal macronutrient quantities.

A closely related area to diet/nutrition that also comes up frequently, is that of supplementation. There are a huge variety of pills, powders, and potions that are prominently marketed and sold on the high street now, and a lot of people are lured in by the claims of increased endurance/strength/muscle gain that are promised.

The actual evidence for the vast majority of these supplements however, is usually sketchy at best. Even those that do hold potential benefits, are a distant second in their effectiveness to the maintenance of a healthy, balanced, wholefood-based diet.

That said, there are certainly some products that can be an effective supplement to a good nutritional plan. They are never a replacement to a sound diet of course – hence the name ‘supplement’ – but for those already following a healthy and wholesome nutritional regime that are looking for that little bit extra, there are some sound research-backed supplements available that may be worth considering. We’ve looked at some of the most commonly recommended products before as an example, as well as discussing in-depth the potential benefits of Creatine.

There is a great resource available out there for those looking to get further info on the evidence and studies into various sports/performance and vitamin/mineral supplements. Examine.com is a fantastic site that looks at the research into a multitude of products, and independently evaluates the claims made by the manufacturers and distributors. It’s my go-to site for checking out the quality and validity of the research into any new or existing supplement that becomes flavour of the month and is well worth bookmarking for anybody looking to check out the science (or not) behind the products they currently use or are considering trying.

We’ll be covering a good deal more on both nutrition and supplementation in the coming months – be sure to let us know if there are any particular areas you’d like to know more about by dropping us an email here at the site.

 

Gary Nisbet

B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Conditioning Director

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