The Importance of Nutrition Measurement for Athlete Performance

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Nutritionist of KONI East Java and lecturer of FK UNAIR Dr. Bambang Purwanto, dr., M.Kes during sport nutrition seminar in FKM last week. (Photo: Bambang Bes)

UNAIR NEWS – Nutrition management and measurement of nutritional supply to consume are needed to be an athlete with the best performance during competition. It should be done during preparation, during competition and after it. Therefore in sports management, nutritionists are needed.

That statement was concluded from “Sports Nutrition Seminar: Sports Nutrition Management to Improve Athletes Performance”. It was managed by Department of Nutrition Faculty of Public Health (FKM)  Universitas Airlangga and was held in FKM UNAIR on Saturday, December 17.

Seven speakers invited were Dr. dr. Bambang Purwanto, M.Kes., a lecturer of Faculty of Medicine (FK) UNAIR and KONI East Java Nutritionist, Prof. Dr. Hardinsyah MS, a professor of Nutrition from IPB, Chairman of Pergizi Pangan, and Chairman of Indonesian Nutrition Higher Education Institution Association (AIPGI); Dr. dr. Sri Adiningsih, MS., MCN., a nutritionist of FKM UNAIR and KONI East Java. There were also Mury Kuswari, SPd., M.Si., Chairman of Indonesian Sports and Fitness Nutritionist Association (ANOKI) and Head of Nutrition Program of  Universitas Esa Unggul; Nazhif Gifari, SGz., M.Si., Founder of Gizi Kebugaran Indonesia, Albert Juwono, three gold medal winner in dancer sports in PON XIX West Java, and Edo Nurhakim, S.Gz., C.Mt., C.NNLP., Health and Nutrition Motivator.

In determining the athlete’s drink to get maximum result, Bambang Purwanto admitted that it needs a thorough observation. One thing to consider is whether it is anaerobic sports or not. In sports which demand intense breathing management (anaerobic), the drink should be alkaline not acidic.

Because, this kind of sports trigger increasing H+ (plus) ion and muscle cells produce lactic acid. When lactic acid meets water, it is dissociated again and becomes H+ ionSo, alkaline drink is needed.

”When H+ (plus) meets H- (minus), they will become water, and the water becomes neutral and blood constituent,” Bambang added.

A lot of drinks sold in the market and tasted sweet, but after being tested, most of them were acidic as they contain high pH level. It is not suitable for anaerobic athlete. Lactate produce will bind H+ ion. It has radical character but it does not cause muscle irritation and does not make our breathing heavy. The problem is, this lactic acid has low pH level so when it comes out of the cells and meets the blood which mostly contains water, pH is easily dissociated and returns to its origin: lactic acid.

”When this lactate reaches the liver, in Cori cycle and reconstructed so H+-remains in the blood and acidosis happens where there is an excessive acid in blood and cause low pH level. It can be a problem,” he said.

Drinks sold in the market rarely have adequate pH level. They just focus to H+ ion replacement and they sell. Isotonic drink is deemed less delicious, so the industrial added artificial acidic substance so it can have better taste.

FK UNAIR lecturer has tested this with two groups of student athletes. One group given alkaline (group A) and the other one given acidic water (group B). The drink for group A has pH level over 7, while group B less than 7. They were given same amount of drink: 400 ml and asked to run 800 m with time limit 8-10 minutes (anaerobic category, under 20 minutes).

After they ran and their lactic acid was measured, group A has higher lactic acid, but not as high group B. It was quite significant. When the activity is repeated three times, group A got stable result and the blood pH level was consistent, while group B, in their second run showed lower performance.

”So it is really helped athletes in sports with anaerobic metabolism. We often see a winger of football, running fast with the ball but after they got to the box, he lost focus and the kick missed the target,” said Bambang Purwanto.

Then in rehydration we need to consider whether it is hot or cold. It is suggested to drink with cool temperature around 21 degrees Celcius. It is usually kept in a box with ice cubes not the one in glasses and added with ice.

How much should we drink? Bambang gave a formula: body weight after physical activity subtracted with body weight before the activity and multiplied by 1000, then added with the amount of water drank during the activity and subtracted by the estimated urine volume, and divided into the duration of sports in minute. There will be about 300 ml/10 minutes or about two glasses of mineral water.

”What we need to consider is have we drunk enough water or not. Watch the urine, if it is dark, then we need more drink. So my tips, choose your drink and look after your health,” said Dr. Bambang Purwanto ended. (*)

Author: Bambang Bes

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