Participating in sports and fitness provides many benefits for health and wellbeing—and this holds true for many people with inherited metabolic disorders.
Plenty of members of the metabolic community run races, dance, and play team sports to stay fit. James, a college sophomore with Phenylketonuria (PKU), for example, plays club soccer. (Read our interview with him on getting back to college here). And Danae’, who has Homocystinuria (HCU) and leads the HCU Network America patient group, lifts weights regularly!
We put together a couple of blogs with some basic ideas of sports nutrition for those with amino acid disorders in hopes of inspiring you or your loved one to explore sports and fitness opportunities. Read on and be sure to check out our second blog in this series for more on nutrition before, during, and after exercise.
Huddle with your team (your metabolic healthcare team, that is!)
Before getting started, it is important to know that you should always talk to your metabolic healthcare team before changing any exercise or diet routine. The information here is not meant to take the place of professional medical advice.
Talk with your metabolic healthcare team about which sports and fitness activities may be good for you or your loved one. Your dietitian will take the type, intensity and duration of exercise into account and advise you on your needs.
Play at your best with the help of proper nutrition
Being at your best at your sport not only takes practice, but it starts at home at the table. What you eat affects your physical and mental performance. Being prepared before exercise is especially important for people with an amino acid metabolism disorder.
To play or exercise at your best, keep the following nutrition rules of thumb in mind:
- A general healthy diet helps your fitness. That means limiting processed foods, avoiding added sugar and eating a variety of fruits and veggies.
- Protein, coming mainly from the prescribed metabolic formula for most individuals with an amino acid disorder, is important for muscle building and repair.
- Carbohydrates from special low protein foods, metabolic formula, and regular foods low in protein provide fuel so your body has enough for your sport; avoid sugary foods when possible.
- Healthy fat sources such as sunflower or walnut oil give you essential fats and calories.
- And as mentioned, fresh fruits and veggies provide nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Remember: Always ask your metabolic healthcare professionals for advice.
Nutricia offers several different metabolic formulas to help you get your protein, including after sports. Check out ready‐to‐drink PhenylAde® GMP Ready, Lophlex® LQ and Periflex® LQ for those with PKU. Lophlex LQ is also available for those with HCU, Tyrosinemia (TYR), and Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD). These products are super easy to carry with you in your sports bag.
Convenient options such as PhenylAde GMP Mix‐In that can be easily added to a sports drink, or even Phlexy‐10® Tablets, are other popular options for those with PKU.
Click here for more information and talk to your dietitian about which formula is right for you.
Let’s talk more about nutrition before, during, and after exercise in our next blog, Sports Nutrition Basics, Part 2
All products shown are medical foods for the dietary management of inborn errors of metabolism and must be used under medical supervision.
Always talk to your metabolic healthcare professionals before making any changes to your activity or diet routine.
© Nutricia North America 2019
Written by: Ulrike Reichert, MS, Director Medical Affairs Keto/Metabolics Nutricia North America