The importance of nitrogen balance in the athlete
If we talk about nitrogen, the chemical element that comes to mind comes to mind. But if we delve a little deeper into it, we will see that it is a chemical component that we find in the human organism. Nitrogen is obtained through proteins, and therefore it is important the consumption of this nutrient in athletes, since the demand for nitrogen is greater by the body when we exercise. For this reason, we want to focus on this component, specifically on the nitrogen balance in the body.
The amount of nitrogen in the body is what determines the anabolic power we have. That is, the nitrogen of the organism will determine the muscular state. Therefore, it is recommended that athletes maintain adequate nitrogen levels. Keep in mind that we consume nitrogen when exercising and subjecting the muscles to stress. We must replace it by feeding. For that reason we are going to make a brief review for the different states of nitrogen of the organism.
Positive nitrogen balance
First of all we have the positive nitrogen balance. It is the optimum state to which we must arrive and consists in that the amount of consumption never exceeds the quantities that we contain in the organism. It is the moment when the muscles recover better from exercise and achieve an adequate anabolic level. In this way we will achieve more, since a muscle with good amounts of nitrogen will be more effective.
Negative nitrogen balance
Second, we have the negative nitrogen balance. In this case, the consumption of nitrogen is greater than what we have accumulated in the body. Nitrogen in this case is obtained from the muscles and organs of the body. If we do not replenish it by feeding we can suffer damage to some organs. At this time is when the muscles do not yield and we enter the phase known as catabolic, in which we consume the muscles. It is important to replace nitrogen through the proteins that we obtain with food.
Balanced balance of nitrogen
The third balance would be the balance. In this case we stay as we are, that is, the nitrogen consumed is the same as the eliminated one. In this case the growth and muscle regeneration does not exist. It is true that it is not a bad state at all, but it is not the most appropriate if what we want is to grow and continue to build a strong muscle mass that responds to exercise.
Effects of lack of nitrogen
Nitrogen is normally eliminated through urea, that is, through urine, so it is processed by the kidneys and the liver. In this case the excess is not recommended, as we have seen that the lack of it will affect us because it will make our organs much weaker and exposed to the attack of free radicals and bacteria. The ideal is to always have nitrogen load and that is greater than the one consumed.
Some tips to get a good nitrogen balance
To get a positive nitrogen load through feeding we recommend a high quality protein intake that can be found in eggs, white meats, lean meats, vegetables rich in protein, legume and cereals. The recommended dose is approximately 2 grams per kilo of weight per day in people who practice sports or have a high activity. In this way it will serve as a guarantee when it comes to knowing whether or not we are carrying an adequate nitrogen load. In the case of not reaching these levels, we can help with food supplements. Although it is always better to get it through a healthy and balanced diet.