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Nutrition and its Relationship with The Mental State of Athletes.

An athlete’s performance can be influenced by various factors, including the nutritional intake. The dietary habits of the athlete can also have a psychological impact on performance and may differ from one individual to another.

As reported by - Baker, et al., 2014 performance in many sports is at least partially dependent on motor control, coordination and proprioception, decision making as well as other cognitive activities. This indicates the importance of nutrition for the health and performance of an athlete, although knowledge in the area of performance related to nutrition is still not clear - Shriver, et al., 2013. The motive of this study is to identify the importance of nutrition amongst different athletes in different sports and to identify the psychological barriers their current nutritional status portrays.

One of the studies outlined the acute effects of dietary elements on motor skills and cognitive performance amongst athletes - Baker, et al., 2014. This study discusses the effects of different dietary constituents including branched amino acids and their effects, caffeine, cocoa flavanols and L-theanine. As stated in this study, dietary constituents may influence the brain and brain cells through different severe effects on a daily basis - Baker, et al., 2014. Furthermore, this study reveals that in special conditions related to “mental and physical stress”, such as “short term high-intensity exercise and repeated sprint ability”, the previously mentioned constituents may be suggested - Baker, et al., 2014.

Moreover, a research study on green tea consumption and its effects on the intellectual process as well as the state of mind has been investigated through recent years - Dietz & Dekker, 2017. This study explains the production and composition of both green tea and matcha tea. In addition to this, this study includes the mechanism of the brain causing effects on mood and cognition induced by; caffeine, L-theanine & epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). L-theanine was not only shown to have many effects on the central nervous system, blood supply, and heart rate, but also to have an antagonistic effect on caffeine when administered in conjunction with increasing and controlling blood pressure.

Studies also revealed that L-theanine influences different cognitive areas including reaction time and long & short-term memory. However, caffeine was found to increase alpha frequency and blood pressure while it lowers the condition of the cerebral blood flow.

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