If you are an athlete or an extremely active individual, you need a diet that can keep up with your high-performance demands and help you recover quickly afterward. This is true if you are doing something that takes a lot of endurance at a high-intensity level.
Being an athlete, your physical health is key to an active lifestyle. You depend on strength, skill, and endurance, whether going for the ball or making that final push across the finish line. Being your best takes time, training, and patience, but that’s not all. Like a car, your body won’t run without the right fuel. It would help if you took special care to get enough calories, vitamins, and other nutrients that provide energy.
Anytime you work out at this high intensity for 60 to 90 minutes, such as runners, basketball players, soccer players, or any other fast-paced sport, your body needs extra fuel. Here are a few tips to maintain
7 NUTRITIONAL TIPS FOR ATHLETES
1. Always drink plenty of water (Hydration):
Intense exercise means your body will be sweating, which can lead to dehydration. So, drink plenty of water and sports drinks. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water or energy drinks. If you are feeling thirsty, it means your body is already showing signs of dehydration. Water plays a more critical role in the body; it regulates the body temperature and helps in the proper circulation of food and nutrient around the body; drinking plenty of water during physical activity is essential. Athletes may sweat up to 6 to 10 percent of their body weight during physical activity.
2. Don’t be afraid of carbohydrates:
Carbohydrates give your body the energy to work out for over an hour. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to eat a lot of bread and pasta. Healthy carbohydrates may include veggies, fruits, nuts, and whole grains. Carbohydrate provides the body with calories, which is then burn down by the body to provide energy; just as a car needs fuel to work, our body needs energy to work fine, and this can be gotten majorly from carbohydrates.
3. Eat protein only after your sporty activities:
During sporting activities, the body loses a lot of energy, and a lot of muscles are weakened too, so consuming food with protein helps to build muscle. Although protein doesn’t necessarily give the body energy, it repairs worn-out tissues and builds back weakened muscles, Eat high-quality protein such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, and eggs. However, be careful about the amount of protein you eat; too much protein can strain your kidneys, and ensure you only eat food that contains protein after sporting activities instead of before. Unlike carbohydrates and protein, food takes a lot of time to digest and can make you uncomfortable during sports if you eat them immediately before sporting activities.
4. Eat little Fatty Food:
Another important source of calories apart from carbohydrate is Fat. although needed in small amounts, fat is a key fuel source. It serves other functions, such as supporting good skin and hair. fat may be a good source of calories to the body but do not replace carbs in your diet with fats. This can slow you down, because your body has to work harder to burn fat for energy than carbohydrates. Fats should make up no more than 30% of your daily calories. When you can, choose unsaturated fats, like olive oil and nuts. These are better for your health than saturated and trans fats. Too much fat or the wrong kinds can cause health problems. It can raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol level and increase your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
5. Get plenty of sleep after sporting activities:
Having enough rest makes your body recover all the lost energy and gives room for the body to repair itself. Sleeping also helps your mind and nerves relax. It also reduces the brain’s activity, indirectly allowing it to rest, so you feel relaxed and energized the next day. Even eating all the right foods and drinking plenty of fluids won’t energize you if you lack sleep. Make sure you let your body catch up on sleep so you can wake up enthusiastically and ready to live a healthy lifestyle each day.
6. Don’t skip breakfast:
We have all heard it before; breakfast is the day’s most important meal. This is especially true for athletes. Breakfast helps energize you in the morning and keeps you going strong the whole day and eating breakfast before sport is just like getting your farm tractor checked adequately before using it. So always ensure you start your day with a proper sports diet to help you on the go.
7. Eat enough Fruit:
As we know, fruits contain Vitamins and essential minerals the body needs to go about daily activities and during exercise and strenuous activities. Although vitamins don’t give energy since they don’t contain calories, they help convert food into energy through metabolic pathways; For instance, vitamin B aids the release of energy from carbohydrates, so eating enough fruit indirectly helps you regain lost energy during and after sporting activities.
CONCLUTION: Many athletes do not like to eat anything before competition because of the feeling of fullness in their stomachs. Because pre-competition fueling is a must, go with liquid foods. Yogurts, smoothies, and soups are a few healthy options. and note to never go into any sporting activity without eaten. You may also need to speak to an online food technologist or a nutritionist for proper guidance and advice.
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