Sports nutrition: eating tips for an athlete
The practice of any sport implies subjecting the body to an extra care for which it is necessary to be well prepared and thus enjoy, surely, all the physical and psychological advantages that come with practicing sport assiduously.
Eating properly is vitally important for any athlete. Having professional advice on sports nutrition is the best way to find out which foods should not be missing from the diet and which ones should preferably be suppressed or reduced. Achieving the balance between the energy we ingest in the form of calories and the energy we need to carry out our physical activity is the secret of a good workout that allows us to stay in top shape.
Slow and fast absorbing carbohydrates that give us energy, proteins that help us to fix our muscles, and fats that assist us in the moments of maximum care? each and every one of the macronutrients must be present in the sports diet but each one of them in their proper measure.
The diet aimed at thriving physical performance should always be personalized. There are no factors that can be applied generally. Before establishing the weekly menu of an athlete, a series of variables must be estimated. To realize yours, you have to take into account:
- Sex, age and general physical condition, with particular attention to your anatomical mass.
- Type of activity, bearing in mind the intensity of exactly the same and the frequency with which you do it. A long-distance runner does not have exactly the same nutritional needs as someone who trains daily in the gym for the purpose of increasing muscle mass.
- Exercise duration and particularities, such as whether it is done outdoors or indoors and at what temperature, which is especially essential for determining hydration needs.
Basic premises of an adequate sports nutrition
If you exercise frequently, your diet should give you the nutrients and hydration your body needs before, during and after exercise. To achieve this it is essential to follow a series of basic tips:
- Carbohydrates are the primary source from which the athlete can get the energy he needs. Simple carbohydrates, such as those contained in a piece of fruit, are ideal before starting an activity that requires enormous care in a short period of time. On the other hand, complexes such as cereals, pasta or rice should be included in the diet of those who practice physical endurance activities (running, tennis, cycling, triathlon, rowing, etc.) as they will provide energy as the body demands it in long-term activities.
- High biologically valuable protein is essential for any athlete. Lean meats and eggs are essential for the proper development of the muscles and to promote the restoration after the effort.
- Fruits, vegetables, and vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals that physical exercise requires. Salads, stews, cold or hot creams are always and at all times perfect as a starter or as a side dish.
- It is essential to distribute the 5 meals each day according to the periods of training, calculating the approximate extra cost of energy that will be involved. In this way we will be able to know what food we should eat before and after.
- Fats should not be excluded from an athlete’s nutrition but their consumption should be limited. What is completely suppressible are foods that only provide empty calories and saturated or transgenic fats, such as alcoholic beverages and industrial bakery wares.
- Hydration is essential even before, during and after intense physical activity. With exercise, through sweating, we lose electrolytes and micronutrients. The body needs to recover them as soon as possible to avoid dehydration.
Of course, these are general tips that only specialists in sports nutrition can customize so that your diet fits perfectly to your needs and the demands of your favorite sport.