An athlete is always looking to improve their performance. So, high intensity training and workouts are a common part of their routine. They need enough energy to meet these physical demands every day.
A comprehensive diet packed with essential nutrients and sports nutrition tips supplements is a must.
As much as it is important, sports nutrition is viewed as complicated. Plus, the lack of proper planning and implementation becomes a barrier in eating right. Here’s a sports nutrition guide to help you start with.
Energy Requirements and Nutrition
It is common knowledge that sports persons need more energy than an average person. Depending on the goals an average athlete needs around 2000-2500 calories or more per day. To get this daily dose, they need to have foods and drinks that provide certain nutrients. This includes:
- Other vitamins and minerals, depending on individual requirements Sports Nutrition Tips.
Getting these nutrients need not be complicated. Start small with some basic steps and get the most out of it.
Sports Nutrition Tips
Never Skip Your Breakfast
Your body needs energy for the day ahead. Be it an intensive workout or a long training session, breakfast not only provides energy but also helps kick start metabolism.
Having breakfast also reduces the need to eat in between, making you feel light throughout the day. It also improves your focus and alertness, helping you train better.
Have a nutritious breakfast filled with proteins and carbs, like boiled eggs or oats. Make sure to not have a high-fat breakfast before workouts and training.
Go High On Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates act as a primary source of energy for sports persons. These macronutrients are broken down into glucose and stored as glycogen in your muscles, which provide energy during physical activity.
For workouts longer than 90 minutes you need enough quantity to sustain you.Sports Nutrition Tips It helps replenish glycogen that is utilized while doing physical activities. Getting enough carbs also reduces your chance of feeling sluggish.
Carbohydrates should make up the major portion of your diet. Here are some points to remember:
- Fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, grains, beans, and bread are rich in carbohydrates. Fill half of your meal plates with these or eat a diet that comprises 70% of carb-rich foods.
- Keep consuming carbs in between your sessions. Convenient snacks like fruits, fresh fruit juices, energy bars, and gels help replenish sources.
- Eat less refined carbohydrates after an intensive workout to keep your body loaded with it.
- Starchy and sugary foods cause dehydration. So, don’t eat them 30 minutes prior to any physical activity.
Eat Enough Proteins
Proteins are the building blocks of your body. They are responsible for carrying oxygen, repairing cells, formation of cells and strengthening of bones. Sports Nutrition Tips Having enough protein in your body assists in fast recovery in case of muscle pulls and injuries.
15% of your diet should be filled with protein rich foods. Here are some points to remember.
- Chicken, lean red meat, eggs, cheese, yogurt, beans, cereals, etc. are great sources of protein.
- Milk contains casein and whey protein. While the whey protein is absorbed quickly and speeds up recovery, casein helps with long term strength and recovery. Healthy, natural whey protein powders are available, which helps you fulfil your protein requirement if you fall short.
- Protein bars and supplements are also helpful, especially to help get the daily dose of the nutrients for vegetarians.
Always choose natural variants. Take care to not have too much protein, else it can take a toll on your kidneys.
Include Fruits and Veggies
Vegetables and fruits like bananas, berries, spinach, carrots, broccoli, kale, etc., are packed with essential vitamins and minerals. These not only add to your strength, but also help in recovery when needed.
Include different veggies and add a fruit to each meal to fulfil your body’s nutrient needs. Add fruits to cereals, yogurt, or make a vegetable sandwich. If your body requires a specific nutrient, you can always get sports nutrition supplements.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
As you sweat, you are bound to dehydrate. Your need for liquids depends on the intensity and hours of exercise. Listen to your body and drink when you feel thirsty.
Opt for water, fresh juices or flavored milk and avoid sugary energy drinks and sodas. Natural sports drinks are also a great way to rehydrate yourself.Sports Nutrition Tips Make sure to avoid coffee, tea, and caffeinated drinks as they carry a lot of sugar and cause dehydration.
Hope this sports nutrition Tips helps you. While these are basic tips, you can always consult your trainer for guidance. Apart from this, make sure to get enough rest to keep your body energized.
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