Fundamental Nutrition Tips for Sportspersons
Posted on September 22 2020
eing good at sports is not a God gifted talent but rather a result of years of hard work. Life of an athlete isn't as easy as it seems. He/She requires adequate strength, endurance, flexibility, and speed to excel in his/her game. Although these qualities are a result of intense training, the fuel that person takes matters too. Nutrition for athletes plays quite an essential role in their success.
A nutritious diet is a must for every person who is striving to be healthy. Furthermore, sportsperson nutrition must include some extra fundamental recommendations for better performance.
Have Your Nutrients Quantified!
The number of calories required for an athlete depends on various factors. Height, weight, body build, and the sport played everything matters. You must also decide the amount of other macro and micronutrients to take beforehand. Consult a nutritionist or a sports dietitian and plan a diet that suits you and your activities.
Carbs Are Essential Too!
Most of the people believe that athletes must take a low carb and high protein diet. Many say that protein is all that we need for excellent fitness. But it is a myth which fitness industries have promoted throughout the years.
Your body utilizes stored glycogen as energy to fuel you while exercising. The carbohydrates that you consume replenish these glycogen stores in your body. Thus, to have energy throughout the long training sessions, you must take enough carbs. Make sure that 70 percent of calories that you consume come from carbohydrates. Some good sources of simple carbs are wheat, rice, barley, maize, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and dairy products, etc.
Proteins For The Repair Of Your Body!
Another significant macronutrient that is a vital part of nutrition is proteins. Training hard often causes wear and tear of your muscles. Several sports demand great strength and the right muscle mass. Having an adequate amount of protein in a diet is necessary for repairing muscles and building up muscle mass. Athlete diet plans must include protein like pulses, lean meat, nuts, beans, eggs, and milk, etc.
Remember that an average person requires 1.2 to 1.5 mg of protein per kg of body weight. So, make sure that you take enough proteins according to your body mass.
Ways To Get Those Healthy Fats!
During long periods of practice, your body often turns to the fat stores for energy. Thus, having a fat free diet can be hazardous for your performance. Omega 3 fatty acids are also necessary for the proper functioning of your brain and heart. Try to include moderate amounts of healthy fats in your diet. Diet with nuts, avocados, fish oils, vegetable oils, salmon, and other good fats is good for athletes. Always make sure to include fats along with your meal and avoid them before a sports event. Taking fat-rich products before the leading sports event might hinder your performance.
Some Special Micronutrients!
Now that you know the importance of macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. There are some unique micronutrients worth mentioning too.
Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient required for the absorption of calcium in a body. Calcium plays a significant role in the maintenance of your bone and muscle health. Athlete diet plans must include a daily portion of 1000-1500 mg of calcium and more than 600 IU of Vitamin D per day. Dairy products like milk, curd, cheese, spinach, beans, and broccoli contain calcium. But for the absorption of this calcium, vitamin D is a must. You must have heard that the sun is a rich source of Vitamin D.
So, along with having a balanced diet, you must spend an adequate amount of time under the sunshine.
Another vital micronutrient necessary for your body is iron. Iron is necessary as it helps in the formation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the component of your blood that delivers oxygen to your vital organs. One must have foods like jaggery, spinach, beans, liver, etc., to meet the daily need of at least 15 mg of iron every day. Female athletes must pay special attention to the iron content in their diet as they lose blood through menstrual flow every month.
Maintain Fluid And Electrolyte Balance!
Electrolytes are necessary for transmitting nerve signals throughout your body. Training and sports events cause a tremendous amount of sweating, which leads to a massive loss of fluid and electrolytes. Massive loss of fluid may often cause dehydration. Various signs are dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, yellowish or too little urination, etc.
So, sportsperson nutrition is incomplete without caring about fluids and electrolyte balance.
Drink at least 3-4 liters of water daily to maintain the fluid balance in your body. Take water during your workout if required and also hydrate yourself post-workout. Include fruit juices and other natural drinks in your daily diet to keep yourself hydrated all day.
Apple, banana, grapes, pineapple, etc. have the right amount of potassium and magnesium. These are necessary to maintain the electrolyte balance in your body.