Eating for exercise and sports
You should remember that a good nutrition is able to make sporting performance better. Moreover, the wholesome food adds to general health that is why before you get involved in a workout, you should know all about the way the nutrition impacts on your body whether you are a beginner or a competing athlete. In this article we are going to consider nutritionally correct sports diet.
Main requirements of sports nutrition diet
First ask yourself: How diet affects sports performance?
The food should provide energy so that you could feel strong enough to complete a training session. The nutrition is able to facilitate a recovery period too. Your ration should consist of cereals, lean meat, fish, vegetables, greenery, fruit, and dairy products. The right balance of all useful substances allows to keep the optimal body weight. And of course, it is important to ensure the needed hydration. Such thoughtful and scientifically grounded approach will provide an athlete with health for a long time.
As to principle elements a single eating should contain:
- over 50% of carbohydrates;
- about 20% of protein;
- under 30 % of fat.
Though, you should mind that the above proportion depends on intensity of exercises. If an athlete exercises hardly during about 90 minutes, the amount of carbohydrate can be increased. If percentage is convenient way to calculate, you can consider another system based on grams per s kilo of a weight of an athlete. As to fat, it should come with oils mostly (olive one, for instance), avocado, nuts, fatty fish. While, the wise health and sports diet should not include cakes, pasteries, and fried foods.
Eating before, during, and after exercise
- Before training you should eat a high-carbohydrate meal. It is important to have a bite or a full food intake three hours before exercise. You can eat a bowl of cereal, toast or even muffins, pasta or rice with sauce. If eating happens right before a workout, the performance will be poor due to a digestive discomfort.
- If an exercise continues over an hour, it is better to eat some carbohydrate during it to increase a level of glucose in blood so that you feel full of energy. It can be a sports bar or tiny sandwich with white bread. The total weight of this meal should not exceed 50 g. You can bite off this bar little by little during all exercise period. Add any sports drinks if you feel you need them or you can replace them with fresh water.
- After training, almost all glycogen is used and it is important to replace it immediately after a workout. Any carbohydrate foods in small amounts are recommended. You should consume it in the first hour. The glycogen stores are needed to build your muscles, but if you are interested in fat burning, you’d better refuse from eating during a couple of hours after exercise. The principle is simple. When you do not offer your body an easy way to get energy from carbohydrates, it will start consume your fat – which is more difficult to transform to energy that is why your body usually accumulates supplies from fat.
It is highly recommended to build your own sports nutrition diet plan considering amounts of nutrients you consume with every eating.
Carbohydrates, protein and fats
Now, let’s consider the nutrients we consume with various food.
Carbohydrates or carbs come to our body with cereals, vegetables, fruits, dairy products, candies, and patisseries. When digested, carbohydrates become glucose – an easy energy source which is partially converted into glycogen which is sent to our muscle tissues and liver to create supplies. It is used for various activities including workouts as a fuel needed to build muscle tissue. When an athlete eats high-carbohydrate foods regularly, he keeps the resources at the required level. But if loading is not intensive during exercises, the excess of carbohydrate may cause weight gain. On the contrary, if there is a lack of glycogen, this can cause a loss of muscle tissue.
Thus, the amount of carbohydrate in your meal depends on an intensity and duration of exercise. If you are involved completely, you should choose food rich in carbs. Eat cereals, wholegrain breads, vegetables, and fruits. Let’s consider the quantity for:
- light intensity exercise lasting about half an hour – about 5 g per a kilo of body weight.
- severe intensity exercise lasting over 4 hours per a day – abut 10 g per a kilo of body weight.
Protein helps to recover after a workout and is used as a main raw material for muscular tissue. The need in it also depends on intensity of a workout. If you are seriously engaged, you should take a larger amount. For instance:
- For active people the daily amount is about 1.0 g per a kilo of body weight.
- Beginners in sport with daily exercises lasting about an hour should take 1.2 g per a kilo of body weight per day.
- The athletes are recommended to consume about 1.7 g per a kilo of body weight per day.
The diet can be added with protein sport diet supplements.
So, what is the best high performance diet for sports? First of all, it should be based on the particular health conditions of a person. You should consult with your doctor to ensure that you have no restrictions connected with any diseases including kidney dysfunctions. Secondly, do not forget about water. When being involved in sport it is vital to avoid dehydration which is able to cause collapse. You should drink water in sips before, during, and after a workout in particular if you exercise in warm conditions. Though, water is a highly recommended choice, it can be replaced by sports drinks, which are even better for an intensive exercise.
We hope, now you understand how diet affects sports performance. As far as physical activity is usually needed as a weight management, you can think over your exercises and diet to lose body fat gradually but without losing your muscle. The weight loss should not exceed 2 pounds per week. You should not forget about timing and eat at the same period during a day. As we have already mentioned, a products you choose are very important. You should not skip breakfast and do not eat to excess in the evening. The food should be diverse to deliver all needed nutrients to the body.