Every athlete wants to be the king of the track, striving to win every race and if possible, to make a new world record. Athletes do the much they can to keep on top of the game, regular practice, workouts and all that stuff is always featuring on their schedule. However, the basic and most essential input you need as an athlete is a good nutritional provision to keep up the tone.
You need the same 50 vitamins and minerals as everyone else. Although athletes may benefit from additional nutrients, medical professionals have not offered any specific set of guidelines. To stay healthy, just be sure the extra calories you take in each day are nutrient dense– full of calcium, iron, potassium and other healthy vitamins and minerals. Although it can be tempting to reach for junk food as an easy source of calories, focus instead on lean meats, whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables to fuel your body.
Water is generally the best way to rehydrate. If your event lasts less than an hour, water is sufficient for replacing what you’ve lost by sweating. If you’re competing for a longer period of time, you may benefit from the extra electrolytes and carbohydrates found in sports drinks. While competing, avoid energy drinks that contain caffeine, because caffeine can actually make dehydration worse, and may make you feel jittery or anxious.
Try to eat a pre-game meal 2 to 4 hours before your event. A good pre-game meal is usually higher in complex carbohydrates and lower in protein and sugar. Avoid rich and greasy foods, which may be more difficult for you to digest and cause an upset stomach. Many people find it helpful to avoid food the hour just before a sporting event, as the digestion process uses up energy.
Many at times, athletes fail to reach their target in the field, only to leave the track remorseful, frustrated and exhausted. The problem may have been a slight miscalculation, or a normal defeat. Good athletes know that a failure in nutrition may cost them in a competition or in training.
Training and competition require large amounts of energy, which comes from carbohydrates, fats and protein in your body. If you do not consume enough of these macronutrients from your diet, your body will not be able to perform at a peak level of performance. Strength training relies primarily on carbohydrates for energy. Your muscles break down their own protein to fuel themselves during intense training. Endurance training consumes both fats and carbohydrates.
Training induces controlled levels of damage in your muscles. Your body rebuilding stronger muscles is what leads to growth in muscle mass and increased strength and endurance. The first two hours after training are the most critical for exercise recovery, according to nutritionist Dr. John Berardi. The demand remains high for at least 24 hours after training. If nutritional demands are not met during this period, recovery will be prolonged over days or weeks.
Though weight changes may be the intention of your training, unintended and potentially dangerous weight changes can occur with poor nutrition. With continued training, you will lose muscle mass without proper nutrition. You may gain or lose body fat at an unhealthy pace as well, depending on the particulars of your diet, training and genetics.
Female athletes that fail to maintain adequate nutrition may cease menstruating until the nutritional deficits are corrected. Hair, skin and nail health may also be compromised. The levels of growth and sex hormones, such as testosterone, are drastically decreased with prolonged nutritional deficits. Malnutrition also places you at greater risk of many other diseases and health problems.
Drinks are a central aspect, an important aspect every athlete counts on to keep refreshed, nourished and rehydrated all through. There are many types of drinks that can suffice; it all depends with one’s preference and the length of the exercise as well. Water usually tops the list when we talk of drinks for athletes, but there are also other drinks that can perform well too.
I must admit; I wasn’t always a fan. Coconut water has a slightly pulpy texture, but the advantages far outweigh my minor complaint. This beverage, derived from a baby coconut, is low calorie, fat and cholesterol free, has loads of potassium, and provides naturally occurring carbs (in the form of sugars) and electrolytes.
Not only are the beautiful beans used to make espresso packed full of antioxidants, those bad boys also aid in repairing cells and offer quicker recovery from injury, illness, or extreme forms of workouts. Now most of us enjoy the rush of a caffeinated beverage, but highly acidic levels of coffee can sometimes cause stomach problems.
Here’s the deal… Sure, I dig a little cow milk; but it makes my tummy turn and my bathroom breaks lengthy. So a little almond milk (although low in protein itself) pairs perfectly with my preferred protein for gulp-able and hormone-free post-workout refreshment.
As a recovery aid, the flavor-filled fluid is derived from vitamins, enzymes, plant extract, and electrolytes to keep you trucking along. No sugar, no crazy colored additives, and no fake flavors. This bubbly brew is like unicorn magic in your mouth. So drink some.