Sports Nutrition – It is a variant of nutrition that focuses on a specific diet for athletes, mainly if they perform high-intensity and resistance training. This branch of nutrition was born to optimize the performance of these athletes since their eating habits are vital to the type of sport they practice, in addition to facilitating recovery after the hard training session.
So the essence of sports nutrition is in the adequate intake of each nutrient, achieving the perfect balance for the body of athletes.
Goals Of Sports Nutrition
Therefore, if you are an athlete, this diet plays a fundamental role in your training routine to achieve your goals.
Among the most outstanding objectives and for which sports nutrition is becoming increasingly relevant are
- Strengthen and repair tissues
- The regulation of metabolism
- Achieve higher performance
- Exceed current marks
- Body fat loss
- Gain more energy
- Increase muscle mass
- Improve recovery after training
It is not easy to get them all at once and without help; at the same time, we take care of our health and that there is no lack of nutrients.
Therefore, it is advisable to develop optimal planning for your meals and, if necessary, go to an expert nutritionist to guide you and help you balance the intake of each nutrient.
And to achieve good nutritional planning, three elements are taken into account
- Your previous nutritional status
- Your characteristics and physical form
- The type of sport or training you do
Some General Tips For Proper Planning Are
- Base your plan on healthy foods.
- Prioritize hydration; drink at least 2 liters of water a day.
- Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables.
- Plan each meal, avoid improvising.
- Choose well what to eat before, during, and after exercise.
Of course, no single diet is valid for everyone. As we have said, it depends on the nutritional state and previous physical form, the type of sport you do, and the objectives you seek.
The diet, whatever it is, must include all the essential nutrients, each of them in a specific measure, with the necessary balance for the athlete’s body.
What Does Each Nutrient Achieve?
Sports nutrition must be rich in carbohydrates, low in fat, and moderate in protein. Below we explain what each nutrient provides
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy that the body needs when exercising. The ability to endure an intense training session depends on the glucose stored with carbohydrate intake. The best energy sources come from rice, potatoes, pasta, legumes, etc.
Proteins help in muscle growth and repair. Therefore, after exercise, it is necessary to replace the carbohydrates that have been burned and ensure good muscle recovery through protein. The proportions of both protein and carbohydrates vary depending on the type of training and its intensity.
Fish, eggs, meat, and milk provide enough protein for proper muscle development. However, it is recommended that approximately 15% of the diet be protein because if overdone, the protein goes to the liver instead of the muscle and stores it as fat, damaging the liver in the long term.
Vitamins And Minerals
Vitamins and minerals do not provide energy when playing sports, although it is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of the body.
Fatty acids favor energy storage since if the body does not have glucose when it needs energy, it turns to fatty acids to feed the cells.
Fats also provide energy to the body. However, we must avoid saturated fats, as they adhere to the walls of the arteries and, in excess, damage the body.
Fats are slowly digestible, so the energy they provide is not as efficient as the energy from carbohydrates. Therefore, fats should form at most 20% of the diet.
Good hydration is essential for the body’s optimal functioning and sports performance. Therefore, drinking plenty of water at least two hours before making a tremendous physical effort is advisable because you eliminate liquids through sweat and need to replenish them.
So you must drink water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration. But, of course, you must take it in small sips during training.
Sports nutrition is the central part of the health of an athlete. Nutrition plays a significant role in supporting the athlete in performing better. Therefore, it is necessary to have a good combination of each product in the given context. Different aspects of health and fitness separate by proper nutrition.
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