Athletes need to fuel their bodies correctly in order to complement their practices, regular workouts, and game schedules. The lean bodies of famous athletes reflect how great their nutrition is. Sports nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated. No matter you are an athlete or a fitness freak, the following nutrition tips are for you.
1. Eat a Variety of Foods:
Athletes need extra calories to fuel their sports performance. That is because they need to work out more than non-athletes. Its bad idea for athletes to focus only on one type of diet because they need to power their game for the long haul. Although you may have heard about carb-loading before a game, carbohydrates are not the only source of energy for athletes. You need to include a variety of nutrition sources to your diet like vitamins, protein, fats, and minerals. All of them are essential for staying in peak playing shape.
2. Vital Vitamins and Muscular Minerals:
Iron supplies oxygen to the muscles, and calcium is needed for strong bones that athletes depend on. Most of teen athletes don’t get enough of these minerals. Lean (not much fat) meat, poultry fish, leafy green vegetables, and iron-fortified cereals are the rich sources of iron. Consume dairy foods such as yogurt, cheese, or low-fat milk to get the calcium you need. Calcium is crucial for athletes to protect them against stress fractures. In addition to iron and calcium, you need a whole bunch of other minerals and vitamins. Including lots of different fruits and veggies in your diet provides you the vitamins needed for good sports performance and health.
3. Protein Power:
Athletes need more protein than other people because protein helps to build strong muscles. Workout and regular training also contribute to building strong muscles. Good sources to obtain protein are lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, soy, peanut butter, and soy. If you don’t like eating meats, Old School Labs offer the muscle-building protein blend for muscular strength. However, too much intake of protein can cause dehydration and calcium loss.
4. Fat Fuel:
Everybody needs a certain amount of fats every day, and they are particularly essential for athletes. Active muscles need fats for long-lasting energy because they quickly burn through carbs. But not all fats are created equal, and experts recommend athletes to eat healthier fats. Healthier fats are unsaturated and can be obtained from vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Avoid eating partially hydrogenated oils and saturated fat, which are found in high-fat dairy products and high-fat meat. Choosing the right time to eat fats is also crucial for athletes. It’s a good idea to avoid eating fatty foods for a few hours before and after exercising.
5. Ditch Dehydration:
Water has no nutritional value, but it’s also important in unlocking your game power. When you sweat during a workout, it’s easy to become dehydrated, overheated, and worn out. Even mild dehydration can affect your physical and mental performance. The amount of fluid each individual needs depends on his level of physical activity, body size, and environmental temperature. Experts recommend that athletes should drink fluids every 15 to 20 minutes during the exercise as well as before and after a workout. You can also opt for sports drinks, but water is always a better choice if your training is rigorous and in really hot weather. Moreover, additional electrolytes may improve your performance in these conditions.