ATHLETES SHOULD BE MINDFUL OF THEIR DAILY NUTRITION. THEY NEED TO TRAIN THEIR BODY IN STORING ENERGY AND PROPERLY SUSTAINING IT SO IT CAN PERFORM AT ITS BEST.
The energy needs exceed those of the average person. Caloric needs are about 2200-3000 calories per day, for either male or female athletes.
Balancing macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat), vitamins and minerals is the key to better performance.
Carbohydrates is the no. 1 source of energy. Extra glucose is stored as muscle and liver glycogen — the energy reserve. During a short-intense performance, your body relies on glycogen to keep blood sugar levels stable and maintain energy. Poor energy reserves may cause over fatigue orm exhaustion during trainings.
Fat is another source of energy, but as a reserve only especially when stored glycogen is already depleted. This is only advised for longer hours, like ultra marathons or triathlons. Still, storing glycogen in the body is best.
Ok, let’s talk about protein. Protein is needed and designed for muscle repair and body building. A small amount can be beneficialn as energy source in a short period of time. But its main role is to repair the body. To let protein do the work it is designed for, proper carbohydrate intake and nutrition timing are keys to reserving it.
PROPER MACRONUTRIENT DISTRIBUTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Although vitamins and minerals are not sources of energy, they still play an important role in the body. Like sodium and potassium, minerals have an effect on the amount of water stored in the body and on how muscle works. Iron is needed for blood cells in carrying oxygen.
A well-planned, balanced diet with proper variety should be part of an athlete’s diet in order to meet his or her daily vitamin and mineral requirement. It is OK to take multivitamins, but make sure you take the best ones.
During an intense training, you lose fluid and electrolytes (ex. sodium and potassium) through sweating which may lead to dehydration. Dehydration can affect muscle strength, energy, coordination and concentration. Taking sports drinks can help you in providing enough carbohydrates (15g/30minutes) and replace electrolytes during training. Water is best, too, fir those not exceeding one hour of training.
by: Fia Batua, RND –CSN