Every athlete competes for success in a competition. Matching daily physical needs requires a comprehensive eating plan for daily training and recovery. Proper nutrition and water availability can enhance performance readily.
The energy requirement of each professional player exceeds the demand of a normal person. Success in sports depends on three factors- genetic endowments, the state of training, and nutrition. The dietary habits can vary from daily food habits to pre-workout plans to post-workout and for training or competitions.
Athletes nutritional status can be assessed by the ABCDE method:
A- Anthropometric measurements such as weight and height
B- Biochemical analysis (blood and urine)
C- Clinical assessment(deficiencies or excesses)
E- Economic status
Significance of nutrients in your diet!
Diet has to be balanced in terms of micro and macronutrients both then there is no need for supplements required by the body.
Carbohydrates: Its main role is to provide energy. In the case of athletes if the proper amount of carbohydrate is not provided it can lead to impaired recovery and performance.
Healthy sources of carbohydrate are whole grains:
- Brown rice
Protein: Protein is very essential for muscle repair. Protein with an adequate amount of carbohydrates is recommended. Protein requirements are increased to around 1.2-2.0 g per kilogram of body weight per day by professionals.
Fats: They are essential for good health. Too much fat is very dangerous for consumption as fat provides empty calories to the body. Fat is mixed with other food components and not easily detectable, so the type of fat consumed should be taken care of.
Water: Athletes should consume 150-250 ml of water every 10-15 minutes to maintain fluid balance. Try consuming cool water during the events as it is absorbed faster and cools the body better than water at room temperature.
Certain sports activities need an additional amount of carbohydrate loading techniques if the carbohydrates are below normal.
All the macro and micro nutrients in a diet with proper fluid balance help an athlete with enhanced performance, growth, and repair of body tissue.
Losses of minerals can occur from strenuous exercises. Losses of iron and magnesium are likely from sweat mostly in health conditions. Hence zinc and magnesium supplements are necessary for an athlete to take. But keep in mind that it does not exceed 1-2 times the RDA.
Anything excess is toxic for the body.
Sports supplements including vitamins and minerals supplements should be taken care of only in case of their deficiency and only after consulting a doctor and of prescribed potencies to avoid adverse effects on health.
Some athletes tend to take excessive supplements under the mistaken belief that it may improve their performance. It is a false belief of athletes that a racer’s edge may be found in a tablet.
Nutrition to female athletes
The ideal diet is based on the woman’s weight and consists of percentages of various food types proportional to the weight.
Carbohydrate- Take total body weight in kilograms and then multiply it by 10. This makes carbohydrates 70% of the woman’s daily calories.
Proteins- Proteins should be 1-1.5 times the body weight. This means 10-15% of calories should be taken from protein.
Fats- About 20-30% calories should be taken from fat.
Items that should be prohibited
An athlete should take care of his diet with all the patience and should avoid using performance-enhancing substances or methods to keep the body fit:
- Narcotic analgesics
- Peptide hormones
What to do?
Maintaining proper records of the diet consumed by the player and changes in their body composition and physiological parameters. Energy allowance for every athlete varies from phase to phase based on the intensity of training and type of event.
Hence, consume a diet that includes the following:
- Medical condition
- Easily adaptable
Adequacy is the solution to all body needs not excess.