As an athlete, you will need to keep a healthy body to maintain endurance and strength. This will allow you to perform a high-intensity exercise and have your body recover quickly. Thus, proper nutrition should always be present. Aside from it being a key factor that supports and keeps good health, it’s also a must for your training needs.
An athlete’s diet can be very strict as a balanced diet is needed to gain enough energy and nutrients to meet the demands of high-intensity training and exercise. To know more about the specific diet an athlete should follow, here are five nutrition tips to help you sustain your performance at its best.
- Eat Carbs
You probably know that food rich in carbohydrates is the main energy source. Thus, carbs are an athlete’s energy fuel. An athlete loads up on carbs on a daily basis, most especially during training. Carbs are being converted as glucose which is a form of sugar, and then it is stored as glycogen in your muscle. During training or a heavy exercise, these glycogens will be converted into energy which every athlete needs to perform at their optimum level.
- Get enough protein.
Protein-rich food does not contribute energy to your body. However, these are food that helps you to maintain your muscles which are essential to every athlete as well. In fact, according to Nody, a fitness and nutrition website, protein is the building block of an individual’s body used to build muscles, tendons, and more. However, an athlete should only obtain enough amount of protein and not exceed. For instance, a 200-pound athlete should have 150 grams of protein riched food.
- Get all the fat that you need.
Fats are also important to keep the hormone metabolism and neurotransmitter in an athlete’s body. It’s also used as a source of strength as your body turns fat into energy when carb sources decrease. However, an athlete should only consume unsaturated fat food such as olives, nuts, salmon, tuna, and others. This is to ensure that healthy fat is being stored in one’s body.
- Keep hydrated.
Since athletes are always engaged in intense activity or exercise, they often bring fluids with them to keep themselves hydrated. Dehydration is a risk to every athlete since it can affect their performance and even deteriorate their health if disregarded. Thus, if you’re an athlete, you should always drink water often, even when you’re not thirsty.
- Replenish your electrolytes.
Electrolytes are factors that transmit nerve signals in one’s body. They are often removed through extensive sweating. Thus, in order to replace the lost ones and keep enough that your body needs, always have your sports drink around. You can also dilute your sports drink in water to get a balanced amount of fluid and electrolytes.
An athlete’s nutritional needs are indeed different from the general public’s. It is more specific, strict, and balanced. It shouldn’t be less or more than enough than what their body needs. Thus, if you’re an aspiring athlete, you should take note of the nutritional needs mentioned above to help you support a high-quality performance.