In addition, they have to consider carbohydrates and calories in order to have sufficient energy, water for their hydration and protein for building and repairing their muscles. The time they eat is also important in acquiring the best possible effect of healthy nutrition.
Good nutrition is necessary for physical activity, performance and recovery from training. Experts say that a person is at risk of suffering from injury or illness, having not enough nutrients or losing muscle mass without sufficient calories so it is important to consume enough calories for energy in order to sustain training.
Carbohydrates are changed to muscle glycogen, which is important for energy. This is the reason why athletes require fifty-five to sixty-five percent of calories from carbohydrates. It is essential to have carbohydrates based on the intensity of your training and your weight. As much as possible, consume five to ten grams of carbohydrates everyday for each kilogram of your weight (consume more if you are performing more exercises and eat less if you are training moderately).
You will significantly decrease your performance if you are dehydrated by only two to three percent of your weight. Therefore, it is essential to be hydrated all throughout the day. Pale or clear urine is a good indication that you are properly hydrated. Sports drinks and water are necessary before competing a well as during and after the competition. However, when it comes to consuming sports drinks, make sure to choose those with 7% or less carbohydrates.
Nutrition tips for athletes also include having higher requirements than the general population when it comes to protein consumption. Experts recommend athletes to consume protein based on one’s weight.
Strategies for food timing
It is recommended to eat your full meal 3 to 4 hours before your competition or training. In addition, have a snack with simple carbohydrates one hour before. While it is healthy to eat food items that are high in fiber such as whole grains and fruits, eating them one or two hours before your training can lead to gastric upset. It is important to consume sports drinks or water (20 oz) before training and drink again every hour throughout the training (16-20 oz). In addition, make sure to consume protein (15 g) and carbohydrates (70 g) after one hour of training.
With these nutrition tips, you will be able to perform at your best as an athlete.