Staying fit, embracing a balanced lifestyle, and discovering the world of wellness are crucial for everyone’s health and happiness. In this article we will specifically discuss dietary recommendations for athletes or people who exercise. Do not neglect the mind and fun parts though as necessary parts of our holistic wellbeing. Do the things you enjoy, have walks in a park you love, read your favourite books, discover new hobbies, or check out Betting Sites.
During high-intensity training sessions it is essential to consume sufficient energy to maintain weight, shield health and maximize training adjustments. Decreased energy intake can lead to loss of muscle mass, dysfunction of the menstrual cycle in women, decreased or inability to increase bone density and an increased risk of fatigue, injury, and disease. Both strength and endurance athletes need at least 45-50 Kcal / kg body weight per day, while during periods of intense training, energy requirements can even reach over 70 Kcal / kg body weight per day.
Weight and body composition can affect athletic performance but should not be used as the sole criterion for participating in various sports. Optimal body fat levels vary, depending on the athlete’s gender, age, heredity, and the nature of the sport. If weight loss is desired, it should be started early, done slowly and progressively, and planned by a trained nutritionist.
In terms of nutrients, carbohydrates are important for maintaining blood glucose levels during exercise and for restoring muscle and liver glycogen, which are stored in small amounts. Recommendations for athletes range from 6 to 10 g / kg body weight / day, depending on the athlete’s total daily energy expenditure, type of sport, athlete’s gender, and environmental conditions. Full muscular and hepatic glycogen stores ensure endurance and best possible performance, especially in high-intensity and long-lasting sports.
Protein requirements are slightly increased for strenuous people. The daily protein recommendations for endurance athletes are 1.2-1.4 g / kg body weight, while for resistance and strength athletes they reach up to 1.6-1.7 g / kg body weight. These recommended protein intakes can generally be achieved through diet alone, without the use of protein or amino acid supplements, as long as the energy intake is sufficient to maintain body weight.
Fat intake should not be limited to less than 15% of total energy intake, as there is no benefit in terms of athletic performance from consuming less than 15% fat compared to athletic performance after dieting. containing 20% -25% fat. Fat is important for the diet of athletes, as it contains energy, fat-soluble vitamins, and essential fatty acids to maintain good health. In addition, high fat intake in athletes does not appear to have a beneficial effect on performance and in most cases, seems to reduce endurance.
Athletes at greater risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies are those who limit their energy intake or use active weight loss practices, exclude one or more food groups from their diet, or consume low-carbohydrate, low-carb diets. Athletes should strive to ensure that their diet provides at least the necessary amounts of all nutrients. This can be achieved by varying the diet and intake of such an amount that meets the energy needs.
In terms of the body’s hydration levels, dehydration reduces athletic performance. Adequate fluid intake before, during and after exercise is therefore essential for good health and optimal performance. Athletes should consume enough fluids to balance their fluid losses. Two hours before exercise, 400-600 ml of fluid should be consumed, while during exercise, 150-350 ml of fluid should be consumed every 15-20 minutes, depending on endurance. Enough fluids should be consumed after exercise to repair the extensive losses through sweating. More specifically, 450-675 ml of fluid is required for every 0.5 kg of weight loss.
Adequate hydration levels ensure a stable blood volume, proper thermoregulatory and metabolic function, as well as prolonged endurance. The pre-exercise meal should provide sufficient fluids to ensure a normal level of hydration, be low in fat and fibre, to facilitate gastric emptying and minimize gastrointestinal upset. Also, the meal before training or competition, should be rich in carbohydrates, in order to maximize the maintenance of blood glucose and to load the muscle and liver glycogen stores, to contain a moderate amount of protein and to consist of familiar foods and well tolerated by the athlete.
During exercise, the primary goals should be to repair fluid loss and provide 30-60 g of carbohydrates per hour in order to maintain blood glucose levels. These dietary guidelines are extremely important for endurance competitions that last more than an hour, especially when the athlete starts exercising with unsatisfactory fluid levels and glucose and glycogen stores.
After exercise, the dietary goal is to provide sufficient energy and carbohydrates to restore muscle glycogen and ensure rapid recovery. Protein intake after exercise provides the amino acids needed to rebuild and regenerate muscle tissue. Therefore, athletes should consume a mixed meal after training that contains carbohydrates, proteins, and fat in a short period of time. Consumption of fruits and vegetables also provides athletes with essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, trace elements and antioxidants necessary to repair minor injuries caused during strenuous exercise.
Nutrition can greatly help to achieve the best possible performance and prevent fatigue during both training and competition. Combined with the right training program and the necessary competitive tactics, it can be the “key” that will give an athlete victory, while depriving it of someone else who, although equally good, underestimated the importance of proper nutrition.
The combination of diet and physical activity ultimately plays a very important role in the lives of people, let alone athletes.
Athletes’ diet should be considered as an important factor in their daily lives. Mistakes or omissions negatively affect not only their athletic performance and ability to work but also their health. In order to ensure their maximum nutrition, it is necessary to pay attention to providing the required energy, as well as to the quality composition of the food and its adaptation to the respective period of preparation and struggle.
In addition to the above, athletes should work with nutritionists in a harmonious relationship, in order to achieve the desired result for them.
All the above lead to the general conclusion that proper nutrition in combination with sport is a modern social need and is a key element of individual progress and success of man.