Many times I've been asked about sports nutrition on what should an athlete eat so as to be able to perform at peak performance during training and events.
A great amount of strain is experienced by the body during workouts. The body will require a lot of energy for its consumption during these periods. To be able to perform well, the body will need to have strong muscles and sufficient energy to undergo the intense physical activities.
For the past many years, a lot of arguments have surfaced regarding what is the optimal diet for the athletes that will enable them to perform at their best potentials. All over the world, dietitians have different opinions on the best food plan for their athletes. There's no sign of these arguments stopping soon. In fact, we can expect them to continue on for the coming years ahead.
However, many people are agreeable on the fact that performance levels in physical activities and the recovery from them are enhanced by proper nutrition. They do agree that the right selection of food and fluids taken at appropriate times together with appropriate supplements are important for good health and optimal performance levels.
During high physical activities, the body needs a great amount of energy. The main source of energy comes from carbohydrates. Stored as glycogen in the muscles, they provide the body with the fuel for intense short burst of energy. The more intense the activities and the longer the duration of such activities, the more glycogen is used up. When glycogen is depleted, you'll have no more energy left and will need to stop exercising. Therefore, you'll need to consume a sufficient amount of carbohydrates in order to maintain enough glycogen in your body. Experts recommend to consume 3.6g of carbohydrates daily for every pound you weigh. So, consume 504g of carbohydrates each day if you're weighing 140lbs.
In order to build strong muscles, you'll need protein because it is the basic building block for muscle tissues. Plenty of protein is required by athletes, especially those on strength training, to build those muscles. Experts recommended a daily dosage of 0.6 to 0.8 grams for each pound of body weight for serious strength athletes.
Besides carbohydrates and protein, fat is also an essential nutrient. Fat provides fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins to the body. Moreover, a moderate amount of energy is also provided by fat. But it is not healthy to consume too much of it. Unsaturated fat should provide only 20% to 25% of your total calories requirement for each day.
Athletes should be well hydrated. In addition to the normal requirement of drinking 8 glasses of water everyday, they should also drink before, during and after workouts to replace the fluid lost during exercises. To ensure that you are well hydrated for workouts, drink 2 cups of fluid 2 hours before each workout. During the workout, you should drink 4 to 8 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes to keep yourself hydrated. After the workout, drink 16 ounces of fluid to replace fluid lost. If you want to be more precise, weigh yourself before and after workouts. You should drink 16 ounces of fluid for each pound lost during the workouts.
To keep yourself energized during prolonged periods of workouts that last more than 1 hour, use sports drinks and energy bars. Besides giving you energy, sports drinks will keep you adequately hydrated during workouts. After every workout, consume some protein and carbohydrates to promote muscle tissue repair and rebuilding and also to replace the glycogen that was lost during workouts.
You can consume creatine to give your muscles a slight boost of power during workouts. In order to gain maximum benefit from this nutrient, you need to have a well balanced diet and a good muscle training program. You can get a good dose of creatine from meat. You can also get it from supplements. For the first 5 days, you can load your muscles with creatine by consuming 5g of creatine monohydrate 4 times a day. After that, consume just 2g per day for maintenance.
I've shared with you some great information on eating right for peak performance. Apply these sports nutrition tips to help you perform at your best in sports.