Proper nutrition is an essential part of living a healthy life; this is even truer when considering nutrition for athletes. Athletes who are more active or are engaged in a sport need to have a well-balanced diet. Including the proper nutrition that the body needs will help you stay healthy and energized. Today, obtaining proper nutrition for an athlete is not difficult to achieve; with the help of scientists and nutritionists, there is a wide variety of nutrition plans and nutrition programs to choose from. Without the adequate nutrition, athletes can develop various diseases, and also run the risk of poor performance on the field, court or athletic event.
Why is proper nutrition for athletes important?
The main reason why athletes should find a nutrition program is so that they can stay healthy and prevent injuries. Recent research reports that injuries are more prevalent during the last 20-30 minutes of a game; this is because during this time the body is more fatigued and the mind becomes less concentrated. A healthy diet can help athletes build endurance not only physically, but mentally as well. Staying focused and energized throughout a game or an event can help prevent injuries.
Another important reason to obtain proper nutrition is to enhance your overall performance. Despite of all the training and skills received, the only way for an athlete to reach his or her full potential is by nourishing and fueling the body. By eating healthy meals full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, athletes can provide their body with the adequate energy source to perform well.
What should healthy nutrition for athletes include?
Athletes should consider consuming a healthy diet that includes the following;
Carbohydrates – Since they provide up to 50% of the energy source, carbohydrates should definitely be on top of the nutrition plan list. The more active a person is the more carbohydrates the body will use. Including proper amounts of carbohydrates in your diet will aid in your performance and strength.
Water – As most know, water is necessary for life. Being well-hydrated is crucial for all human beings especially athletes. Becoming even slightly dehydrated can be extremely dangerous while you’re active. Water is needed to regulate your body temperature and protect your health.
Fats – Like carbohydrates, fats are also a good source of energy. While fat is typically only used after one hour of performance, an adequate amount of fat should be included in an athlete’s diet. Lack of fat consumption can highly affect your physical activity.
Protein – Once carbohydrates and fats have been used, the body will search for proteins as an alternative energy source. When extra protein is consumed, the body stores it as fat and uses it when energy is necessary.
Vitamins & Minerals – Riboflavin, thiamin, and niacin are three important vitamins that should be included in an athlete’s nutritional regimen. These vitamins are required in order for the body to produce energy.
How can you obtain the proper nutrition?
Most people don’t have the time or patience to build their own nutrition plan. That is why special nutrition programs for athletes have been developed. These nutrition plans are made especially to help athletes improve their performance as well as their overall health. Athletes should always be careful to provide their body with the nutrients it needs to succeed.