Published: 11/04/2009 - Updated: 09/07/2018
When we talk about nutrition we must consider that all living beings need adequate fuel and specific nutrients to live. That is how food is the cornerstone of our development and our good performance.
However, when there are thousands of reasons to eat different tastes, and especially knowing what our body needs according to each need.
The feeding of an athlete for example, the right choice of foods or food combinations is the most important point for most athletes. We can say that the key is to know and respect of five categories: eat healthy, eat often, hydrate, restore and maintain perspective.
More for less
More natural state, drawing less artificial. This simply means choosing the least processed forms of food, specifically carbohydrates, which constitute the largest share meals. Usually the less processed foods are the closer to its natural state, the better for you.
An easy way to do this in the case of carbohydrates is simply revise the labeling and the fiber containing the product. If the product has at least three or more grams of fiber per serving, is a good choice. If it doesn’t have this amount of fiber, leave it in place and find another that has it.
Total carbohydrate intake in general should be based on the size and activity level. Usually this will range between 3 - 10g of carbohydrate per pound of body weight, being the lowest rank (3 grams) for the recreational athlete with light activity, and the other side (10g) for the endurance athlete with a volume heavy training.
In the real world, if you feel energetic, fully recovered, you are at a healthy weight and performance is productive, you're probably eating the right amount of carbohydrates.
Vitamins and minerals that our body needs come naturally from the food we eat, specifically fruits and vegetables. We have already discussed in several articles in the magazine Natural World that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in many colors will help ensure the consumption of the variety of nutrients.
Please note that some of the best fruits with total antioxidant capacity by size are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, Granny Smith apples and plums.
In terms of vegetables, the School of Public Health at Harvard recommends consumption of cooked tomatoes, green leafy vegetables and all that is rich in yellow, orange and red. Athletes need the nutrients in these foods to improve their recovery and also serve as intermediaries in energy production and to achieve better immune system.
Types of Proteins
The protein is a key part of the diet for the athlete and active person, specifically the type and quantity. A very important fact is that the fewer legs has the animal, the better the source. So the fish, turkey and chicken are among the best sources.
You need to be more selective with dairy products, red meat and pork. Fat dairy products, lean cuts of pork, veal and four-legged animals fed on grass are not the best options.
For people who are active in both strength training and in the background, need more protein, but there is always a constant debate about how much protein people need.
Among the benefits of protein intake in athletes:
- To maintain muscle mass, the ideal is to reach the top level of protein requirements while lowering calories.
- The protein also has a higher "thermal effect", which means more calories burned.
- They can help increase satiety to meals and should also be included as part of meals or snacks for recovery.
- Divide the total protein intake throughout the day, including some at every meal will help ensure the absorption and utilization.
Good fats vs. bad fats
When we talk about fat, we know that we must differentiate what type of fats we consume. On the one hand too low-fat diets can be harmful for active people, though, diets too high in fat (as with anything) will have increased fat accumulation. Thus, it is recommended that 20 to 30% of total calories are from fat.
The best types of fat to be included are the raw nuts, seeds, olive oil, nut butter, and fatty fish. Forgotten fats are essential fatty acids, specifically fatty acids rich in omega-3. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation and, because of its essential nature, must come from the diet. You should eat fish rich in omega-3 from two to three times a week. Those who do not regularly eat fish may consider supplementing with fish oil.
The 3 major nutrients
Eating consistently maintains energy levels, blood glucose, keeping the body fueled and avoiding mood swings and binge eating. Thus it is best to keep the body fed to avoid feeling extreme hunger, which will make the selection of healthy food easier.
Combining the three major nutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat) every three hours will keep you fed and on the right track.
- Planning meals and snacks in advance will ensure you stay with your diet.
- Keep healthy snacks, bars and meal replacements ready to consume at all times, ensure you have fuel on hand to continue.
Breakfast like a king
Taking breakfast, among other reasons, give your body the fuel it needs, reactivate the metabolism and motivate people to consume the number of calories should be eating during the day. The ideal breakfast could be a liquid yogurt, flax, whey protein and frozen strawberries, or whole-grain toast, peanut butter and a banana. A variety of cereals is another option.
Dehydration inevitably equates to a decrease in performance. The American Institute of Sports Medicine (ACSM) states that in the exercise and fluid replacement, the goal of drinking while exercising is to prevent a 2% fluid loss and extreme loss of electrolyte balance. But we need to make sure we are hydrated before launching the ground or a training session.
When we think of hydration, we have to think about it all day and not only during training. We recommend taking 15-30 ml per 1 / 2 Jg body mass / day. The liquid should be mostly water and other beverages without calories or low in calories, followed by 100% fruit juice (depending on calorie needs). This is a good range that helps people achieve the recommended baseline intakes of fluids 2.7L/day for women and 3.7L / d for men.
Recovery after training
When we seek the benefits of nutrition after our workout, we find some athletes who consume no recovery snack or meal. Many doubt whether they should eat right after burning calories.
In order to optimize the benefits of a training session and boot from a recovery for maximum payout is important to consume a meal in post-routine that combines both carbohydrate and protein within 45 minutes after training. By consuming this snack, meal, shake or bar, has an effect on your protein and carbohydrate requirements as quickly as possible after training, the supply of glycogen, the gains in lean body mass, performance in a subsequent training period and the immune system will be optimized.
The role of supplements
Nutritional supplements should "supplement" the diet by giving higher priority to the food supplement. In the market there are a variety of products to fulfill this function.
But when I need to take a supplement?
For example, if you are a person who do not consume three servings oily fish per week should consider supplementation with a supplement of essential fatty acid base.
Those who do not get the calcium they, especially female athletes, should consider a calcium-based supplement. The same applies to iron.
Supplements that are beyond the scope may be considered but should be chosen only after an assessment / medical advice and a dietitian.
When choosing any supplements, make sure it has a symbol of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), which is free of banned substances and that labeling is very specific.
To accomplish adequate, comprehensive and quality nutrition, we need to prepare our food at home. In a world of fast food, travel and meals away from home, we turned to restaurants, convenience foods, "fast" food. The restaurants, regardless of the type, generally do not take into account your health or your calorie needs when deciding on their menus. Eating out is tricky, since most rations are too big and have lots more fat and calories than similar dishes homemade. The more you can prepare your own meals, have more control in feeding your body.