A diet can have a massive impact on an individual’s athletic performance. Inadequate calories and nutrients can have negative effects even the most conditioned athlete, while the right balance of energy and macronutrients will help every athlete perform at their most optimum. Dietary needs may change due to various factors like; an individual’s gender, body type, sport, or age. Consult with your physician, dietitian or a personal trainer to determine your bodies nutritional needs.
Calorie intake is one of the essential aspects of sports nutrition for any individual. A calorie is a component of energy used by your body to fuel all body functions and activities, it is a vital element to consider when conducting an exercise or a workout training program. The higher an individual’s activity level is, the higher their calorie intake should be. For example, a cross-country runner will require a much higher calorie consumption than the average individual whom does run regularly to stay healthy and in shape.
Inadequate calorie intake can cause athletes to begin to demonstrate fatigue and weak performance throughout the exercise. In addition, it can negatively affect coordination and concentration. Along with the sufficient calorie intake, you should make sure to regularly consume water to keep hydrated.
To achieve peak performance, athletes must follow a diet that includes a balance of at least three macronutrients: fats, carbohydrates, proteins. Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred energy source. Most athletes need a diet rich in healthy carb sources, such as oatmeal, brown rice, whole grain pasta, vegetables, and fruits. Proteins are a necessary element when contributing to repairing muscle fibers broken down during training. Healthy lean protein sources include chicken breast, lean beef, low-fat dairy, and fish. Stick to healthy sources low in saturated fat, such as nuts, almond butter, and olive oil.
Vitamins and minerals are not sources of energy, but they have many important duties to help maintain the body. For example, vitamin D and calcium are needed for healthy strong bones, and iron is needed for your blood cells to be able to carry oxygen throughout your body. Certain minerals, like calcium, potassium, and sodium are called electrolytes. They are vital during exercise because they have an effect on the amount of water in your body and on how your muscles operate, thus affects your performance. Athletes should always eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods to make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals. It is fine to take regular multivitamins, but supplements with high doses of vitamins and minerals do not improve performance and may actually be harmful to your body. Sometimes too much of one thing in a single day is not good for your health.