Diet in sports is the crucial factor of reaching success
It is said that we are what we eat. Quality food can also help us achieve the desired success in sports. Some trainers even claim that to reach a well-shaped body and great condition, there is 80% success in the diet and 20% in exercise behind it. Is diet so important in sports? We’ve researched this topic for you and provide an overview of the most frequently asked questions.
Food should primarily supply energy
Starches and other forms of carbohydrates provide the perfect energy source for our body – no matter what physical activity we are going to perform. In general, however, the more we exercise, the more we should intake carbohydrates. Challenging exercise “burns” carbohydrates almost instantly. The low volume of carbohydrates during demanding exercise leads to insufficient energy levels, loss of concentration and longer recovery time after exercise. Healthy carbohydrates are mainly wholegrain foods – bread, cereals, brown rice, pasta, potatoes (even with peel), fruit (also dried and tinned).
How to get strong and healthy muscles?
Although we put carbohydrates in the first place, they will not help you while focusing on building muscle mass. It would help if you focused on combining effective exercise and a diet that contains mainly protein and enough energy from carbohydrates or fats. However, be careful also with proteins. If you intake a lot of them, the body will not process these excessive amounts. It is set so that after saturation and reaching the desired level, it will convert the excessive proteins into energy, which may not be such a priority. Look for proteins mainly in legumes, dairy products, yogurts, fish (including fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel), eggs, tofu, tempeh, plant-based meat alternatives, chicken, or lean meat. Protein should be present, albeit in small amounts, as part of every meal. During exercise, they help to start the process of recovery and muscle building faster.
To eat or not to eat before exercise – that is the question!
Diet in sports should be exceptionally well kept. But what if we get hungry before the exercise itself? It is ideal for eating a large dish such as breakfast or lunch about 3 hours before physical activity. One hour before exercise, have a light snack; the ideal combination is rich in protein, with higher carbohydrate content and low fat. All these criteria are met, for example, by eating oatmeal, banana, a thin slice of wholemeal bread with a thin layer of nut butter, low-fat cheese, cottage cheese and a few crackers or a glass of milk. Be sure to forget about too heavy foods for the stomach, such as French fries, avocados, olives, biscuits, fully fat cheeses, or large quantities of nuts. Raw vegetables, high-fiber cereals and raw nuts and seeds should also be given a red sign.
Diet in sports alone – resist or let it go?
You certainly didn’t miss the fact that tennis players, for example, consume during the match a banana or an isotonic drink to get the strength back. You are right. In general, clean water is sufficient for physical activity within 60 minutes. However, suppose you train or exercise for a longer time. In that case, it is advisable to have fast-digesting carbohydrates and electrolytes (salts and minerals), such as the already mentioned isotonic sports drink, banana, dried fruit, cereal or sports bar, or carbohydrate gel. However, water must also be a natural part of the regime.
Start each exercise well and adequately hydrated
Proper hydration will guarantee proper performance. However, this does not mean drinking two liters of water immediately before the exercise itself but intaking fluids regularly – throughout the day. The intensity and volume depend on the planned activity, duration and goal of the training. As mentioned above, the decisive factor is the duration of the activity. A perfect drink is a pure water; add a pinch of salt, and put a few drops of lemon or lime extra for a fresher taste.
As you see, diet in sports also has its own rules that, if followed correctly, will help you achieve the set and desired results faster. And maybe more efficient and easier as well. With the proper regime, you will avoid unexpected hunger and the figure of your dreams will be just a step ahead.
If you are interested in something you did not find in this post, feel free to write to us.
Goodbye friends at the next blog post.