Sports persons spend lot of time in gyms. They also remain active on the grounds. In all the scenarios they need proper food consumption schedule. What type of foods is required by sportsperson? How to keep the metabolism smooth? These are all vital points that we will discuss in the article. When one practices a sport with a certain intensity, the metabolism must adapt to the new needs of the organism since the consumption of nutrients is much greater.
Use of Water and electrolytes
When one practices a sport, one of the most characteristic signs is sweat. This is nothing more than a way to lose body heat, through the elimination of water. If you do not act properly, the amount of water lost may be important enough to reach dehydration.
Fluid replacement should be one of the main concerns of physical trainers and athletes.
It is known that sweating involves a loss of water and different electrolytes: chlorine, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc., so the replacement should not only consist of replenishing water and salt but, in addition, the rest should be replenished of the nutrients that are lost, whose function in the organism is also important. Thus potassium is related to muscle function, glycogen storage and water balance.
Sodium is related to enzymatic activation and water balance. Calcium is necessary in the activation of nerves and muscles and is essential for muscle contraction. Phosphorus is related to the formation of ATP (energy currency) and magnesium participates in enzymatic activation, protein metabolism and muscle function.
Also watch Feeding Recovery for Endurance Athletes
The recommended dietary recommendations (RDA) state that a healthy and balanced diet is necessary, appropriate for the athlete and that vitamin supplements are not used.
The needs will also depend on the duration of the test, the intensity with which it is practiced and the external climatic conditions, temperature and humidity. The objective is to cover the extra losses that occur.
The rules that must be followed to get an adequate supply of fluids during physical exercise are:
In endurance sports we must ensure that losses are compensated.
Reject the supply of isolated salt tablets.
Not drinking liquid without an adequate amount of salt (tap water, tea, soft drinks, etc.), can cause greater loss of electrolytes and as a consequence muscle cramps.
Use of Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for the organism because, as to break down a glycogen molecule, little energy is needed and yet much energy is obtained that the organism can use
Carbohydrates are stored in the form of glycogen in the muscle and in the liver, although the storage capacity is small and therefore adequate external input is necessary.
– The glycogen of the liver regulates the concentration of blood glucose, this glucose in which it feeds the brain constantly, since the brain can only use glucose as a source of energy.
– The glycogen stored in the muscle supplies its needs during the performance of the sports activity.
In the athlete’s diet it is advised that between 60-70% of the calories consumed daily, come from carbohydrates. On a 3000 kcal diet, approximately 1900 kcal should come from carbohydrates. After each workout, about 400 g of carbohydrates must be provided and this is achieved by increasing the intake of foods rich in sugars, for example:
Carbohydrates in food items:
50 gram of brown rice or 200 grams of potatoes or 60 g of whole wheat pasta: contain 8 g of carbohydrates.
200 g of peas or carrots: 24 g of carbohydrates.
150 g of bird stew: 11 g of carbohydrates
150 g of fruits in syrup: 23 g of carbohydrates
200 ml of apple juice: 12 g of carbohydrates
Slow and Rapid Absorption:
Not all carbohydrates are the same, some are called slow absorption and others rapid absorption, depending on the time that passes from when they are taken until they can be used.
– Sugars with high glycemic index (glucose, maltose, etc.) . They are simple sugars and quickly absorbed in the intestine. Its intake is very useful during exercise, although when consumed so quickly hypoglycemia may appear. They are present in bread, mashed potatoes, white rice, nuts, etc.
– Sugars with a medium or low glycemic index (sucrose, fructose, etc). They are sugars whose intestinal absorption is slow. They are more suitable for physical exercises that develop for long periods. They are present in brown rice, potatoes, legumes, etc.)
Lipids as Best Energy Sources:
They are less energy efficient than carbohydrates but the body has a greater availability of these, since they are stored in large quantities. They are the best energy for long-term tests. This energy is used once exhausted from carbohydrates.
They are stored in adipose tissue in the form of triglycerides. It is not recommended to exceed 25-30% of fats in the diet, except in the most resistant sports in which 35% can be reached. It is also recommended that at least 40% of the fat provided is of plant origin.
Use of Proteins for sports person
Proteins have no energy function, but they do have an important function in the composition of cell membranes and in the body’s immune defense. Protein deficiency in an athlete’s diet can cause a decrease in mental and body resistance, insufficient formation of body proteins with consequent muscle wasting, less resistance to infections and a decrease in enzymatic activity with slowing down processes. metabolic, such as the synthesis and degradation of carbohydrates, lipids, etc.
To ensure that the amount of adequate protein is provided to meet the requirements, it is important to know its biological value, indicated by the amount, in grams, of proteins, which can be formed in the body, from 1 g of proteins taken with food, for example: 1 liter of whole milk has about 35 g of proteins, which can form 35 g of body proteins, that is, it has a high biological value.
It is advisable to choose several foods as a source of protein, both of vegetable and animal origin.