Nutrition and motivation remain the key for any athlete to excel in their sport. While different sports need different training patterns, likewise their nutrition differs as well. The calorie needs of a sprinter would be different from a triathlete performing in triathlons. Nevertheless, here are some nutritional tips that remain mutual to almost all kinds of sports. 1. Eating real.-The hype to consume supplements like whey protein isolates might be real. The quantitative benefits derived from such supplements are impressible and hence cannot be ignored. However, there are other factors that must be considered. The aim is to eat as real and whole as possible. Filling your plate with a little extra chicken to achieve the nutritional goals won’t do any harm.

2. Eating right before workout sessions. Every workout session that you attend is bringing you closer to your goals. Hence, it is essential to eat right in order to be able to take those hard training sessions. A lot of emphases is laid on what to eat and what to avoid. Some even prefer taking steroids to pull off that extra push up. Yet eating a healthy and moderately light snack like a banana or oatmeal arguably remains the best option. Also, keep a bottle of retrograde or anything similar close during your sessions. 3. Replenishing the lost: Repairing the micro-tears that your muscle fibres undergo and replenishing the lost electrolytes are the two prime focuses of recovery. Drink plentiful water with salts to make up for the water lost through dehydration. Also, it is essential to consume enough proteins to enhance repair. Food like an omelette, a slice of whole-grain bread, tuna can help to refuel. Taking adequate rest between sets and between sessions helps achieve the same.

4. Carbs can make or mar : Many people ignore their carbohydrate intake and only focus on proteins. This might be true for a weight loss plan but doesn’t work as an athlete. At the same time eating a starchy or a carbohydrate-rich meal just before the sport can be devastating. Such foods are easily digestible hence all your energy would be invested in breaking them down leaving you exhausted or dehydrated. Eating just the right amount of it can maximize output. Good options are pasta, brown rice, bananas, berries and so on. 5. Fetching the proteins: We know it. Your protein intake must be adequate. Since they increase the satiety and make you feel fuller for longer, one can say they are your endurance keepers. Sports nutritionists suggest up to 2kg of protein per kilogram of body weight for athletes. Rich sources of protein are eggs, tuna, salmon, broccoli, avocado, yogurt, quinoa and so on.

6. Appropriate intake of fats. Shocking as it may sound, fats are essential in an athlete’s diet. They take care of injury prevention and aid in faster muscle regeneration. An athlete’s body is susceptible to micro-tears within the muscles, to ensure their growth back to normal, fats and proteins form a major role. The amount of fats consumed would again vary from a marathon runner to a cross fitter. General guidelines recommend fat consumption to be 30% of an athlete’s total consumption of calories. Special attention is to be given at Omega-3 fatty acids as these are not synthesized in the body and are to be consumed through diet. 7. The calorie count : The calorie needs of an athlete could be quite high due to the requirement of high intensities of training. For the general population, calorie consumption remains around 2,000 cal per day. But athletes require at least 2500 to 3000 calories.

Disha Surwase
Jan. 3, 2020, 8:34 a.m.

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