Professional athletes and amateurs who devote a significant amount of time to intense training have certain requirements for their diet. Since they expend a large amount of energy, the body functions in an intensive mode, food should be sufficiently high in calories, natural, and varied. Food is not only a source of energy, it is needed for the reproduction of muscle tissue.
Food should not only satisfy hunger, but also meet certain criteria:
- supply the necessary nutrients, micro and macro elements, vitamins;
- stimulate exchange processes;
- maintain the required body weight;
- meet specific goals – either build muscle or burn fat.
It is necessary to consider not only the calorie content of food, but also its nutritional value.
The following factors should be taken into account when creating a menu:
- physical condition;
- energy intensity of sports training;
- load level.
Roughly the diet should include 30% protein, 60% carbohydrates, 10% fat.
Protein is a fundamental component of a healthy and high-quality diet for any person, especially an athlete. Proteins are accelerators of biochemical reactions, the main growth factor.
Main sources of protein:
- Fish containing essential fatty acids and vitamins for the body. Fatty varieties are especially recommended – salmon, tuna, herring.
- Lean meat – veal, rabbit, skinless chicken breast. Meat contains not only proteins, but also essential trace elements (iron, zinc, niacin) and vitamins B6, B12. The fat must be cut off before cooking meat.
- Eggs. The protein in eggs is easier to digest than any other. Nutritionists recommend eating boiled eggs.
- Dairy products that contain a large amount of calcium, which is necessary for strengthening bones and teeth. The best option is natural yogurt, cheese, dairy products, cottage cheese.
- Spinach is a good supplier of protein, vitamins A and C, and iodine. It helps all foods to be absorbed 100%, improves bowel cleansing.
These substances are necessary for the implementation of metabolic and energy metabolism, with significant physical exertion, they are intensively burned. Nutritionists allocate simple and complex carbohydrates, which differ in the rate of absorption. At the dinner table of sports fans, complex carbohydrates should be present – rye bread, cereals, vegetables and fruits, honey. The best option for porridge is oatmeal. It is an excellent source of slow carbohydrates and provides a person with energy for several hours. In addition to carbohydrates, it contains vegetable proteins and dietary fiber.
Bananas should be present in the athlete’s diet, they prevent the occurrence of seizures, allow you to quickly restore strength. Bananas provide energy, vitamin C and potassium, which is essential for heart activity.
Fats are a source of energy, they provide continuous activity of internal systems, maintain body temperature. The diet should include both vegetable (sunflower, corn, olive oil) and animal fats (butter, fatty fish).
Athletes are advised by nutritionists not to use traditional table salt in cooking. Replace it with sea salt. Control the amount of food, try not to overeat, but also not to feel hungry. Regular weighing and monitoring of your well-being will help you with this.