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Being an athlete requires a lot of physical strength and even self-discipline. It’s not just about being able to perform on the field. It’s also mainly about the things that you are doing before you get on the field. Proper training, exercise, and diet are key factors to keep in mind if you want to achieve peak performance.
Many probably don’t realize how important a diet is when doing any sport. However, this plays a big role in how an athlete could perform during a match or a game. In fact, the biggest sports fans and serious sports punters do their research on what kind of diet an athlete is on to get to know them better. They don’t just research the different types of sports betting but they also get as many details as they could on the athletes they will be rooting for.
In boxing, before the weigh-in, people would talk about what type of training a boxer is in and what he or she has been eating to prepare for an upcoming match. This is how crucial a diet could be for an athlete. Just know that an athlete’s diet will always depend on what kind of sport he or she is into.
Why Diet and Nutrition are Important
Well, even if you’re not an athlete, a healthy diet is always strongly encouraged. It can be beneficial for everybody, but athletes need more than just a basic diet to reach their peak performance. When it comes to playing any sport, the body and mind will have to perform harder to be able to do well.
Ideally, an athlete’s diet should consist of over 55 percent carbohydrates, 12 to 15 percent of protein, and less than 30 percent of fat. However, this number could drastically change depending on the type of sports that the athlete is playing as well as how strenuous the training he or she needs to do on a daily basis. This is why when considering the type of diet, these factors should be kept in mind:
- Energy or Fuel
There are sports that require fast running or being able to jump high. To do all that, enough energy is required. Think of foods that could help you gain more strength, endurance, agility, and mobility. For energy, carbohydrates are necessary.
The lack of carbs in a diet could limit a person’s ability to train or exercise because not enough glycogen that you need to have enough energy stored in your body is not being produced. Lack of carbs when doing heavy training and exercises could increase the risk of infections and sickness.
- Brain Power
Brain function is also important to athletes. This concerns skills like decision-making which is something that could be critical in being able to perform well on the field. Typically, athletes are advised to eat food like tuna, salmon, and other fatty fish with Omega-3 fatty acids which could help boost brain cell growth and mood.
Having balanced hormones is related to an athlete’s endurance and the energy to go on training and do exercises. Some of the hormone-balancing foods are grass-fed butter, virgin coconut oil, avocados, free-range eggs, nuts and seeds, organic dark meat chicken, and many more.
- Recovery and Repair
Recovery and repair aren’t just about suffering an injury from training or participating in a match. It could also be about post-training and exercise. Training hard could result in inflammation and tearing of tissues. This is why what you consume after a training session is also important.
Some of the popular recovery and repair foods for athletes are turkey, pasta dishes. Rice, whole-grain crackers and peanut butter, smoothies, yogurt, and frozen fruits. Taking these foods can help you quickly recover and be ready for another training session.
Overall, it is best to check for macronutrients if you really want to be sure that you’re eating the right foods. Thankfully, this can be easily done nowadays with a quick search on the internet. There are even apps that you can download to keep track of your diet.
Generally, carbs could be your good friend because training and playing on the field require a lot of energy. Many are quick to say that carbs can be unhealthy but this is only if the carbs aren’t going to be put to use.
Aside from what you eat, hydration is also important. Proper hydration could regulate your body temperature, support muscle contraction and relaxation, and help transport nutrients and oxygen through your body. Athlete or not, it is essential that you are properly hydrated to help your body systems function properly.