What we consume daily should complement what we do every day. With every physical activity we do, our body requires nutrients that can fuel us for our routine. This is especially true for professional athletes, who train rigorously and regularly to perform or play in matches and competitions.
Athletes have a diet consisting of specific nutrients they need for their corresponding sport. If you or anyone you know wants to be a professional athlete, here are some nutrients they should have more than the average non-active individual.
Proteins are some of the most critical nutrients one should pay attention to. These build and strengthen our muscles, which, of course, are responsible for our movements. Reasonable amounts of protein assist in muscle development and endurance. You can get proteins from animal-based foods like seafood or dairy or plant-based foods like legumes.
While we all usually have proteins in our regular diet, professional athletes typically need more protein than the average person. Physical sports require lots of energy and muscle power as athletes must keep training to maintain their abilities and improve. Athletes who want to look after their muscle mass should have 1.6-2.4 grams of protein per kilogram of their body weight daily.
Protein helps explicitly repair the muscles that are broken down by exercising. Lack of protein can lead to individuals having fatigue, and they can also get weak quickly.
If you want to be an athlete in a physical sport, consider how much you need to train. You may want to increase your protein intake. You can eat more protein-rich foods, such as dishes with meat. Alternatively, you can also consume more accessible and ready-to-go protein products. Protein whey bar and protein shakes are popular among more active people like gym goers.
Carbohydrates are what fuels the body. It essentially provides us energy to do our daily routines and is found in a variety of foods, more predominantly in plant-based foods. Carbohydrates tend to get a bad rep, especially in diet culture, but it is still necessary for everyone to consume them. One has to know where to consume it from and how much.
Ideally, the more physical activities you do, the more carbohydrates you should consume. This is, of course, to provide you energy to keep going. So people who work jobs that require manual or physical labor tend to need it more. This is especially the case for most pro athletes, who rely on their physical prowess to perform their best. They are recommended to consume around 3-12 grams per kilogram of their body weight.
This range can depend on your sport, and you could always ask for a more precise measurement. It would be best to focus on where you should get the carbohydrates. Several foods are rich in carbohydrates, but many are unhealthy, so you have to be mindful of these. Examples of good foods rich in carbohydrates are whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables.
Another essential nutrient athletes should especially keep in mind is fat. Like carbohydrates, there is a stigma in consuming fat in the dieting industry, but it is more vital to us than some would think. It only takes knowing which fats to consume, which foods you should get these fats from, and how much to consume.
Some fats are healthy, and some unhealthy; the healthy ones are mainly called unsaturated or dietary fats. Dietary fats are known to be liquid at room temperature and protect your heart and other organs, lowering the risks of heart disease. Fats are excellent fuel for cell and organ growth and function. It also helps us absorb vitamins A, D, and E.
Once again, athletes will need more dietary fats than the average person. Fats are excellent fuel for cell and organ growth and function. It also helps us absorb vitamins A, D, and E. Athletes, especially those in endurance training, benefit significantly from this. You can get dietary fats from oils like olive and sunflower, fatty fish, and avocados.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and minerals are often talked about together. Both are similar in that our bodies do not produce them; thus, we have to obtain them by consuming food. Vitamins and minerals are a variety of micronutrients that provide various roles that help our bodies in more ways than one. It helps the body function effectively, helping us with our everyday activities.
Contrary to the previously mentioned nutrients, athletes are not necessarily recommended to take more vitamins and minerals than the ordinary individual. Although athlete training may require a specific intake, no available amount of vitamins and minerals is recommended. You may want to consult your doctor or physician to know what to take and how much you need.
Some various vitamins and minerals can cater to specific needs. For example, Vitamin A helps with eyesight, calcium helps with bone development, and iron helps with the blood. You can get them from assorted vitamins and minerals, as well as supplements, if you have a specific deficiency.
To Sum it Up
Athletic training and performances are particularly intense, and it is crucial that your body can keep up with them. Eating foods rich in the necessary nutrients can help with this. To know more about what diet works best for you and your training, consult a doctor or a dietician.