Nutrition Useful Tips

How to pick the right foods as an athlete?

Find out here how to pick the best foods and keep fit!

Even if you aren’t an athlete, eating right is super important. First let’s go over the basic things. The types of foods.

  • Carbohydrates

  • Primary fuel of muscles during exercise.
  • Only energy source that can be used by the brain.
  • Regulates fat and protein metabolism.
  • Essential for post exercise recovery.
  • Lack of carbohydrates:

  • lack of energy,
  • fatigue during exercise,
  • loss of cognitive function,
  • delayed recovery from exercise.

  • Protein

  • Growth, repair and maintenance of body tissue
  • Recovery and training adaptations
  • Haemoglobin (molecule that carries oxygen in the blood)
  • Hormones and antibodies
  • Lack of protein

  • Impaired growth in children
  • Impaired immune system
  • Muscle loss in adults

Here are some great sources of the food you need:

  • Proteins – Beef, Pork, chicken, fish, turkey, milk, eggs, nuts,
    tofu. Ensure a good protein source in each meal.
  • Fats – handful of nuts, tbsp. olive oil, tbsp. ground flaxseed,
    medium avocado, handful olives, humus, fish.
  • Vitamins – fruit and veg. Have at least 5 portions per day with as
    much variety in colour as possible.
  • Minerals – nuts, red meat, fish, whole grain foods, fruit,
    vegetables.
  • Antioxidants – 70%+ cocoa dark chocolate, cinnamon,
    blueberries (and most other berries), olives, spinach, walnuts,
    balsamic vinegar.

Foods which aid recovery:

  • Fish oils – Omega 3 fatty acids – help your body cope with the inflammatory and
    stress responses to exercise and everyday life. 2 portions per week.
  • Fruit and Veg – Antioxidants – Hard training causes something called oxidative stress which antioxidants help to combat. 7 portions per day.
  • Milk – Protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. One of the proteins found in milk is
    whey protein, an excellent source of the amino acid cysteine which helps increase
    the muscles antioxidant capacity.
  • Nuts and Seeds – protein, “healthy” fats, vitamins and minerals. Research has shown that increasing your nut and seed consumption can help support the immune
    system and allow it to cope with inflammation and stress.
  • Red Meat – Iron – essential for an endurance as it helps transports oxygen in the
    blood in the form of haemoglobin. It also helps support the immune system.

Foods that stress your body:

Foods that are high in –

  • Saturated Fats
  • Refined Sugars
  • Wheat
  • Caffeine

Examples:

  • Takeaways, ready-meals, burgers, chicken
    nuggets
  • Full fat dairy – cheese, butter, cream; fatty
    meats – sausages, bacon
  • Cakes, biscuits, fizzy drink
  • Bread, pasta, cakes
  • Chocolate, tea, coffee, coca-cola

Summary:

  • Dietary intake is important for health, function, fuel and
    performance.
  • Eating the right foods will help you to maximise your
    training.
  • Eating the wrong foods, OR not enough food, will slow you
    down, make you tired and make you more susceptible to
    illness and injury.
  • You can get everything that your body requires to train and
    recover effectively by eating a balanced diet.

 

 

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