Sports Nutrition Health
Because athletes perform and compete at high levels of energy, it's important to remember sports nutrition health along with training and physical health. In fact, a healthy diet contributes greatly to an athlete's performance abilities. However, there are still some myths that are associated with sports nutrition health and while some dietary changes may be necessary for athletes, most of your nutrition needs can be met by following simple guidelines.
The key to sports nutrition health is a well-balanced diet. Eating foods in their proper serving sizes from all five basic food groups is key. As an athlete you must maintain the proper balance of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and calories to optimize your performance abilities. Though it was once thought that athletes required significantly higher than average amounts of protein in their diet, protein supplements are not recommended. You should be able to derive enough protein from meat, poultry, fish, and peanut butter when eaten in adequate amounts.
Due to the fact that athletes may burn more calories than the average person, it is necessary to consume enough calories for your body to use. A coach, trainer, or sports nutritionist should be able to tell you the right amount of calories needed for your age, weight, and activity level. Remember to consume these calories from foods that are low in fat and high in nutrients.
Sports nutrition health can be maximized by learning to maintain the proper fluid balance as well as eating right. Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid high-calorie, sugary drinks. Energy drinks that contain caffeine should also be avoided. Water is the best source of fluids, though lower calorie sports drinks can also help hydrate the body.
When preparing for a game or competition, avoid eating meals right before playing. Also avoid high-fat and sugary foods as these tend to digest and metabolize slower, which could impact your performance. Starches digest quicker, but avoid heavy meals that might slow you down. If you are competing in an all day event, remember to bring plenty of snacks and fluids to maintain your energy level throughout the day.
The most important thing to remember for good sports nutrition health is to eat a well-balanced diet regularly, do not skip meals, and to avoid stimulants like caffeine. A proper diet throughout the year will ensure that you are at your best each season and at every level you play or compete.
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