Healthy Eating For Athletes

Healthy Eating For Athletes

Healthy Eating For Athletes
Your body needs adequate fuel for athletics. Eat a healthy meal or snack loaded with proteins and carbohydrates. Consume carbohydrates like bread, pasta, fruit, cereal and vegetables so you have quick energy during exercise. And, the protein (grilled chicken, fish) you eat will help your muscles recover and grow, and also keep the blood cells healthy to deliver oxygen and nutrients. By drinking 16 ounces of water a few hours before exercise will help you stay hydrated. Its OK to use sports drinks if you perspire heavily, if the temperature and humidity is high, if you’re playing a team sport or if you’re exercising for more than 60 minutes. They provide necessary carbohydrates and sodium.

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    A , Administration, answered
    Caffeine may increase athletic performance sligthly in prolonged endurance exercise or short exercise that lasts at least 5 minutes. These mechanisms are not clear, however, and have not been studied extensively. Currently, professional athletes are allowed to have a certain acceptable amount of caffeine in their system, about what most people consume regularly. Caffeine has not been placed on a banned list for professional athletes.

    Caffeine can have a diuretic effect, but this is not an immediate effect that should have an impact on athletic performance. 
     
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    A Fitness, answered on behalf of
    Probably, and there is certainly no downside to adding higher levels of vitamins and minerals that are part of our body's antioxidant systems to your daily intake since endurance activities cause unnaturally high levels of oxidative damage. Meaning the body's natural production of antioxidants can be overwhelmed during and after intense or long-term exercise bouts, which can lead to poor recovery and sickness. High levels of vitamin C, E, zinc, other minerals and omega-3 fats involved in our body's antioxidant systems have been shown to reduce exercise-induced oxidative damage and in reducing instances or duration of post-event sicknesses in highly stressed athletes and soldiers. Although the answer seems intuitive, the question is, does this reduction in oxidative damage make a difference in the long-term to the average endurance athlete? Since there is certainly no downside but may be a big upside by at least using a daily multivitamin and mineral formula that contains the common antioxidant nutrients along with an omega-3 supplement, we recommend this protocol to all athletes. A complete health recommendation is available from our profile page: http://www.sharecare.com/group/dotfit
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    Often football players eat too much fat. If their weight is fine, most don’t think much about what they eat as long as the food is enjoyable. The problem is that fat does not supply the right types of fuel. It can also cause stomach cramping and indigestion. Many football players also eat too much protein -- and add to it with muscle gainer powders as well. While you need protein to build and maintain lean skeletal tissue (muscle mass), 1.2 – 2.0 g/kg body weight will meet a football players needs.
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    The current protein recommendations for optimal muscle building in a strength athlete are 1.7 – 2.0 grams of protein per kg of body weight. While power lifters usually think of “protein” as the most important nutrient, it is carbohydrate that is the primary energy source for strength training. Stored as glycogen in the muscles, it is the fuel used to supply energy for short, intense bursts of power (along with the phosphocreatine (PCr) pathway). The harder and longer you work out, the more glycogen your muscles require and the greater your carbohydrate needs. A rule of thumb for power athletes is: .6 grams carb x body wt (lbs) = grams carb/day.
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    Fads and crash diets are very enticing to cheerleaders who have real or perceived physique pressures from within the sport and the fans. It is very important to your sport and your health that you eat balanced, nutrient dense meals and take in adequate fluids.
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    Especially in females, the track and field culture tends to overvalue a light weight and many track and field athletes do not eat enough calories for their sport. If you don’t eat enough, you will be chronically fatigued, more prone to injury and will not reach your personal best.
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    The culture of board sports is not like most other sports. In fact, many skateboarders would prefer not to be considered “athletes.” So, even if they are out there for hours, doing physically challenging tricks and moves, some are resistant to join the ranks of the athlete. Since skateboarding is often not considered a sport (more a way of life or lifestyle), the importance of nutrition and hydration often get underestimated.
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    Pre-game meals are important. The goal of the meal should be to top off energy and fluid stores. You should neither feel hungry or extremely full after the meal. However, it is important to keep in mind that most of your energy and fluid stores should be built up throughout the week. You should not depend on your pregame meal to replace the stores that you used earlier in practices leading up to the game.

    (This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
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    Built into the culture of running is the idea than leaner and lighter is better. And, in fact, this is supported by the idea that moving a lighter object requires less energy than moving a heavier one. That said, many runners sabotage their training by under-eating and become fatigued and injured. Eating the right amount is critical to healthy and progressive running performance. If you are serious about running, you might want to consult a registered dietitian who specializes in sports nutrition to develop a tailored nutrition plan for your goals.
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    Because of mandated fight weights, and fighters trying to compete in lower weight classes, many combat sports athletes practice unsafe weight loss strategies (i.e. diuretics, saunas, plastic suits, fasts, etc.) to rapidly decrease their weight. These starvation practices do not support optimal performance and can also be hazardous to overall health.