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The importance of diet to improve sports performance

Are you an active person who spends a lot of time doing sports? In this case, food will be the engine that will give you energy and help you perform in your sports practice. Eating healthy and nutrient-dense foods is an essential aspect. However, an athlete does not need the same foods and quantities as a more sedentary person.

Therefore, sports nutrition is an aspect of nutrition that focuses on athletes and helps them to progress in their physical and sports goals. Not sure what eating guidelines you should follow? In this case, you can go to an online dietitian to offer you more personalized advice based on your activity and your goals. The most important thing is that you learn what types of foods you should include before doing sports to have vitality and after training to replenish your muscles. Do you want to find out?

How to have good sports nutrition

The keys to the success of an athlete are training, food, and rest. For an active person who performs sports, food is the engine to have energy and, in this way, obtain optimal results. For this, these types of individuals must consume foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. In turn, proper hydration will be essential. What should you keep in mind about each food group? We explain it to you!

Carbohydrates

One of the pillars on which an athlete’s plate must be based is carbohydrates. They are the gasoline that the body needs to develop an intense activity such as running, jumping, or doing sports in general. The most advisable thing is to take the carbohydrates a few hours before, between 2 or 3. For example, at breakfast or lunch.

They provide energy and are transformed into glycogen, making them the fastest assimilating energy source. What foods include carbohydrates and which are the most advisable? Potatoes, sweet potato, cereals, whole-wheat pasta, or whole wheat bread. All of them have a high amount of complex carbohydrates and their assimilation is slow. Therefore, they provide energy for several hours, increasing performance during sports activity.

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In turn, fruit, vegetables, and oats are also high in carbohydrates that are more rapidly assimilated. In this case, you can include it after playing sports.

Protein

On the other hand, proteins help repair muscles and tissues after intense training, such as strength or resistance training. The foods that are rich in this food group are those of animal origins such as meat and fish. They can be found in chicken and turkey since it is preferable to opt for white meats that have less fat. Regarding fish, bonito, tuna, anchovies, anchovies or salmon have a high protein content. In turn, you can consume eggs, dairy, and vegetable proteins such as soybeans and legumes.

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These foods are recommended to be taken after training to regenerate muscle mass that has been worn down during exercise and increase satiety. If you choose them before doing sports, they should spend several hours to avoid heaviness in the stomach.

Fats

The third group of foods that athletes should include in their diet is fats. However, it is necessary to choose foods that contain healthy fats such as olive oil, avocado, or nuts. At the same time, it is essential to reduce saturated fats that can be found in pastries, processed products, red meat, etc.

Have proper hydration

It is important to drink at least 2 liters of water a day. If you are a person who does sports this is even more important. During physical exercise, it is normal for your body to lose salts and become dehydrated. Therefore, drink plenty of water, especially before and after training.

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Shawna Anderson

Bsc in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the Complutense University of Madrid. I love writing about nutrition and health and related topics. I have written for some famous newspapers and magazines for the last 6 years.

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