or at least people who are or want to be physically active…
Today, nutrition and eating properly is becoming more important. However eating healthy is not just for the athlete, but can be for anyone who is physically active. So you may be asking yourself – How do athletes eat so nutritious?
Well the answer can be found below and is summarized into five easy steps. They are:
1 – Eat Regular Meals – your parents were right about not skipping a meal. Make sure to eat breakfast, lunch and supper, with snacks through out the day also. It is usually stated that you should be eating about every 3hours, this is so that your metabolism stays steady.
2 – Eat Balanced Meals – now you may be asking, what are balanced meals. Well, balanced meals include the following – Fruit and Vegetable, Protein, Dairy, Meat and Grains. Now this seems like a lot to include in each meal – but this is simple. To help make your meal balanced – think of your plate divided into 3 parts. Where, 50% of your meal should be vegetables, 25% meat and the last 25% should be a grain/carbohydrate. For snacks, they can be your fruits, vegetables or dairy. However, at competition time eat 3 – 4 hours before hand and make sure you eat foods high in carbs – such as bread, fruits or vegetables.
3 – Keep Hydrated – after all, your body is made up of 50% – 75% water. Athletes and those physically active loose lots of water through perspiration. Replenishing the lost water is important for transport of nutrients and wastes through the body and for some chemcial reactions, such as the breakdown of starch into sugar. Not replenishing the water, can weaken the body physically, therefore performance suffers. You may replenish water by, drinking water through out the day, but especially during training, teas and sports perfomance drinks. These are extremely important for after the work-out.
4 – Keep it interesting – nutritious eating doesn’t have to be boring, try different styles of cooking, using different meats or vegetables. By keeping it interesting, you will not get bored and therefore keep up with eating healthy. Also with different styles it can provide a higher variety of tastes and nutrients to the body.
5 – Don’t forget, not everyone is perfect – even the athlete. Don’t be unrealistic, everyone gets those cravings for the chocolate cake every so often. So set your goals realistically, try having healthly meals for 9 days and reward yourself on the 10th day with that chocolate cake. Make sure to reward yourself every so often. This way, it will help with you keep your eating on track, by not always being distracted by those cravings.
So you may be asking yourself, how do I start getting healthy and eating like an athlete? First of all, make an appointment with your dietition, he/she will help you tailor your eatings to accommodate your training or physical activity. Therefore, you will have a better chance of obtaining better performance. Also in your area from time to time, specialts will be in your area talking about nutrition and sports performance. Just like in the video below.
Also check out the following page with more information on nutrition for the athlete: http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sportsnutrition/Sports_Nutrition.htm
Happy eating and training….