Good nutrition is essential for a good sports performance; however, many athletes are not aware of this or not know how to eat properly. Below some nutrition tips to increase your performance.
Start from training!
The diet in the training stage can be more important than the manipulation of food before the competition as a good feeding at this stage allows you to:
- Major progress in your performance.
- Speed recovery between sessions.
- Rehearse nutrition and hydration strategies for competition.
Consume enough energy.
An athlete should consume more food to meet the demands of training. If you do not cover your energy demands:
- You will lose muscle.
- Have chronic fatigue.
- You can not adapt to your training program.
You must increase the number of meals (4 or 5 meals/day) or the amount of food at each meal.
Consume many carbohydrates.
The main source of energy used in high-intensity exercise (sprinting, jumping, etc..) are stocks that have glucose in muscle and liver. An athlete who does not consume enough carbohydrates comes to exhaust these reserves, which causes them to fatigue faster and decrease your athletic performance.
Foods rich in carbohydrates are:
- cereals: wheat, corn, oats, rice, amaranth and derivatives such as bread, tortillas, pasta, crackers, cereal bars, etc..
- Tubers: like potatoes, etc.
- Legumes: such as beans, broad bean, lentil.
- Fruits and vegetables.
- Sugars such as table sugar, honey, jam, caramel, chocolate powder, etc.
- Milk and yogurt.
The largest proportion of food you consume should be from these foods and you must include them in every meal.
Hydrate before, during and after exercise.
Do not wait until you are thirsty! When you are thirsty you are already dehydrated and your performance is already diminished. You need to hydrate before, during and after exercise.
Sports drinks are the most recommended during exercise as it contains electrolytes, which help to recover those lost in sweat. Avoid drinks with high sugar content during exercise.
The faster you consume carbohydrates after exercise the faster you recover your energy reserves. If you keep spending more than 1 hour after completion of the exercise, your recovery will be much slower and not be ready for the next training session. Thus, it is important that immediately after exercise consume a sports drink, granola bars, energy bars, yogurt drink, fruit and juice, to start your recovery both carbohydrate and fluid.
Subsequently, you should consume a meal that also provides sufficient carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread, tortillas, vegetables and fruits) and some protein (chicken, fish, meat, egg or cheese) to continue your recovery. Remember to drink plenty of fluids with these foods to get your hydration status.