A GOOD DIET WILL NOT TURN AN AVERAGE ATHLETE INTO A SUPERSTAR
BUT A POOR DIET WILL PREVENT YOU FROM ACHIEVING YOUR POTENTIAL
WHAT SHOULD A SPORTSPERSON EAT ?
Both athletes and non-athletes need the same nutrients like:
but they need to consume them in different quantities and proportions.
Carbohydrate, protein and fat provide energy. Vitamins and minerals do not provide energy but are needed in very small amounts to enable the body to perform efficiently and effectively.
It is essential that the food you eat provides sufficient energy to fuel your sport. However, it is important that you obtain this energy from the right foods, to ensure you meet your requirements for vitamins and minerals, without gaining excess body fat.
Carbohydrate is stored in the body as glycogen in both the liver and muscles. During exercise glycogen is broken down into glucose to supply the working muscles with energy. If you do not eat enough carbohydrate rich foods your glycogen stores will be inadequate. This will cause you to feel tired earlier, and will affect your performance. Too much carbohydrate in the diet however, will lead to weight gain.
HOW MUCH CARBOHYDRATE DO I NEED ?
The amount of carbohydrate you need depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your exercise.
>LIGHT ACTIVITY (3-5 HOURS A WEEK) - 4-5G PER KG BODY WEIGHT/DAY
>TRAINING PROGRAMS LESS THAN 60-90 MIN PER DAY OR OUT OF SEASON TRAINING - 5-7G PER KG BODY WEIGHT/DAY
>TRAINING PROGRAMS GREATER THAN 90-120 MIN PER DAY - 7-10G PER KG BODY WEIGHT/DAY
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE
TIP: TO PREVENT TOOTH DECAY WHEN FOLLOWING A HIGH CARB DIET IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU BRUSH YOUR TEETH REGULARLY
EAT LARGE AMOUNTS OF NUTRITIOUS CARBOHYDRATE RICH FOODS:
EAT SMALLER AMOUNTS OF LESS NUTRITIOUS CARBOHYDRATE RICH FOODS:
Protein is necessary for growth, maintenance, and repair of body tissue. Athletes taking part in strength and endurance sports have higher protein requirements than non-athletes. However, most athletes can meet this increased requirement through a varied balanced diet, which meets their energy needs. It is generally not necessary to take specialised protein powders/bars/supplements.
GOOD SOURCES OF PROTEIN:
Small amount of fats in your diet are necessary. However, for athletes (as with the general population) a high fat intake is not recommended as it increases the risk of excessive gains in body fat, and results in lower carbohydrate intakes.
HOW TO CUT DOWN ON FAT
FOODS HIGH IN FAT INCLUDE:
Butter, margarine, cream, full-fat dairy, mayonnaise, visible fat on meat, processed meats, fried food, pastries, crisps, cakes and chocolate.
TIP: INCLUDE SMALL AMOUNTS OF UNSATURATED OR GOOD FATS IN YOUR DIET. SOURCES INCLUDE OILY FISH (EG SALMON, TUNA, SARDINES AND MACKERAL), VEGETABLE OILS (EG OLIVE, SUNFLOWER CANOLA), NUTS AND AVOCADO.
VITAMIN AND MINERALS
Active people need to make sure they consume adequate vitamins and minerals to meet the demands of exercise. A varied balanced diet, which includes plenty of fruit and vegetables - at least 5 portions a day - will ensure that your vitamins and mineral needs are met. Some athletes have higher requirements for iron and calcium, such as female athletes and adolescents. Particular attention should be made to these nutrients.
GOOD SOURCES OF IRON:
GOOD SOURCES OF CALCIUM:
During exercise fluid loss from sweating can be very high, particularly in warm weather. If you do not replace these losses through drinking you will become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause fatigue and impair performance.
HOW MUCH FLUID DO I NEED ?
Drink plenty of fluid during the day to ensure that you are properly hydrated when you start to exercise. During exercise you should aim to drink 150-200 ml every 10-15 minutes.
WHAT SHOULD I DRINK ?
BEFORE AND DURING EXERCISE - Isotonic sports drinks eg Club Energise Sport, Gatorade, Lucozade Sport, Powerade or a home made solution (see recipe below), Water
AFTER EXERCISE - Isotonic sports drinks, Hypertonic sports drinks eg Club Energise, Lucozade Original, Lucozade Energy, Soft drinks, Fruit drinks, Water
HOMEMADE SPORTS DRINKS
You can make your own sports drinks using these recipes:
1. 40-80g sugar or glucose powder, 1 litre water (boiled and cooled), 1g salt.
2. 500ml fruit juice, 500ml water (boiled and cooled), 1g salt.
3. 200ml fruit squash/cordial, 800ml water (boiled and cooled), 1g salt.
For 1-3 above mix all ingredients together until dissolved
TIP: THIRST IS A POOR INDICATOR OF DEHYDRATION, SO DONT WAIT UNTIL YOU FEEL THIRSTY TO HAVE A DRINK
TIP: DRINKS BOTTLES IN ADDITION TO LUNCHBOXES SHOULD BE TAKEN HOME AFTER EXERCISE, EMPTIED AND WASHED THOROUGHLY IN WARM SOAPY WATER BEFORE REUSE.
PUTTING IT ALL INTO PRACTICE
WHAT SHOULD I EAT BEFORE EXERCISE ?
To ensure your glycogen stores are as full as possible when you exercise it is important to have a high carbohydrate meal 2-4 hours beforehand. Avoid high fat and very high fibre foods as these may cause stomach discomfort during exercise.
WHAT SHOULD I EAT AFTER EXERCISE ?
After a hard session glycogen stores will be depleted. It can take up to 20 hours to replace glycogen stores. The body re-synthesizes glycogen at the fastest rate when a high carbohydrate snack which contains a small amount of protein is eaten immediately after exercise. You should eat one of these suitable snacks (see below) within 2 hours of exercise (or within 30 minutes if you plan to exercise again within 8 hours). Ensure you meet your daily carbohydrate requirement over the next 24 hours.
POST EXERCISE MEALS:
TIP: HANDWASHING IS THE SINGLE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS OF PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF GERMS. ALWAYS WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE EATING FOOD.
Nutritional needs and dietary preferences differ greatly from person to person. This information gives general advice to help you achieve a well balanced diet to fuel your sport. You should consult with your coach or dietitian to evaluate your diet and determine your individual nutritional needs to optimise your sporting performance.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR CHILD EAT AND DRINK ?
Fuelling up correctly for children is vital. Choosing the right types and amounts of different food isnt always easy. Here is a guide to what your child should eat and drink during a busy week. Remember, children can get very hot as they exercise. Drinking water at regular intervals during exercise will help your child stay cool and hydrated.
START EVERY DAY WITH A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
WHAT SHOULD YOUR CHILD HAVE FOR LUNCH
The best type of lunch is an energy packed lunch. Its as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.
1. CHOOSE ONE ITEM FROM THIS GROUP OF FOODS:
THE CORRECT PORTION YOUR CHILD SHOULD EAT
Active children need plenty of energy in their diet. However, there is a fine balance between eating plenty of energy and eating too many calories. Have a look at the standard serving sizes below and see how your children measure up. Are they eating too much or too little of whats good for them ? The following is a list of the servings from each Food Group that children should be eating on a daily basis.
FRUIT AND VEGETABLE GROUP: Daily Servings: 5+
A serving from the fruit and vegetable group is 80g of any fruit or vegetable. Check out the following handy measures:
CEREALS, BREAD, PASTA, RICE & POTATO GROUP: Daily Servings: 6+
MILK, CHEESE AND YOGHURT GROUP: Daily Servings: 3 for adults and children, 5 for teenagers
MEAT, FISH AND ALTERNATIVES GROUP: Daily Servings: 2