In this article we will talk about the sportsman’s diet as, among other aspects to consider, food is certainly important.
Therefore, in addition to considering the general state of health, cardiorespiratory efficiency, etc. you must definitely take into account the power supply.
In fact, the sportsman’s diet is not, in principle, very different from what an ordinary person’s healthy and balanced diet should be. Obviously, however, we must take into account that in sports nutrition there are specific needs, related to competitions and training, and this applies to runners, cyclists, but also for those dedicated to fitness.
The diet of the ideal athlete
First of all we must keep in mind that before being a sportsman, the person is a human. Therefore, his physiology, metabolic and hormonal systems are the same as any other person: the differences between a correct eating style and the athlete’s diet are less relevant than one might think.
However, let’s start from the basics.
Food contains three macronutrients, in different proportions and percentages for each food, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and water. Each of these plays an important role in the body, so it is good to know which foods contain a certain macronutrient and how it is best to combine them. And the “what and how” is more important than the “how much”.
It is important to keep in mind that proteins have a structural function, they are very important nutrients for anyone but in the athlete’s diet they are even crucial.
On the other hand, fats have both an energetic and a structural function, especially of cell membranes. As for carbohydrates, these have a primary energy function, they support physical effort during sporting activity, but also allow us to replenish our small “super energy” reservoir of muscle and liver glycogen, which allows the athlete to increase the intensity of physical exertion.
In sports nutrition it is therefore important to follow the same principles of a correct diet.
Relationship between diet and sports activity
More than on calorie expenditure during physical activity, a parameter that is difficult to apply and definitely not applicable in the long term, when it comes to the athlete’s diet it is better to focus on the hormonal phases that the athlete goes through: before, during and after the activity .
This type of approach to sports nutrition is certainly more productive when the goal is to build that of creating balanced and sustainable sports diets to identify the correct integration.
Sportsman’s diet BEFORE sporting activity
Sports nutrition prior to activity is linked to glycemic control.
In fact, controlling blood sugar (blood sugar) levels is one of those eating strategies that can be managed over time. In particular, the goal will be to maintain a stable blood sugar not only before a race or training but, more generally, in daily life. This will allow the sportsman to live in a situation of well-being and be more performing.
But how is it possible to keep the blood sugar level stable?
Just keep in mind a fundamental concept, that of protein pairing. That is, if, in the main meals, we resort to carbohydrates with a high glycemic index, such as bread, pasta, potatoes, pizza, ice cream or other, we must always remember to associate a certain amount of protein.
Sports nutrition DURING and AFTER the activity
If the training or the race lasts more than an hour, it will be important to take fast-absorbing carbohydrates with a high glycemic index at regular intervals of 40/50 minutes, which will immediately turn into energy to better support the effort. physical.
On the contrary, if you are not professional athletes, the moment immediately following the physical effort will be the most suitable to indulge in some gluttony and gratify yourself with what you like best. In this phase, in fact, everything we eat will restore the muscle and liver glycogen stores consumed during the activity.
Contact a specialist
Presenting a weekly sports nutrition table on the internet could be the most wrong thing we could do. This is because each person is different and represents a case in itself, both from a physiological and a sporting point of view.
For this reason it is important to contact a sports diet specialist to find out more in detail what to eat day after day and thus set up a sports diet with its weekly table.