What Should Athletes Eat?
Andrew Parker - December 28, 2022

Athletes’ bodies go through a lot of stress, so it’s crucial that they get the nourishment they need to keep going. The most straightforward and efficient strategy for achieving nutritional success is focusing on the five primary dietary groups: fruits and vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy products. Your diet would be lacking without each of these. Fruits and vegetables should make up around half of your plate, or 50% of each meal. Energy, hydration, digestion, and healing from or avoidance of damage are all supported by the carbs, vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and antioxidants these foods supply.

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The increased vitamin, mineral, and fiber content of whole grains over white/refined grain products makes them a dietary priority. These foods include a wealth of carbs, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all of which are essential for high-intensity exercise and subsequent healing. These high-starch meals should be ingested in amounts equal to one or two fists at each meal, especially those before exercise, depending on the individual’s physical activity level.

Only complete proteins can supply the nine necessary amino acids humans lack, yet the body needs to function correctly. You need amino acids to construct and maintain cell membranes, muscular tissue, and chemical reactions, among other things. While animal proteins are the best source of all nine necessary amino acids, certain plant-based protein combinations can also meet the body’s needs.

Numerous essential nutrients, such as calcium, complete proteins, potassium, and carbohydrates, may be found in this category of foods. This nutritional profile supports cellular metabolism, muscular contraction and repair, and bone health. Two to three cups of low-fat dairy per day, such as cow’s milk or fortified plant-based drinks, yogurt, or cheese, is recommended for athletes.

Good nutrition is adaptable and may be tailored to each person’s unique tastes and way of life. The first step is to combine the food mentioned above categories in roughly specified proportions. Afterward, tune into your body for feedback so you can adjust your strategy as needed. The items listed below are great options for adding carbs, protein, and healthy fat to any meal or snack you plan.

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