Eating Healthy for Athletes
|Eating Healthy for Athletes||Darrell Miller||10/13/05|
October 13, 2005 07:10 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subject: Eating Healthy for Athletes
Eating Healthy for Athletes
If you are an athlete, it's important for you to consider your diet carefully. Whether you've been a serious lifelong athlete or have just started to exercise regularly, this applies to you. It's been shown that people who are starting to get into shape need more proteins and other nutrients than even seasoned athletes.
So what makes up proper nutrition for athletes? Well, remember that you need to consume lost of calories if you are exercising regularly. If you aren't overweight, keep in mind that you must eat more than you normally would if you weren't training. Here's a general rule of thumb: consume 8.5 calories for every kg that you weigh. So if you weigh 100 kg (which equals 220 pounds), that would require a consumption of 850 calories for one hour of working out.
It is almost never wise to cut back on your dietary consumption at the same time as embarking on a regular exercise program. If you are considering this, be sure to consult your doctor first. At any rate, an athlete in training should never try to lose more than 2 or 3 pounds each week, at most.
Research suggests that above all, eating a variety of healthy foods is the most important thing you can do. Keep a strong balance, whether you're an athlete or even if you're not.
That means you should be taking in most of your calories from carbohydrates, which include vegetables, grains, oats, wheat, rice, bread, pasta, etc. The exact number that you should aim for is 57% of your diet.
The next largest group is the fats, which should make up about 30% of your diet. Fats are both vegetable based - eg corn oil, and animal based - non-vegetarian shortening. Butter and shortening occur in many foods like cakes, and are examples of saturated fats. In general most of your fat intake should come from the unsaturated fats found in vegetable fats. You should use olive oil for salad dressings and for cooking.
The rest of your diet, 13%, should be comprised of protein. This means fish, poultry, lean red meat, and so on. You can also get protein from nuts.
Proper nutrition means avoiding or consuming only small portions of fried food, cookies, alcohol, candy bars, and that kind of junk food. Instead, eat plenty of fresh, raw vegetables, whole grains, fish, and lean meats.
Remember, exercise expends lots of energy and uses up important nutrients. Athletes should be sure they are eating enough to stay healthy and strong, and to ensure that they have all the vitamins and minerals their bodies need.
There are, however, a huge number of supplements currently available. Most of them have not been scientifically proven to work. Still, some athletes--such as marathon runners and others in endurance sports-- may require iron supplements. This tends to be the case with women more so than men, but you can get tested if you suspect you need more iron.
You can also see a nutritionist with a good reputation to take an overview of your diet. Also, you may have to supplement while on the road, since diet while traveling tends to be poor.
The other common dietary supplement used by many athletes is an energy snack or drink. These are very useful for athletes in training since they are often easier to consume than a full meal. Ideal if you are having trouble eating a couple of hours before a work out or soon after (both of which are good ideas). Remember though that these bars and drinks are packed with calories, so do count towards your dietary intake.
Nutritionist Ann Sertanze gives advice online through RHS Nutrition, a specialist website offering nutritional advice for people of all ages. Pay a visit to com