Sporting Performance and Food: The Athlete’s Diet
Athletes’ bodies go through high levels of stress and effort, which is why proper nutrition is so important. The main focus on an athlete’s diet should be the five main food groups: protein, grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy.
- Proteins include all the essential amino acids that your body can’t produce by itself. These amino acids are crucial to help vital functions in your body such as muscle maintenance. Normally animal proteins (such as poultry and fish) are the most complete sources for amino acids, but some plant-based proteins can also give these.
- Grains give vitamins, minerals, fibre and carbohydrates which are essential resources for high-intensity activity and recovery in sports. Try to prioritise whole grains to white or refined grains products.
- Fruits and vegetables should be about half of your every meal because they give carbohydrates, minerals, fibre, vitamins, water and antioxidants. They give you energy, hydration, recovery/injury prevention and digestion help throughout your day and competitions.
- Dairy is full of calcium, potassium, carbohydrates and complete proteins which are necessary for energy production, bone strength and muscle contraction or recovery through consumption of cow milk, yoghurt or cheese.