Food is your fuel for whatever athletic activity you’re tackling. How much you eat and what you eat can make a huge difference in your athletic performance.
Trainer Kristen Chang, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) points out that athletic performance begins with the right fuel — not with training, as most people think. Here’s an analogy. Without gasoline, cars don’t run, and unless you use the right octane (the proper quality of fuel), your vehicle won’t perform optimally.
Bodies are like cars in that respect. You need the right fuel, which is a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. These are the macronutrients, and for athletes, Kristen recommends the following proportions:
50-65% total calories from carbohydrates
13-25% total calories from protein
23-35% total calories from fat
The above proportions aren’t written in stone and can vary depending on the individual and the type of athletic event involved.
Aside from meals, you should incorporate two to three healthy snacks of 200 to 300 calories into your eating routine during the day. Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel. Protein helps you recover and refuel by rebuilding muscle fibers and storing glycogen. Fat is vital for fighting inflammation and promoting immune system health.
People who are dieting often make the mistake of deciding to cut out carbs or fat. Deciding to completely eliminate one of the macronutrients from your diet — carbs, fats or proteins — isn’t healthy. What you should do is adopt healthy eating habits and turn these habits into your lifestyle.
Staying hydrated is extremely important as well because hydration is necessary for optimal metabolism. Hydration helps you burn calories. You’ll know if you’re dehydrated by symptoms like nausea, fatigue, dry lips and throat, headaches and the inability to concentrate.
How can we help?
At Smoothie Factory Nutrition Depot we have a wealth of information about good nutrition. We also have products that can supply you with what your body needs. Drop in and see us.