Friday, September 29
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What are the Key Components of a Professional Athlete’s Diet?

Man running

Athlete’s bodies often face a great deal of stress. For this reason, proper nutrition is key. The best and most effective way of achieving proper nutrition is to focus on the main five food groups. This would be fruits, grains, vegetables and dairy. Each one will contribute vital nutrients to help with your diet.  When you have established these crucial principles, you can then fine-tune your diet.

Fruit and Vegetables

These two food groups should make up around half of your plate. They will provide you with the carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals you need to fuel your body. They will also help you to stay hydrated, aid with digestion and even support you with your injury or recovery. A serving of fruit or starchy vegetables is around a fist full, and a serving of vegetables would be two fists.

Grains

Whole grains should be prioritised within your diet. The main reason for this is because they have a very high level of vitamins, minerals and fibre. These sources are high in carbohydrates and they are also suited to those who often partake in high-intensity activity. Depending on your level of physical activity, foods that are high in starch should be consumed in the quantities of one or two fists per meal. This is especially the case, prior to exercise. If you watch live sports streaming then you will be interested to know that these athletes often have a personal trainer, as well as a dietician working with them. The main reason for this is because it helps them to get the body they want and it also helps them to sustain their energy levels within the day.

Protein

At the end of the day, complete protein sources should include all the amino acids your body cannot produce itself. One thing to know about amino acids is that they serve as a building block for several vital functions. This includes cell structure, muscle maintenance and even chemical reactions. Animal proteins tend to be complete sources, but variations of plant-based protein can also give you the amino acids you need too. Lean animal proteins should include fish and poultry. They should also have priority within the diet and should take up around a quarter of the plate. Making sure that they are palm-sized is also a good idea.

Dairy

This food group is packed with calcium. It is also full of complete proteins and carbohydrates. This combination of nutrients will give you the components you need to maintain your energy levels. It will also help you with muscle contraction and recovery. It’s so important as an athlete that you consume 2-3 cups of dairy on a daily basis. If you don’t then you may find that you do not end up getting the vitamin boost you need.

Importance of Working with a Dietician

Working with a dietician is so important. If you are a professional athlete then you need to make sure that you have the right diet for your build and that you are able to sustain your energy. Different athletes need different food groups in order to sustain their energy, so it is vital that you think about this when adjusting your diet. Someone who is a runner will need a different diet than someone who is weight training or who is playing football. Dieticians often know how to give you the best result out of your diet, so make sure that you contact one if you need some help and support with your current meal plan.

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