How to eat right for athletes

For both athletes and exercise enthusiasts, nutrition is essential for peak physical performance, says Nieves Serra, chief dietitian at The Asian Hospital and Medical Center in Alabang, Philippines.

This means carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water. Dehydration can hinder your strength, endurance and aerobic capacity. So, rehydrate by drinking plenty of fluids.

If you are competing in an all-day event, plan ahead by listing own meals and snacks that you are already used to. Avoid experimenting with your diet on event day. Or you can try this safe pre-game athlete diet:

  • 3-4 hours before: Bread with a bit of peanut butter or low fat cheese OR pasta with lean meat OR cereals with low fat or non-fat milk; fresh fruits OR fresh juice; low-fat yoghurt; and 1 litre of an isotonic drink.
  • 2-3 hours before: Fresh fruit OR fruit juice; bread; low-fat yogurt; isotonic drink.
  • 1 hour or less before: Fresh fruit (preferably banana, orange, apple or grapes); fruit juice OR isotonic drink.

Elizabeth Quinn, in her online article “Eating before competing” warns: “Exercising on a full stomach is not ideal because food that remains in the stomach during an event may cause stomach upset, nausea and cramping. Allow a full meal to be completely digested before start of the event.”

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One Response to “How to eat right for athletes”

  1. Great blog. So many blogs like yours cover subjects that can’t be found in print. I don’t know how we got on 10 years ago with just newspapers and magazines.

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