For both athletes and non-athletes, it is important to have a diet consisting of a variety of foods. Following a diet that excludes certain foods won’t cut it. All people need the same basic nutrients. These nutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and protein. They are essential when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, and both athletes and non-athletes should include them in their diets.
Do athletes need to eat more?
It depends. High-intensity performance requires a diet higher in calories. Fats and carbohydrates are essential for building muscle. The more muscular you are, the more your body requires both fats and carbs. Depriving your body of these nutrients, especially during a high-intensity workout, is a ticket to fatigue and low energy levels. This is why sports drinks exist!
If a workout lasts longer than ninety minutes, it is probably a good idea to take something with higher sugar levels, some simple carbs such as an energy bar or a sports drink. Even though we’ve all heard that food containing a lot of sugar is bad for us, because the energy it gives us is short-lasting, having a burst of energy will boost your performance and help you finish your workout session. Some athletes practice avoiding sugary foods a few days before a competition and when they need to boost their performance, they take something sweet.
Water intake also differs when you compare athletes and non-athletes. Depending on your muscle weight, your body consists of 50% to 70% of water. Exercising makes you sweat and this way your body loses water. Depending on the amount of water you lose, you need to hydrate your body more to keep its fluid levels stable. It is essential that athletes drink water before, during, and after their workout session.
Iron is really important to athletes. It is the main component of hemoglobin, which is essential for carrying oxygen throughout your body and oxygen is essential to performing well. A lack of iron leads to getting tired more quickly and to experiencing fatigue and dizziness, headaches as well. It is obvious that all of this decreases your performance, which is why athletes need to consume more iron-rich foods, such as fatty fish, red, and other kinds of meat.
You should keep in mind that this does not mean that all athletes need to consume more food. It depends on their muscle weight, activity, performance, and other factors. We should all strive to eat as much healthy food as possible, in accordance with our bodily needs and lifestyle, of course. After all, each body is different and it needs different nutrients to function at an optimal level.